Mundie Moms

Thursday, September 29, 2016

LAST SEEN LEAVING by Caleb Roehrig / Book Review

By: Caleb Roehrig
Published by: Fierce Reads
To Be Released on: October 4th, 2016
Pre-Order from: the Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
I received a signed arc from the publisher at BEA

Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Last Seen Leaving is a mix of self discovery, as much as it is a mystery. There are so many themes within this book that will make it relatable on so many different levels for a wide range of readers. Mixed into Flynn's self journey, and the mystery surrounding his girlfriend's disappearance are friendship, love, romance, speaking up, and a lot of the unexpected. 

Mixed into the mystery behind his girlfriend's disappearance, is Flynn's own self journey. Flynn is a character I rooted for from the beginning. I wanted to see him happy, and be happy. Especially with himself, and who he is. The more he searches for clues in January's disappearance, the more self assured he becomes. Without giving away any spoilers, I was so happy with who Flynn was by the end of this book. There's so much I want to talk about, about his character, but it ties into part of this book's secrets and twists. 

There are a lot of topics in this book that Roehrig incorporates into Flynn's story. There's a dark side to this story that made me sick to my stomach, yet had me cheering Flynn on for all he stood for (for the sake of spoilers, I won't say what all that is). While I may not have loved all the aspects of this story, I loved Flynn's journey in discovering who he really is. I loved the support he received from his family, and the happiness he finally found. I admired his strength and courage, and not backing down. Flynn is definitely one of those unlikely heroes you're glad you met. He makes you realize there's still a lot of great people that exist in a world of disgusting individuals. He is definitely one of those respectable guys you'd want as a friend. 

I'm not sure who I loved more in this book, Flynn or his parents. One of the things I love seeing in YA books, are the role of parents. I think all too often parents aren't as present, but that's not the case with Last Seen Leaving. I seriously love Flynn's parents. They not only stand up for their son, they gave him the love, support and assurances he needs. In fact, his parents play a bigger role than I some of the other supporting characters in this book. Trust me, you'll love them. 

Sometimes I wish characters were real, so that I could hug them. Like Flynn's mom. One thing I loved about this story is his mother. All I can say is page 167... There's a scene on this page (at least it's page 167 in the arc) where she just wraps her arms about her son and just hugs him, and tells him how much she loves him. Now this scene may not seem that significant, but when you read the book you'll know why it is. Her gesture is of so many unspoken things, and being a mom myself, I just loved it. Her reaction is what my reaction would be. Her hug isn't just one of reassurance to her son, who just shared a secret he's kept locked inside for a long time, it's also a reminder of her unconditional love to her son, and that no matter what, she's there for him and loves him for him.

I had a very hard time liking Flynn's girlfriend. But there's a lot more to her than meets the eye. As Roehrig slowly peels back the layers to her story, you'll realize that your first impressions of her may not be all that accurate. It was interesting seeing all the different sides of her. The more Flynn digs, and uncovers the secrets behind what happened to her, the more readers start to see what was really going on in her life. It's interesting how many dark secrets are uncovered in this book. 

Another character I liked was Kaz. Oh my word, he brought some of the humor to this darker toned plot line. He's the characters that's self assured, and isn't deterred by anything. I may have laughed at a scene that involves him, Flynn, and a phone in a car. 

This book read like a TV show, and it was great! Roehrig's writing made it easy for me to visualize the characters, and all that was going on. Sure some things were predictable, but there's a lot to this story that I didn't see coming. If this was Roehrig's debut, I can only imagine how good his next book will be. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

* There are mentions of drugs, sex, and rape. This book also has a lot of language, which may not be suitable for younger readers.

Banned Books Week #BannedBooksWeek

Here on Mundie Moms we are HUGE supporters of celebrating Banned Books Week. Normally we post through out the week about our love of supporting banned books. Since the seasonal plague has hit my household over the last two weeks, I realized this week is almost over, and I've yet to make a post about Fighting For Your Right To Read, aka Banned Book Week. 

Let's be honest for a moment, it's pretty sad that we live in a world where we even have to celebrate a week like this. With all the stuff that's happening through out the world, including our own country, books are needed now more than ever. They're need to provide security, a safe haven from all that's going on. More importantly than that, books are needed to allow every reader that they are not alone. They're not alone in their beliefs, in who they are, in who they want to be, and where and what they want to do in life. 

Books are empowering. Reading in empowering. Knowledge is empowering. 

Books inspire, and motivate. They allow our imaginations to take root and grow. They remind of us the importance of who we are as readers, and as people. Books allow us to visit incredible worlds, and meet amazing characters. They remind us we're not alone. Books give celebration to life, when at times it's hard to find something worth celebrating. 

Books allow, and should allow, and need to allow, people from all different walks a life, to have a voice. To be seen. To be represented. To be heard. Everyone deserves that right. But it seems that all too often those very books are needed, are the ones that get banned. 

