Do Not Become Alarmed
The sun is shining, the sea is blue, the children have disappeared.

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The adults are lulled by the ship’s comfort and ease. The four children—ages six to eleven—love the nonstop buffet and their newfound independence. But when they all go ashore for an adventure in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations leads the families farther from the safety of the ship. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

The disintegration of the world the families knew—told from the perspectives of both the adults and the children—is both riveting and revealing. The parents, accustomed to security and control, turn on each other and blame themselves, while the seemingly helpless children discover resources they never knew they possessed.

Do Not Become Alarmed is a story about the protective force of innocence and the limits of parental power, and an insightful look at privileged illusions of safety. Celebrated for her spare and moving fiction, Maile Meloy has written a gripping novel about how quickly what we count on can fall away, and the way a crisis shifts our perceptions of what matters most.

Do Not Become Alarmed Details

Book TitleDo Not Become Alarmed
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Do Not Become Alarmed Reviews

  • KC
    Jun 10, 2017


    Meh. Two families travels to Central America for a vacation, loses kids, parents panic, blah, blah, blah. This was a quick read and I was surprised at some of the graphic content to this novel, but I was underwhelmed. Not quite sure what the hype is all about. Next... ...

  • TJL
    Jun 10, 2017


    Pretty good book. Overall I felt the story was very interesting, not something I've read a hundred times before, and I liked that there was a pretty wide cast of characters whose perspectives we got to see.Summing up my thoughts on the characters:The kids I liked. Well-developed, reaso...

  • Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
    Jun 9, 2017

    Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Family, sunshine, blame, kidnap, hope.It took me about two chapters to get in to the flow of the writing, but after that I was hooked. I could not put it down.I love how the narrative switched between the parents and the children - you could see these two stories, how they sta...

  • Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
    Jun 9, 2017

    Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves

    Thanks to Netgalley and Riverhead for an advanced copy of this book.I was recently looking for a purely plot-based book and I found it in Do Not Become Alarmed. Though the plot requires the reader to suspend belief a few times, I flew through this novel.The bulk of the action takes pla...

  • Debbie Germosen
    Jun 7, 2017

    Debbie Germosen

    Do Not Become Alarmed was like a thrilling roller coaster ride! It starts with the families enjoying a relaxing vacation on a cruise ship...but things take a turn for the worse quick. I devoured this fast-paced, and exciting novel in 2 days but could have done it in one sitting. Yeah, ...

  • Dannielle Insalaco
    Jun 7, 2017

    Dannielle Insalaco

    A terrific book! The writing was crisp, the plot more than just missing children and the characters were all relatable! A great summer read! ...

  • Summer
    Jun 7, 2017


    Gripping at times with the kids, but questionable at times, too. This book is mainly about these parents and their kids becoming separated in a foreign country while on vacation, and right off I had issues with how the separation happened. I’m a little fearful of entering spoiler ...

  • Trevor Pearson
    Jun 4, 2017

    Trevor Pearson

    I received a copy of Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy through the GoodReads First Reads Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review "What she knew for certain was that she had brought this punishment on her family. She didn't know what the punishing entity was - God? Karma? ...

  • TL
    Jun 4, 2017


    I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in a exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own:).~~~~~Short review:Not bad... tense at times and kept my attention for the most part but overall not something I would read again. *shrugs**Rating means this was just okay for me, no...

  • Tracy Shephard
    Jun 3, 2017

    Tracy Shephard

    What started out as a Christmas treat ended up a nightmare.Liv and Nora, decided on a holiday cruise, so along with their husbands and their children, they rather excitedly prepare and set off. We see the dynamics of the two couples and along with many other characters, it seems that a...