Publisher: Coleman & Stott (November 29th, 2011)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 315 pages
Series: The Nature of Grace, book #1
16 year old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.
When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.
One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.
Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.
Review: There were a lot of things that first made me interested in reading Untraceable. First, the main character, Grace, seemed to be super strong. Second, the wilderness seemed to be such an interesting setting for a book. And third, it takes place very close to where I live. We are on the other side of the Smoky Mountains so it was easy for me to picture the beauty that goes along with a wilderness atmosphere.
I gotta say, Grace does kick butt! She was so determined to find out what happened to her father, even after others had given up hope. I loved that about her. Through everything she remained focused on her task and put herself in a lot of danger in order to find clues. Then we have Wyn, who I really enjoyed! Sometimes Grace felt a little harsh to me so Wyn was the one who seemed to break through her walls and get her to show more emotion. I felt like I could see who she used to be before her dad disappeared, by seeing how she interacted with Wyn.
Mo was a surprise because he is not really who you'd expect to find in the woods. Don't we wish though? haha :) Grace seemed to soften a little around him, which was good for her. When Grace was alone to her thoughts, or out in the woods alone, I felt the most disconnected from the real her. But her interactions with Wyn and Mo brought out completely different sides of her personality.
As I've already mentioned, the setting was wonderful and I felt that it was brilliantly captured. I could easily picture the tall trees, the rocky trails, and the breathtaking animals. The plot of Untraceable is the biggest mystery in this book because no one really knows what happened to Grace's father, or if his disappearance could be connected to something larger. I was pretty surprised to find out what was going on and that turn was something I wouldn't have imagined before picking up the book.
A story set in a small town may be common, but the way it was portrayed in this story was spot-on, in my opinion. It was easy to see how the community bands together - sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for bad ones. Also, I loved the way Shelli brought in some real-world issues (like small towns slowly shutting down) into the book.
Untraceable takes readers on a thrill-ride through a beautiful forest full of dangerous creatures. Grace deals with more than her fair share of tensions and surprises as she works to uncover the mystery behind her father's disappearance.
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