Title: After We Were Stolen
Author: Brooke Beyfuss
Publication: July 19, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
A fire. Her escape. And the realization her entire life has been a lie.
When nineteen-year-old Avery awakens to flames consuming her family’s remote compound, she knows it’s her only chance to escape her father’s grueling survival training, bizarre rules, and gruesome punishments. She and her brother Cole flee the grounds for the first time in their lives, suddenly homeless in a world they know nothing about. After months of hiding out, they are arrested for shoplifting and a shocking discovery is made—Avery and Cole were kidnapped fifteen years earlier, stolen by cult leaders they knew as Mom and Dad.
Cole is immediately returned to his birth family, leaving Avery alone and desperate. She is uncertain if her “parents” survived the fire and is terrified to find out. The loss of Cole and the trauma of her former life threaten to undo her, but when the police investigation reveals there may be more survivors, Avery must uncover the truth about the fire to truly be free.
I have been in a bit of a reading funk with audiobooks and not able to find anything that caught my attention and held it. A friend of mine recommended After We Were Stolen by Brooke Beyfuss and instantly I was hooked.
The story follows Avery as she tries to find her life again after some pretty huge revelations about the life she had been living. Avery was interesting to me. I didn’t really like her, per se, but I found her behavior and mannerisms to make her character far more intriguing. She was a little weird, but her upbringing was a good understanding of that. Cole was actually more of my favorite character because of his protectiveness over Avery, but at the same time I had a weird vibe between the two.
The real winners of this story were the little side characters Avery met at the safe house she stayed at. I just loved all of them. I felt they were the catalyst to the growth we ended up seeing in Avery by the end of the story. I find each of their stories interesting for what we learned about them. I think my only complaint would be that we didn’t get more of them. I think the personal growth would have been an even more appealing story line had it been explored a little more than it was.
Other than that, After We Were Stolen kept me interested and while I was suspicious about the real ending of this story, I didn’t really see that ending coming. Overall I think people who like interesting, storylines, catchy characters, and twists and turns would really enjoy this story. Check it out and let us know what you think.