Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Anne Hetzel
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Aubrey, a quiet and unassuming young woman living a sensible life, is dating Charlie - someone very similar to herself. Or so she thought! Charlie dies in a mysterious plane accident, and upon attending his funeral, Aubrey discovers the multiple lives that Charlie led. Teaming up with Charlie's other girlfriend, Lena, the pair set off to travel the globe to discover the truth about the man they both thought they knew and loved. They travel to India and Thailand, only to realize that they are pawns laying wait in a deadly trap - Charlie never died in the plane crash. Horror awaits them as they find out more than they ever wanted, which could end up costing them their lives.
This story is not for the fainthearted. Charlie is obviously suffering from a mental illness of some form, and is overtaken by the urge to live every kind of life there is. These two girls get caught up in that desire, not knowing the truth until it is too late. Charlie exemplifies the necessity for stability of some form in childhood. This book is very much about learning from one another and teaches that life should be experienced in all of its fullness,. However, we also need to stay true to ourselves. Aubrey and Lena learn to love one another and to take away good parts of one another's personality. It's an unlikely friendship sprung from betrayal on Charlie's part, yet together the two get through almost anything. Charlie, Presumed Dead emphasizes being brave, strong, and true to yourself.
*Contains sexual content, strong language and violence.