Books SAVE lives. If you don't believe me, ask the numerous authors who receive letters from their fans who say otherwise. For example, a few years ago when Ellen Hopkins was in Austin, she shared letters she received from readers of various ages, who told her about the horrid things they each had experienced, and how her books saved them. I don't think there was a dry eye in that room after she read parts of the many letters she brought with her. Ellen Hopkins's books, which by the way are BANNED in many areas, SAVED lives of her readers! As have many other authors's books. 

No one has the right to ban a book. If you don't like a book, don't read it. If you don't want your children to read a certain book, don't have them read it. But do NOT take away someone else's right to read. Don't take away someone else's right to identify with a book. No one should have the power to ban something that everyone has the right to read. 

If you're curious which books made the list of the most banned books in the US, check it out here. Also check out this post, which is seen below, here

Texas Teen BooK Festival is this SATURDAY 10/1/16 #TTBF

The Texas Teen Book Festival is happening THIS WEEKEND! Book People put together this handy check list for this weekend's event:

This year's line up is AWESOME! Check out the full lineup and details for this Saturday's FREE event, here, as well as below! I look forward to seeing some of you there!


For the first year ever, the TTBF will be partnering with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Penguin Teen for a special screening of The Outsiders on September 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the South Lamar location to kick off the festival. Penguin authors Sabaa TahirDavid Arnold, and Renée Ahdieh will join the exclusive event for a Q&A prior to the screening with Sarah Pitre from Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Forever YA to talk about The Outsiders, a seminal work of the YA genre, and its special spot in their hearts as writers for a young adult audience. Tickets for the screening are $25 and are available here

The jam-packed festival day will begin at 8 a.m. and features panels, keynotes, and events, including: 
      10:15 a.m. – Official Welcome and Mindy Kaling Q&A at RCC Gym
      Moderator: Sarah Pitre
      11:30 a.m. – Panel: Just Like Old Times at RCC Gym
      Featuring Renée Ahdieh, Roshani Chokshi, Sarah Porter, Sabaa Tahir, Laini Taylor
      11:30 a.m. – Panel: Can You Keep a Secret? at Mabee Ballroom
      Featuring Carrie Jones, Adriana Mather, Caleb Roehrig, Sherri L. Smith, Maggie Thrash
      11:30 a.m. – Badgerdog Poetry Workshop at Fleck Hall Room 305 
      12:30 p.m. – Texas Throwdown Game Show at RCC Gym
      Featuring Sabaa Tahir, Rene S. Perez II, David Arnold, Caleb Roehrig, E.K. Johnston, and Jeffery Self
      1:15 p.m. – Costume Contest Judging at Fierce Reads Photo Ops Booth
      1:30 p.m. – Keynote Speaker Laini Taylor and Announcement of Writing Contest Winners at RCC Gym
      2:30 p.m. – Panel: Hiding in Plain Sight at RCC Gym
      Featuring Leigh Bardugo, Ally Carter, A.J. Hartley, Morgan Rhodes, and Billy Taylor
      2:30 p.m. – Panel: Pieces of Me at Mabee Ballroom
      Featuring Paula Garner, Joe Jiménez, Isabel Quintero, Jeffery Self
      2:30 p.m. – Panel: Where Loyalties Lie at Jones Auditorium
      Featuring Shaun David Hutchinson, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Rene S. Perez II, Jeff Zentner
      2:30 p.m. – Badgerdog Poetry Workshop at Fleck Hall Room 305
      3:30 p.m. – Panel: What the Heart Wants at RCC Gym
      Featuring David Arnold, Brendan Kelly, Samantha Mabry, Kenneth Oppel, Mary E. Pearson
      3:30 p.m. – Panel: With Great Power… at Mabee Balroom
      Featuring Kendare Blake, Katherine Catmull, Traci Chee, C.C. Hunter, E.K. Johnston
      4:30 p.m. – Closing Note Speaker Leigh Bardugo and Announcement of Fierce Reads Costume Contest at RCC Gym

In addition to panels and workshops throughout the day, the festival will feature a writing workshop hosted by Barrio Writers at 3:30 p.m., a creative writing program that provides free college level writing workshops to teenagers in underserved communities. Additionally, the TTBF is thrilled to add four new authors to the previously-announced lineup: Guadalupe Garcia McCall, author of Shame the Stars; Joe Jiménez, author of BloodlineRene S. Perez II, author of Seeing Off the Johns; and Isabel Quintero, author of the award-winning Gabi, a Girl in Pieces and recipient of the first annual Barrio Writers Featured Author Sponsorship and Tomás Rivera Book Award.

TTBF is presented in collaboration with the Texas Book Festival, BookPeople, a dedicated team of librarians, and venue sponsor St. Edward’s University. The program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

TTBF remains free and open to the public thanks to generous donors, sponsors, and dozens of committed volunteers. For more information, please and keep up with announcements at, and on Twitter and Instagram@TXTeenBookFest.