Wednesday, October 02, 2013

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

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.

I LOVED this book! The writing reminded me a lot of Nova’s other book, Imaginary Girls. Mysterious, beautiful, lyrical writing that sometimes seems more like poetry than what you would find in a young adult novel, and
honestly the writing itself is much more mature than you will find in many YA novels these days. The main character in the story is Lauren a teen
who is seemingly normal on the outside. However, she has some serious issues brewing within her. She doesn’t really know if she likes her friends, and she has a boyfriend but she keeps a lot from him because she doesn’t think that he will understand what she is going
through, which of course causes him to pull away.

The biggest issue that Lauren deals with in this book is that she sees girls that other people don’t see – she sees the lost girls, girls who have
disappeared without a trace, all at the age of 17. She sees them in her house, in her car, and even meets them in her dreams in a strange and creepy house filled with smoke.

As you are reading, the stories of many missing girls are told. The missing
person’s notices are listed in the book and as you read them you realize that there are so many young people out there on the streets missing just like these characters that Suma has made up. Lauren is especially trying to unravel the mystery of what happened to one of the missing girls named Abby Sinclair. Lauren does some investigation on her own, breaking into the summer camp where Abby worked where she disappeared, visiting Abby's old boyfriend and even her grandparents who are states away. Lauren gets into quite a bit of trouble from doing all of this investigating, but really it’s what’s going on inside Lauren’s head that
is giving her the most trouble.

In 17 & Gone, nothing is as it seems. The book is filled to the brim with mystery – not just about the lost girls, but about Lauren herself, and through reading the book we get to know Lauren just as she grows into
knowing herself, and it is a wild, surprising, and totally unpredictable story about growing up, and growing into who you are when you turn out to be something completely different from what you ever expected.

I don’t want to say anything else and spoil the book for you, but I will say this is the best YA novel I have read so far this year.

Happy Reading to You!!