Leaving Blythe River
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde returns with an unforgettable story of courage. Seventeen-year-old Ethan Underwood is totally unprepared to search for his father in the Blythe River National Wilderness. Not only is he small, scrawny, and skittish but he’s barely speaking to the man after a traumatic betrayal. Yet when his father vanishes from their remote cabin and rangers abandon the rescue mission, suddenly it’s up to Ethan to keep looking. Angry or not, he’s his father’s only hope.With the help of three locals—a fearless seventy-year-old widow, a pack guide, and a former actor with limited outdoor skills—he heads into the wild. The days that follow transform Ethan’s world. Hail, punishing sun, swollen rapids, and exhausting pain leave him wondering if he’s been fooled yet again: Is his father out here at all? As the situation grows increasingly dire, Ethan realizes this quest has become about more than finding his dad.From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of nature revealing human nature—the trickiest terrain. Navigating an unforgiving landscape, Ethan searches himself for the ability to forgive his father—if he finds him alive.

Leaving Blythe River Details

TitleLeaving Blythe River
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 24th, 2016
PublisherLake Union Publishing
Rating
GenreFiction, Adventure, Young Adult, Coming Of Age

Leaving Blythe River Review

  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER by bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde is YA/adventure, coming-of-age novel. I was fortunate to win a signed paperback copy of this novel in a recent online Facebook Contest. She is the author of 30 published and forthcoming books, but this is the first one I have read. “Seventeen-year-old Ethan Underwood is totally unprepared to search for his father in the Blythe River National Wilderness. Not only is he small, scrawny, and skittish but he’s barely speaking LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER by bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde is YA/adventure, coming-of-age novel. I was fortunate to win a signed paperback copy of this novel in a recent online Facebook Contest. She is the author of 30 published and forthcoming books, but this is the first one I have read. “Seventeen-year-old Ethan Underwood is totally unprepared to search for his father in the Blythe River National Wilderness. Not only is he small, scrawny, and skittish but he’s barely speaking to the man after a traumatic betrayal. Yet when his father vanishes from their remote cabin and rangers abandon the rescue mission, suddenly it’s up to Ethan to keep looking. Angry or not, he’s his father’s only hope.”In this journey, the characters face many challenges and obstacles; in the nature. It is the story of courage and sensible lessons learned along the way. With the help of three locals, and nature’s forces to deal with, Ethan heads into the wild. And in the coming days, Ethan realizes this mission has become about more than finding his dad. Ethan searches himself for the ability to forgive his father, and how he can come to terms with this if he finds him alive.This is an extraordinary story and I especially enjoyed the scenic wilderness described by the author. A peacefulness we can all love and appreciate. Thank you Catherine for allowing me to read your novel. You are a great storyteller.
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  • Judy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can always expect several things from Catherine Ryan Hyde. There is always an exciting adventure—so pack your bags and enjoy the journey; which is anything but ordinary. As always, her characters cross paths with strangers, face challenges, and many obstacles; from nature, animals, and some wise lessons to be learned along the way. LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER draws you in from the vivid front cover settin A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can always expect several things from Catherine Ryan Hyde. There is always an exciting adventure—so pack your bags and enjoy the journey; which is anything but ordinary. As always, her characters cross paths with strangers, face challenges, and many obstacles; from nature, animals, and some wise lessons to be learned along the way. LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER draws you in from the vivid front cover setting, to the final page; Part coming-of-age, literary, domestic suspense, and a heart and soul exploration of ordinary flawed people, a family amidst extraordinary circumstances. Ethan, age seventeen is small for his age, and not cool. He feels inadequate around his father, mother, and his school mates. He does not fit in. No self-confidence. He is infatuated with his father’s secretary, Jennifer.Growing up with two parents -athletes, type A's---and Ethan, not so much. He feels inferior and a let down, loser. He and his mom are on their way to the airport for a hiking trip to Peru, and at the last minute something goes wrong, and they have to return home. Surprised, and faced with the ultimate betrayal, what they see changes the course of their lives.Their trip is cancelled, his mom and dad are separating. Next his mom receives a call- she has to leave town and take care of her ailing mother and father (his grandparents). He is not able to go due to the limited facility, and finds himself on his way from the city of Manhattan to the wilderness. He mom informs him he has to move in with his father. The last place he wants to be. An A-frame remote mountain cabin in Wyoming –in the middle of