Blog Tour: Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos Review & Giveaway

Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published: Oct. 16th, 2012 by Simon Pulse
Source: Author
How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.

Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.

With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.

As a teen and a new adult I went through a lot.  I guess you could say I had my share of ‘experiences’.  I did about everything a person could do and I suffered through some crazy relationships.  When I got out of it all I said that my goal was to do something with those experiences, to help others who got themselves in trouble or in over their head, in some way.  The way I had thought I would do that would be by writing about it.  Writing my own stories based on real life and to show teens they are not alone and maybe help those that may be headed in the wrong direction. I really feel that Carrie has wrote one of those books that I wish I had wrote.  It’s definitely not my story, but so much of it could be.

Watching someone we love and care about take the wrong road that could so easily lead to death is so hard to watch.  But what people don’t always understand is that all we can do is show them our love and that we do care.  But we need to learn when to let the person go on their road because we can’t stop them.  They have to hit rock bottom on their own.

Rachel’s brother has disappeared.  He is an addict and decided to just strike out on his own and has no contact with friends or family from his life.  Rachel holds a lot of pain in her heart.  She feels guilt, anger, frustration, and love.  She just wants her brother back and for things to be back to normal.  She’s incredibly angry at him for what he’s done to her and her family but she loves him so much.  And through her memories we grow to love him too.  And we know without a doubt that he loves her so much as well.  But he took that hit and it led him down this road.  And while the drug is an addiction and a sickness it was also the choices he made.  And he needs to find his way.  This book is about Rachel spending one day with Tyler (Micah’s friend) searching for Micah and finding her way to accepting that perhaps there’s nothing she can do. 

Because Rachel is what we would call ‘straight edge’ she does her research and knows about meth and how it works.  She knows the statistics and all that stuff.  She even saw her brother decline when using back when he was still at home.  But we see that she still doesn’t fully grasp how it all is and through meeting different people in this one day she starts to realize that maybe her brother doesn’t want to be found and that he needs to decide when he’s ready for help, not her.

Beside her the entire time is Tyler, her brothers best friend.  Tyler was such a great character and as Rachel got to know him a bit better and starts to find an attraction for him, we can see why.  He is such a great person and through his little kindnesses we can’t help but root for him and Rachel to get together.  But this is not a romance, and while we get those little moments between them, which we adore, we don’t get a romance yet.  But as far as romance goes, we are definitely left with a smile on our faces.

Now the search for Micah may not go how you expect and even though I’m a HEA kind of person I really felt this was the right ending.  The realistic ending and the one that this book needed.  So while part of me desperately wants answers for everything, I also know that expecting answers for everything is just not realistic.

I have to applaud Carrie Arcos for her clever story telling skills.  We get to see another side of things through Rachel’s eyes.  We get the statistics, we see how the drug turns people inside out, we see how it destroys families.  But all of it was done in a way that we listen, we pay attention and we hear.  I think every single teenager needs to read this book.  The road of meth addiction is a horrific one, don’t take that fork in the road. 

Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

Carrie Arcos lives in Los Angeles with her family. She writes young adult literature and is an adjunct professor. You can find more about her at


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A big thank you to Jean Booknerd  for including me in this tour. Be sure to check out the rest of the stops for this tour.

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  1. This sounds like a serious yet fabulous read. Though I would like an HEA ending too, sometimes it doesn’t always work. The gritty, hard hitting endings tend to stay with you longer. Looking forward to picking this up. Great review!

  2. “Now the search for Micah may not go how you expect and even though I’m a HEA kind of person I really felt this was the right ending.”

    Gah. I’m not liking the sound of that Candace! Even if it is the right ending for the book, I know I’m going to want something different. I crave the HEA, and when I don’t get it, my little heart plummets to the ground and stays there for a good long while. Still, now that I’m prepared going in, I think it will be better for me:) Fantastic review!

  3. I remember featuring this on a Friday Forecast and thinking it sounded like a really good read. We both know how horrible meth is here in the Pacific NW and I know that is shatters so many lives. This sounds like a riveting read!

  4. What a powerful story & a powerful review. Out of Reaxh is a book that interested me the very first time I saw it. I’m so happy you enjoyed it and that I found it again here on your blog!

  5. This does sound like a powerful book that should be on the shelves of every high school. It would also be great for parents of high school kids. Would love a HEA that is all roses, but I get that sometimes it makes more sense to have something less than as well…

  6. Jenny,
    It’s not necessarily a BAD ending. It doesn’t leave your heart broken or anything (or any MORE broken) and there’s other happy stuff, but it’s not this happy go lucky, everything is good, kind of ending either. And while it’s a sad book in many ways there are enough light, and even funny moments that it’s never truly DARK.

  7. Wow! This is a powerful review, Candace. And it sounds like this book REALLY spoke to you. It is awesome when something like that happens:) This sounds like a tough, yet rewarding read, adding it to my TBR list:)

  8. Based on the summary for this book, I’m sort of reminded of The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison, which runs along the same sort of missing brother concept. I really loved The Butterfly Clues, by the way.

    I think this is probably an interesting take on realistic fiction—told from the perspective of a character who’s watching the drug abuser. Of course, that has the potential to become extremely preachy. Hopefully that’s not the case here.

  9. Meth isn’t just a teen drug though. In the area where I live, more adults are busted for it than teens. The teens are doing the prescription pain killers out of mom’s and dad’s medicine cabinet. This would be a good book for everyone to read! But definitely for teens before they take that first hit? (I don’t know what you do with meth) Don’t you wish there was a mandatory class in high school where our kids had to read books like this? Books about dating abuse, alcohol abuse, rape, all the bad stuff that happens so their eyes are opened and they know they aren’t invincible. I do.

    My teen just turned 16 and has decided it’s time to sow his wild oats. It scares the daylights out of me.


  10. I saw this book on the Simon Pulse website and was wondering how it was. Thanks for the great review. It sounds like something I would like to read.

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