Wednesday, November 02, 2011
REVIEW: Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie really surprised me. First, I didn't realise the book is aimed at a 11+ audience. I really thought the book was for older teens, so when I started reading the book it was a bit of a shock, but one I recovered quickly from as I was so swept away into Lauren's story.
The other shocking thing is Sophie McKenzie's ability to write such a selfish and irritating main character like Lauren but to do it in such a way as to make me believe in all of her actions and behaviours and for me to still get as wrapped up into everything as I did. I really didn't expect for me to fly through this book as quickly as I did but I found that once I started, I really didn't want to put it down until I'd finished.
Our main character is feeling a bit unhappy and a little unsatisfied with her life and in particular her parents. She's always known that she was adopted, but quite by accident one night, she discovers a website that points towards evidence that could mean that Lauren wasn't just adopted but possibly kidnapped from her biological parents. After Lauren's parents refuse to discuss any of this with her and in fact try to conceal the truth from her, Lauren decides to run away and find out the answers to her identity her own way. The only problem is the people who are involved don't want Lauren to be asking these questions. In fact, they might not even want Lauren around at all! What follows is this hugely exciting and twisty-turny plot as Lauren gets to the bottom of things, but Lauren doesn't quite see until too late just how much her life will change and how much the lives of everyone close to her will be altered forever.
Like I said, I'm not entirely sure how I made it through Lauren's story without giving her a good shake. So obsessed and focused on finding out where she came from and what happened to her, Lauren never stops to think about anyone but herself. And it does get quite frustrating for the reader, as Lauren is very thoughtless and doesn't think through her actions very well. Perhaps that's just the mother in me speaking. I would hate to have my child run away and endanger themselves in the way that Lauren does. I would hate how cavalierly Lauren barges into another family, raising their hopes up that they've found their missing child. Having said all that, I think that Lauren's behaviour is quite believeable. With each twist and turn, I believed in the things that Lauren felt and did. Everything felt so real that my annoyance with her seemed to not be quite so important as I was desperate to find out how things would play out. Plus there's a cute kid as a side character as well as a rather sweet romance for Lauren.
I'm absolutely excited and curious to read both the sequel to this book, Sister, Missing as well as any other books by Sophie McKenzie!