nowhere with real grizzly killer bears and a man he has nothing in common with—a man who is only concerned about his looks, his body, and himself. Plus he has to go to school here, and a summer around a self-centered father. Now a new set of complications.With his dog, his only friend- he receives the news about bears—never to be without bear spray from the park ranger. He finally makes it through the miserable school year and this godforsaken place, when his dad leaves one morning for a run, and never returns (plus he has taken the bear spray). Even though he does not like his father, Noah--he feels he has to find him. After calling the cops --the search party cannot waste any more money coming up empty handed, and finding out the father withdrew money the days before---Everyone thinks his dad just left. His mom is still dealing with his grandparents and he is on his own in the middle of the wilderness.With the tenacious and unwavering courage of Ethan, in search for his dad, and the help of three other eccentric characters and some animals, he learns he is more courageous than he thought. From bravery, forgiveness, strength, and lots of life’s lessons- an unforgettable story!A nature lover an active hiker and cycler, always concerned about having an accident and being stuck out alone on a remote trail alone (however, love the solace). Readers will fall in love with Ethan – the underdog—a journey of self-discovery and the heartwarming strangers he meets along the way…Everyone has a lesson to be learned. With the help of three colorful locals—a fearless seventy-year-old widow, a pack guide, a stubborn mule, and a former actor with limited outdoor skills—he heads into the wild.Ironically, immediately after reading, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, watched an older movie on Amazon Prime An Unfinished Life (2005) Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, and Morgan Freeman. I had to laugh, an extension of the book---- Wyoming, bears, and a great family saga with some valuable life lessons of forgiveness. Very fitting. Another winner by Hyde! JDCMustReadBooks
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  • Mandy Warrender
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I won an ARC. Catherine is the author that sparked my love for reading. I can also blame her for my book addiction. In case you're wondering...She did it again!!! I don't like to give descriptions in reviews. I don't want to give away details. If you want a great read... great story that leaves a mark on your soul...characters that become your friends...pages that you jump into and leave life behind...This is the one. Great book from an amazing author.
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  • Jessaka
    January 1, 1970
    A $1.99 book, a great cover with a man on a horse with mountains in the background. What could go wrong?It was a YA book? No, I like The Hardy Boys. The author is also popular, even adults have liked her books. I got the sample first, then after finishing it I sent it to my garbage bin on kindle. Then I thought about it and bought it. It was great in the beginning, a father, mother, son, and a mistress interfering, and then a divorce. I know I have said it before, I don’t like dysfunctiona A $1.99 book, a great cover with a man on a horse with mountains in the background. What could go wrong?It was a YA book? No, I like The Hardy Boys. The author is also popular, even adults have liked her books. I got the sample first, then after finishing it I sent it to my garbage bin on kindle. Then I thought about it and bought it. It was great in the beginning, a father, mother, son, and a mistress interfering, and then a divorce. I know I have said it before, I don’t like dysfunctional family books, but the author was doing a good job in story telling. Then the kid’s mom has to go take care of her own mother, and so sends the kid, a 17 year old who could have stayed home, to Blythe River area to live with his dad for a while. I get half way through the book before his dad comes up missing after a 25 mile jog in the woods, and now some of the neighbors and the kid are going to go look for him since the search party had called off the search. Great! An adventure! This is what I came for. But for some reason the book fell flat after they all got on their horses and rode; flat like it was when someone fell off their house and fell “flat” on their back. It was the conversations between the men and the one woman. The arguing; the leaving. Even I left, more so out of boredom. I got on google and typed in: “toxins in Colgate toothpaste.” We are throwing ours out now and switching to Crest. Next, the men and the woman on horse back swim across the dangerous river. I asked, “Do they think the kid’s dad swam across the without a horse?” Maybe I am missing something. And look, I am not even calling them by their names. The father is Noah, the son Ethan. Great Christian names. Jone is the woman, her name is spelled wrong, but it masculinizes it, as if that was needed. Sam is one of the neighbors and Marcus the other. Just in case you want to know.The Good: The boy grows into a man in this book, kind of like sending your son into the military. This is like those movies where an unruly son is sent to live with his grandfather on his grandfather’s farm, only this isn’t an unruly son, just one that has been traumatized by a mugging in the city, one who quits shaking by the end of the book, and who has become quite a peace maker.P.S. An after thought: Then at the end of this book the author pays the father back for his infidelity by demasculinizing him. That is pretty shitty in my book.
