Friday, April 5, 2013

17 & Gone

17 & GoneAuthor: Nova Ren Suma
Goodreads Rating: 4.31
Pages: 354
Format: ARC

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.

I went into this book expecting something totally different. I had seen it shelved as a paranormal book on Goodreads, and that was what I was expecting. So imagine my shock when I found out while reading it that this was a contemporary book. Through this entire book. I thought that what Lauren was seeing were ghosts, the ghosts of girls who had gone missing for one reason or another at the age of 17, the age that she is during the book. This was my first book by Nova Ren Suma even though I do have another book by her on my shelves waiting to be read.

I found the book to be wonderfully fast paced and engaging. I had the misfortune of starting the book in the midst of one of my worst reading hangovers yet, (apparently 2 books a day was pushing my brain a little too hard) and still I was turning those pages super quick dying to know what was going to happen next. Lauren was an unreliable narrator if I ever saw one, but I was dying to puzzle out what she was thinking as she met each of these lost girls. I liked how she shows us each of their stories through a snippet, like how Fiona protected Lauren when she ran away or how Abby showed Lauren the fight she had with Luke.

I felt bad for all the people in her life that she pushed away including the sweet Jamie who, after finding out what was going on with her, really tried to be understanding and supportive of her instead of treating her like she was a fragile Tea Cup bound to break like her mother did. Even though we didn’t see too much of them together, I found that he was a very real character, the way that he didn’t seem to let her go even as she pushed him away. I wish that he had realized that there was something wrong sooner even though she did a good job of masking it…Sort of.

I usually really can’t stand unreliable narrators, although at first you don’t really know that she isn’t an unreliable narrator, you just know that she has started to hear voices and to see missing girls, and you know that it’s a contemporary rather than a paranormal story, so you know that something isn’t right with Lauren. I loved how little details about it were woven into the story leading the reader to make their own conclusions about what Lauren was going through. I felt bad for her as she struggled with the Abby’s case, although I did find it very unusual that she went and inserted herself into the lives of Abby’s family and I felt badly for them that she did that.

In the end, it was a very interesting book, one that I really enjoyed. I’m looking forward to the next book that Nova Ren Suma comes out with.
The Courts Decision:


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