This was an interesting premise for a story and held out a lot of hope that is was going to be good. I'm afraid that for me it just didn't work.

I had to reread the beginning a few times because it wasn't making any sense to me. First a train went past so she saw the small body and then she was running through a wood, then the train went past. I mean I understand why it was written that way, but it just didn't work.

Then there was the unfortunate detail of the boy, Levi, being in the class above Autumn - then Autumn was in year 4 and the boy was in year 6. Maybe it was me and I misread it - it is always possible, but I remember checking it several times just to make sure.

Perhaps the biggest negative from me was the voice given to Autumn. It was a good idea, the chapters being separated by the mother's voice and the child's voice, but there wasn't enough distinction between the two for it to work. If someone is writing as a child, I would imagine the vocabulary and sentence structure would echo this. I don't know many children who would describe something being empty as "like there had been a calamity", eyes as "retinal-blue", hair as "glacially blonde" - it just didn't gel. I would have liked Autumn's voice to have been more childlike, something more befitting a 9 year old girl.

Actually maybe I have over-ridden another big negative - now I come to think of it - and that was some of the descriptions that were used. Laura thought the bully would have been "a kid on free school meals and benefits with a tattooed father" - I mean really? Does the writer really think this depiction of a child on free school meals is acceptable? And there was another one, let me see if I can find it, aah here it is "...what a man who worked in IT might look like: pot-bellied, pale, sandy-haired with poor dress sense, perhaps." Of course people have set images of certain people, professions etc. but these, to me, (and I appreciate I may be alone) just sounded so judgemental that they annoyed me.

So, positives?

Well, as I've said it was a good enough story. I shouted when Laura was getting her computer fixed - I mean, how stupid?! The story didn't hold any surprises for me I'm afraid to say.

The characters were portrayed fairly well. I got a clear sense of Laura and of Autumn, the two main characters in the story, as well as of other minor incidental ones too.

I think that's about it. I really wanted to say something much kinder about this book. I wanted to like it, I really did. I'm just sorry I didn't.