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  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    Leaving Blythe River is a coming of age story involving seventeen year old Ethan who decides to search for his missing father after forest rangers abandon the search for him. Joining him are three locals who help him in the search. After finishing and thinking about the book, I have to say while I did like some of it, I didn't love it. I have seen rave reviews, so I must be in the minority. What I did like about the book was the way the author was able to draw you into the adventure. Her descrip Leaving Blythe River is a coming of age story involving seventeen year old Ethan who decides to search for his missing father after forest rangers abandon the search for him. Joining him are three locals who help him in the search. After finishing and thinking about the book, I have to say while I did like some of it, I didn't love it. I have seen rave reviews, so I must be in the minority. What I did like about the book was the way the author was able to draw you into the adventure. Her descriptions of the wilderness helped place me right into the search along with Ethan. I also liked Ethan's character. I enjoyed watching him grow as he searches for his father. I also thought the side characters added some nice flavor to the book.So while I liked those things, I felt there were other things that kept me from fully enjoying the book. I felt like there was not enough background information on Ethan and his parents as a whole. I found it odd that his father all of a sudden goes from being a businessman (?) to moving to the mountains and running 20 miles a day. It isn't until toward the end of the book that we find out he climbed Mount Everest when Ethan was born and likes extreme sports. That is when we also find out his mother is into all of that stuff as well. Also, what happened to Jennifer? I found the ending to be a bit over the top and I didn't really buy into it. I also got kind of tired of people always questioning Ethan's age. I think after the first couple of times I got that he was short and young looking. This is the first book by this author that I have read. I never had the pleasure of reading Pay it Forward. I feel like this book would do well with the YA crowd. Pick it up and give it a shot.
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  • Jules
    January 1, 1970
    This was an enjoyable character led young adult adventure about a teenage boy trying to find his missing father.I listened to this in audiobook format through Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
  • Dorine
    January 1, 1970
    The gorgeous cover drew me to LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER by Catherine Ryan Hyde, but its wilderness adventure aspects with a positive message convinced me of this new-to-me author’s talent.For more reviews, plus travel, garden and food topics with photos, visit The Zest Quest, my pursuit of a zestful life.LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a young man’s coming of age adventure that teaches him confidence and forgiveness. Ethan Underwood is a scrawny seventeen-year-old boy who has always been ov/>For The gorgeous cover drew me to LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER by Catherine Ryan Hyde, but its wilderness adventure aspects with a positive message convinced me of this new-to-me author’s talent.For more reviews, plus travel, garden and food topics with photos, visit The Zest Quest, my pursuit of a zestful life.LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a young man’s coming of age adventure that teaches him confidence and forgiveness. Ethan Underwood is a scrawny seventeen-year-old boy who has always been overshadowed by his father’s courageous spirit. When Ethan and his mom catch his dad in a compromising position with one of his employees, who also happens to be the girl Ethan has been crushing on, Ethan becomes resentful. This begins the demise of Ethan’s family as he knows it, but life is about to get so much worse before he finds his way.Ethan’s story is told in chapters titled by weeks before his dad disappears and then weeks after his dad disappears, all moments that have shaped Ethan’s current mindset. The novel goes back and forth, revealing Ethan’s feelings of inadequacy and fear after he gets mugged. This is very clever because it keeps the reader guessing about what happened, but