As I read M.L. Kennedy’s Things You Leave Behind, I kept thinking, yeah, this is good. I’m enjoying myself, I’m turning the pages, eager to find out what’s going on. And then the end was SO profound for me, I can’t put it into words. It tied the whole book together, and it’s one of those endings that I think will mean something different to each reader.
Two things kept this from being 5 stars for me:
1) A brief conversation about gender identity occurs between Angela and Susan. It’s realistically clunky, but in a way that felt bad to read and perpetuated outdated views instead of correcting them.
2) Angela uses a derogatory word for people with dwarfism a couple of times.
But overall, I really enjoyed this book. The dialogue felt realistic, and the time hopping was set up in a clever, interesting way that was still easy to follow. There’s a delightful aspect to the entire book where you can have a few different theories about what’s happening to Angela and Tyler, and they’re all perfectly valid. I’ll be mulling over Things You Leave Behind for a while, that’s for sure.