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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
Shortly before he moves away from home and his abusive situation, a teenage boy vanishes, and his best friend is the only one who believes something has happened to him in the suspenseful mystery, Pending Return by S.A. Gensch. Steve has been Mitch's best friend since they were in elementary school. Now that they are graduating, Steve and Mitch have gotten jobs to save enough money to move out together. One day, when Steve doesn't show up for work, call, or even text him, Mitch becomes alarmed. Over the years, he has witnessed the abuse Steve endured at the hands of his father. Mitch wanted to report it all along, but Steve insisted that he didn't want to end up in foster care. Sure that Steve's father is accountable for his disappearance, Mitch goes to the police and reports that Steve and his car are missing. However, convincing the police that Steve wouldn't run away without telling him and that Steve's father may be responsible isn't easy. But if Steve is alive, where is his car? Is it possible that he would leave without telling Mitch?
Addressing the tragedy of child abuse and how it affects those involved, Pending Return by S.A. Gensch is an emotional and heart-rending young adult novel that is unforgettable. It is a poignant mystery with a tense and moving storyline, a suspenseful plot, and a heart-touching protagonist. Skillfully written, the dramatic story unfolds at an even pace, capturing the imagination and emotions and building to a compelling conclusion. With a captivating storyline and an appealing and relatable protagonist, and a hint of the paranormal, this memorable novel will touch everyone who enjoys stories with the elements of realism, drama, and suspense.