it can also be confusing so I had to re-read a couple sections to make sure I understood the story. After the mugging, Ethan’s confidence is at an all-time low. His feelings toward his dad are more on the side of hate and disgust, rather than love. When Ethan’s grandmother has a stroke, his mother is forced to go care for her aging parents. This pushes Ethan into living with his dad in a remote cabin near the fictional Blythe River National Wilderness.Ethan and his dog are unprepared for living in the land of grizzlies after calling Manhattan home. It isn’t long before Ethan starts obsessing over obtaining a can of bear spray in order to be able to leave the protection of the cabin. His dad prides himself on his physical prowess, so he runs twenty miles daily. When his father doesn’t come home after one of his runs, Ethan begins to worry.After a search is launched and the rescue team doesn’t find his dad, Ethan is left with a dilemma. Does he believe that his father has abandoned him? Or does he follow his instinct that his father is still alive and in need of help? Does Ethan even care? Ethan convinces his neighbors to accompany him into the rugged mountain wilderness, that’s dangerous and overwhelming to a city boy, to search for his father. Will Ethan’s worst nightmare be realized or does it become much worse than he fears?Since Ethan is in a remote location for most of the story, the mountains become an integral part of the adventure. If you’ve ever dreamed of going by horseback deep into the wilderness, then you’ll relate to this young man’s adventure. There’s even a little romance blossoming between two of Ethan’s adult friends that adds some humorous situations.Author Catherine Ryan Hyde is best known for her book PAY IT FORWARD which inspired the PAY IT FORWARD movie, foundation and concept. Even though I enjoyed the movie, I didn’t read the book so I didn’t make the connection until I visited the author’s website. If you love mountain photos as much as I do, I suggest you check out her photo site as well. Discovering a healthy backlist by this author is an added bonus.LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER is an entertaining coming of age adventure novel well suited for adults. Even though Ethan has more issues than most kids his age, he pulls on the reader’s heartstrings as he develops his strengths. In truth, Ethan is much wiser than either of his parents and he proves it by the end of the novel. I especially enjoyed the scenic wilderness described by the author. Catherine Ryan Hyde’s love of the outdoors is evident. A good piece of fiction, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER teaches lessons through a young man’s experience, eventually giving him the strength to realize his dreams.Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Jeanne
    January 1, 1970
    I love her luscious writing with its interior monologue's and sensitive and or changes between people. This is a good adventure story, coming-of-age, and supporting characters in their 60s with so much to offer.The 17-year-old boy, leaving Manhattan with fears and self-doubt, I have to dig deep to find a better relationship with his father and with himself.Lots of fun to read.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I have read several of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books, and I was really looking forward to reading this one. There were many positive reviews and a brightly colored cover made it quite inviting. Seems like either I have very much enjoyed her earlier books....or I did not. This one fell into the later category. There was a lot of potential for a more intense storyline...but it just fell flat for me. I rated this 3 stars....might be able to twist my arm for 3.5. Possibly should be rated more for a Yo I have read several of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books, and I was really looking forward to reading this one. There were many positive reviews and a brightly colored cover made it quite inviting. Seems like either I have very much enjoyed her earlier books....or I did not. This one fell into the later category. There was a lot of potential for a more intense storyline...but it just fell flat for me. I rated this 3 stars....might be able to twist my arm for 3.5. Possibly should be rated more for a Young Adult reader. This is not a book that I would recommend----just think there are better ones available. Sorry!
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  • Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    typical book from this author, some kind of challenge and quirky characters. Wasn't one of my favorites from her but still a good story.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    When an author of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s stature is giving away free books, how is a bookaholic like me to refuse? I won an advanced reader copy of Hyde’s book Leaving Blythe River (releasing June 4, 2016, from Lake Union Publishing) through the Facebook group Reader’s Coffeehouse. With 30 published titles to her name, Hyde is no stranger to creating compelling characters. Leaving Blythe River focuses on 17-year-old Ethan, a teenager whose small stature and nervous disposition has made him not ju When an author of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s stature is giving away free books, how is a bookaholic like me to refuse? I won an advanced reader copy of Hyde’s book Leaving Blythe River (releasing June 4, 2016, from Lake Union Publishing) through the Facebook group Reader’s Coffeehouse. With 30 published titles to her name, Hyde is no stranger to creating compelling characters. Leaving Blythe River focuses on 17-year-old Ethan, a teenager whose small stature and nervous disposition has made him not just the butt of his friends’ jokes but his athletic parents’, too. Ethan’s world shifts when he discovers his father is not the hero he thought he was. Hyde heaps even more tension on Ethan as his parents divorce and his maternal grandparents need care, calling his mother away. Before he knows what happened, he finds himself in a small cabin with his father in the foothills of the Blythe River Range. When Ethan’s father disappears on a run through the mountains and the local rangers abandon their search, Ethan must rely on three surly neighbors to help him try to find the man he hates. Leaving Blythe River gives readers plenty of action with grizzly encounters, flooded river crossings, and precarious trail riding. The standouts in this book, though, weren’t the plot points. Ethan’s neighbors teach him not only how to survive in the harsh mountainous terrain but how to navigate life. Sam, owner of Friendly Sam’s Pack Service goes out of his way to help a kid he doesn’t know, expecting nothing in return. Jone is a 70ish widower who scares even the grizzly bears but has a soft spot for Ethan. The foursome is rounded out by Marcus, a 30-something guy who came to the mountains to escape but found little of what he was hoping for there. Each of these side characters brings a certain flavor to the book, without which, the story would be just a plain broth. Hyde’s book is a fast read with plenty of moments as deep as the Blythe River after a rain storm.
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  • Carole
    January 1, 1970
    Another good book by one of my favorite authors! Her characters are always so well developed and she gives tidbits of wisdom as they reveal lessons learned. Ethan is a 17 year old who feels he falls short in his Dad’s eyes. His father is caught cheating on his Mom, and Ethan is forced into spending time with his Dad in the mountains where grizzly bears are frequently roaming. When his Dad doesn’t come home from a run, Ethan enlists the help of neighbors Jone, Sam, & Marcus to help search for Another good book by one of my favorite authors! Her characters are always so well developed and she gives tidbits of wisdom as they reveal lessons learned. Ethan is a 17 year old who feels he falls short in his Dad’s eyes. His father is caught cheating on his Mom, and Ethan is forced into spending time with his Dad in the mountains where grizzly bears are frequently roaming. When his Dad doesn’t come home from a run, Ethan enlists the help of neighbors Jone, Sam, & Marcus to help search for him in the wilderness. I really liked the way Ethan grew and matured by the end. Recommend all of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books!
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  • Larry
    January 1, 1970
    Spoiler Alert! The cover picture for this book is a lie. The main character in this book does not cross a river so shallow his horse's hooves barely get wet. He does not ride alone. He does not even ride a horse. It is a stimulating picture though, isn't it? The book is very much the same. The various characters do not act like normal people. And the writing style is stimulating. The author strings together snippets of moments and interactions, out-of-context with other moments and with real lif Spoiler Alert! The cover picture for this book is a lie. The main character in this book does not cross a river so shallow his horse's hooves barely get wet. He does not ride alone. He does not even ride a horse. It is a stimulating picture though, isn't it? The book is very much the same. The various characters do not act like normal people. And the writing style is stimulating. The author strings together snippets of moments and interactions, out-of-context with other moments and with real life, and asks the reader to believe them on their face. It all flows together...unless you are more concerned with how life actually is. Sorry, I can't list all the ways she does this without actually spoiling the book for other readers. At some point in reading this, I imagined the author as some person stuck inside their home, restricted to looking out at passers-by, unable to hear them talking. Or watching TV with all foreign-language dialogue, unable to understand a word they were saying. And yet, every so often the author's TV would hiccup and show a few minutes of Academy Award-winning movies in her native language, leaving her with some "truth" but being forced to make up all the rest of the world around her from her own conjecture. In reading about the author, I found she is well-traveled. So that means she doesn't pay that much attention to the details of what she has been seeing, or she just doesn't care to tell the truth about the human condition to sell her books. My wife said she thought this book was aimed at much younger readers. If she meant it's aimed at teenagers who think you can get pregnant by kissing, then she may be right.
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  • Deanna Sletten
    January 1, 1970
    Leaving Blythe River is the third book I’ve read by author Catherine Ryan Hyde, and I have to say, I enjoyed it as much as I have her others. She writes strong stories that delve into the hearts and minds of her realistic characters. These characters aren’t perfect people—as none of us are—and that makes her stories even more intriguing. Seventeen-year-old Ethan is not a smooth-talking, overly confident teen. Unlike his good looking, athletic father, Ethan is small in stature and not very brave. Leaving Blythe River is the third book I’ve read by author Catherine Ryan Hyde, and I have to say, I enjoyed it as much as I have her others. She writes strong stories that delve into the hearts and minds of her realistic characters. These characters aren’t perfect people—as none of us are—and that makes her stories even more intriguing. Seventeen-year-old Ethan is not a smooth-talking, overly confident teen. Unlike his good looking, athletic father, Ethan is small in stature and not very brave. The night he discovers his father’s betrayal, he has an incident that causes him to become even more timid. But when his mother, now separated from his father, needs Ethan to stay with his father for the summer in the wilderness—far from the city life Ethan is used to—Ethan is even more anxious. He doesn’t want to spend time alone with his father or be anywhere near the bear-infested wilderness. And then his dad disappears.Ethan musters all his courage to go into the mountains with three very colorful characters and search for his father. Along the way, he finds that he is braver and stronger than he thought.Leaving Blythe River is an unforgettable story of courage, strength, and mending broken relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I believe that readers of compelling women’s fiction will love it, too. If you aren’t already of fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novels, then this book will make you one.(I received a complimentary copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.)
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book because there were so many good and noble people trying to help each other doing good things. Ethan, Sam and Jone and even Marcus. When Ethan goes into the wilderness to look for his dad, i admired him so much. Doing difficult things for the right reason wins me over every time.
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  • Andrea Eklund
    January 1, 1970
    This was an easy and enjoyable read. I will definitely be picking more books by this author in the near future.
  • Peter Blomberg
    January 1, 1970
    Well, I was hoping to like this more than I actually did. I enjoyed some of the story, and I enjoy outdoors stories quite a bit. However, being from Wyoming, certain aspects annoyed me and distracted me quite a bit: The story took place largely in a made up wilderness...near Yellowstone that had grizzly bears - but NO moose?! Ok, it was a fictional place, but not sure why the author made the decision to make the statement that there are no moose there. Also, I cringed and almost stopped reading Well, I was hoping to like this more than I actually did. I enjoyed some of the story, and I enjoy outdoors stories quite a bit. However, being from Wyoming, certain aspects annoyed me and distracted me quite a bit: The story took place largely in a made up wilderness...near Yellowstone that had grizzly bears - but NO moose?! Ok, it was a fictional place, but not sure why the author made the decision to make the statement that there are no moose there. Also, I cringed and almost stopped reading when the character saw some cow elk and a BUCK ELK. Nope. They are called BULL ELK. And they do not sport points on HORNS...they are ANTLERS. Finally, some of the preparation decisions before/during the pack trip did not seem to fit with what an experienced guide would do. Additionally, maybe I misunderstood the path they took in the wilderness, but they chose to get completely soaked in a river instead of take the path with a bridge because they wanted to be on the path that made most sense to run on - wouldn't that have been the path with a bridge? I was confused by that. Also confused by anyone in the mountains telling a teenager to not worry about getting their feet wet, because they will get wet later. No, a guide would make sure his clients keep their feet dry as long as possible. I had a few more issues with some of the plot points, but overall was able to sit and read for big chunks of time without putting it down. So, all in all, I enjoyed it, but was annoyed by certain aspects both in the setting and the character development. (some things were too tidy despite the deep turmoil).
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  • Valerie
    January 1, 1970
    The main character is very whiny and I didn't love the cliche journey he was on. I feel like he could have been developed better and become much more relatable. There are other Catherine Ryan Hyde books that have really strong characters and this just wasn't one of them.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I love this author her dialogue especially between adults and younger folk is wonderful.Her character development is some of the best I've read. I'm trying not to read her older books too fast because I don't want to run out of them!
  • Shona
    January 1, 1970
    Good read about a boy coming of age with some pretty big obstacles to overcome. Kind of easy to predict sometimes, but overall a good story.
  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    "Leaving Blythe River" isn't your typical missing persons story. The book starts before Ethan's father disappears, when his life changes (he and his mother discover his father is having an affair with Jennifer, his secretary whom Ethan is in love with). This sets off a series of events which lands Ethan alone with his father in a small, country town bordering a national park, complete with bears. It isn't long before his father fails to return home one day, presumably after a runWhen "Leaving Blythe River" isn't your typical missing persons story. The book starts before Ethan's father disappears, when his life changes (he and his mother discover his father is having an affair with Jennifer, his secretary whom Ethan is in love with). This sets off a series of events which lands Ethan alone with his father in a small, country town bordering a national park, complete with bears. It isn't long before his father fails to return home one day, presumably after a runWhen his father goes missing, Ethan still hasn't forgiven him or started to mend things. Despite everyone official giving up on the search, assuming his father ran away after breaking up with a different young woman, Ethan continues with his neighbors, Jone and Sam (and Marcus for a while). This is the brunt and strength of the story. Ethan really comes into his own, learning about himself on this journey. Jone and Sam are amazing people who are not perfect but give Sam the support and love he needs to grow. It's really an incredible journey the three of them take. Ethan learns a lot about himself and how and why he feels about his parents, what he wants out of life and builds up courage, personality, and strength. I won't spoil the end of the journey, but it's a captivating read.Please note that I received this book through goodreads giveaways.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This book got great reviews, but I’m not digging it so much. I didn’t loathe it, but I certainly didn’t love it as much as other people seem to have loved it. It was “meh.” Beige. Blah. An imperfect, self-righteous father gets lost in the woods and his fearful, self-conscious son goes in after him. They have a love-hate relationship (maybe more hate than love at this point), so the rescue attempt is wrought with conflicted emotions. Turns out, fearful self-conscious son does a lot of self-explor This book got great reviews, but I’m not digging it so much. I didn’t loathe it, but I certainly didn’t love it as much as other people seem to have loved it. It was “meh.” Beige. Blah. An imperfect, self-righteous father gets lost in the woods and his fearful, self-conscious son goes in after him. They have a love-hate relationship (maybe more hate than love at this point), so the rescue attempt is wrought with conflicted emotions. Turns out, fearful self-conscious son does a lot of self-exploration and discovery on his trip into the mountains (with the help of a couple weird mountain friends) and, as a result, gains some insight into himself and his relationship with his father. Problem is, I never felt particularly connected to fearful, self-conscious son OR imperfect, self-righteous father. In fact, no character in this story really won me over, with the exception of their fabulous and ever-faithful dog, Rufus. Sure, the story itself picked up a bit in the last quarter, but too much time was spent dawdling in the woods and complaining of saddle sores for my taste. I was long past boredom and well into apathy by the time the real emotional revelations and meaty storyline started happening. Can’t win ‘em all, guys. Can’t win ‘em all.
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  • Vicki
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book! Not only was this a great story, I felt like I was on this journey with Ethan, Sam, and Jone. The writing was so descriptive that it left no doubt in my mind what they were seeing. The cliffs, the water, the horses, donkey, Ruffus.I loved that even though Ethan was afraid and didn’t like his dad at all at the time he went missing, that he still put on his big boy panties and got a search team together to go look for him. I loved that he straightened Sam I absolutely loved this book! Not only was this a great story, I felt like I was on this journey with Ethan, Sam, and Jone. The writing was so descriptive that it left no doubt in my mind what they were seeing. The cliffs, the water, the horses, donkey, Ruffus.I loved that even though Ethan was afraid and didn’t like his dad at all at the time he went missing, that he still put on his big boy panties and got a search team together to go look for him. I loved that he straightened Sam out so that he was able to finally talk to Jone like he should have been talking to her all along. Jone, what a character. Well, really, they all were.There is a sad undertone to this book because Ethan’s dad is missing on a trail, a trail with bears, but it is also at times very funny.I could go on and on about this book, but instead, I just think I’ll recommend it to everyone. It’s not the type of book I usually read, but I loved it. A lot! It’s at the top of my favorite books of 2016. If there was such a thing as a 10 star rating, that’s what I’d give this book.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This has been my favorite book by Catherine Ryan Hyde so far. The book was not what I expected. I enjoyed every minute of it. I had to keep turning the page (or pressing the button on my Nook) to see if Ethan found his dad. The description of the scenery made you feel like you were right there with Ethan searching for his dad. Ethan's dad, Noah, may have been one of the worst characters. If I was Ethan I might have just left him on the mountain. I wondered what type of place Ethan was sent to wi This has been my favorite book by Catherine Ryan Hyde so far. The book was not what I expected. I enjoyed every minute of it. I had to keep turning the page (or pressing the button on my Nook) to see if Ethan found his dad. The description of the scenery made you feel like you were right there with Ethan searching for his dad. Ethan's dad, Noah, may have been one of the worst characters. If I was Ethan I might have just left him on the mountain. I wondered what type of place Ethan was sent to with his dad, when the first lesson he gets is how to use bear spray and to never leave the house without it. When Jone shows up to claim her very fat cat from Ethan's house I had to laugh, because he thought the cat was a stray and was fat from all its fur. Fun book to read if you are up for an adventure in the wilderness.
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  • 'becca
    January 1, 1970
    Unremarkable, unmemorableUnless I hate a book or am so caught up in it and don't want it to end, I usually wait to write reviews in batches of four or five at a time. I literally could not remember anything about this book, had to go back THREE times to remember and reconnect with this tale. I have rated Catherine Ryan Hyde's books four and five stars occasionally and recognize her name as a good writer one whose books I enjoy, but on occasion she gets so caught up in making a moral or ethical po Unremarkable, unmemorableUnless I hate a book or am so caught up in it and don't want it to end, I usually wait to write reviews in batches of four or five at a time. I literally could not remember anything about this book, had to go back THREE times to remember and reconnect with this tale. I have rated Catherine Ryan Hyde's books four and five stars occasionally and recognize her name as a good writer one whose books I enjoy, but on occasion she gets so caught up in making a moral or ethical point the story takes a back seat reminding me of an Aesop's fable or another after-school-special, which may be her intention, but is more a story for children than adults. S
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Riveting. I could not put Leaving Blythe River down. It is one of the best coming-of-age/adventure books I've read. The characters are real and well-developed, and the plot, with multiple story lines interwoven, is fascinating. This book would be great for a book discussion group, or used in a high school or college literature class. I can also see it made into a movie.I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Thomashylandcomcast.net
    January 1, 1970
    This author has never disappointed me. Every story is entertaining, and draws you in to a dramatic and often dangerous situation. This is a seventeen year old, shy boy, slight of build who is sent off to visit his estranged father in a cabin in the wilderness. Hates being there, and then his father disappears, gone jogging in the wilderness. Great story of a teenage boy who grows up one summer.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Loving EthanYou did it again Catherine! I love learning new things and you manage to take the things you have learned about and make wonderful characters to experience those new wonders with us.
  • jane stewart
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it!I loved this book. Her characters are so genuine and relatable! I can't wait for her next book! The relationship between Ethan and his father, while far from perfect, was real life. No one is perfect, we just have to accept the people in our lives, flaws and all.
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  • Justine K. Bunnell
    January 1, 1970
    Always satisfiedCatherine Ryan Hyde has become a favorite author. You can never figure out the ending and this book is no different. She keeps you on the edge of your seat till the last minute without a a happy ending in sight or maybe it's how you perceive it.
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