Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Book Review: Girl, Missing

Recently I’ve been rediscovering my love for Young Adult fiction and ‘Girl, Missing’ is a novel that caught my attention immediately after reading the blurb. It has an interesting take on the idea of missing persons; instead of focussing on how the family feel when a child goes missing, instead the focus shifts to what it must feel like to discover that you may be a missing person. This novel is completely addictive; it draws the reader in from the very start right until the very end with its multiple twists and turns in every chapter. The main character, Lauren Matthews is very strong willed but understands the difference between right and wrong. When a School project encourages her to find out and describe who she is and where she is from she begins to wonder about her early life, her biological family and why she was adopted at the age of three. Curiousity is only natural, considering her background but her adoptive parents are reluctant to provide her with any details until she’s older, which is understandable.

Lauren has always known that she was adopted, but her parents have always refused to supply her with any details, something which at fourteen, is something that makes Lauren take matters into her own hands. Through the use of a computer and an online search engine, Lauren finds what she believes is herself on a missing persons website as ‘Martha Lauren Purditt’ and shows her best friend, Jam, who is slightly sceptical but also supportive of her theory. ‘Martha Lauren’ has a similar birthday and the similar features, except she is American. Her adoptive mother is the kind of person who writes everything down and keeps everything, so Lauren looks through her mothers diaries from the year that she was adopted to find out the truth for herself, as no one wants to tell her. In all honesty, Lauren is a typical teenager; she’s self centred and definitely thinks that she is in the right, 100% of the time, but in many ways her determination is what makes this novel such a pageturner. Once she discovers that there is indeed a link between herself and the missing girl, she somehow persuades her parents to take a family trip to America, where upon arriving, she deliberately distances herself from her family and takes Jam along with her in an attempt to seek out her past.

Throughout the novel, Lauren never seems to have a sense of danger, often plunging into situations that could easily be avoided and usually involving others in her mistakes. The two teens are incredibly lucky to find themselves eventually out of danger, due to a friendly stranger (however, he could just as easily been cruel too) after having a run in with a vicious criminal at the adoption agency and getting swindled out of money by a dodgy taxi driver. Even after finding her biological family, Lauren isn’t happy; for someone so determined to discover the truth, it seemed bizarre that she hadn’t considered what to do with the information that she found out. Once again, that seems typical of a teenager. Although, she does have some kind of compassion as she fought hard to keep her adoptive family from being arrested but she struggled to gel with her biological family. For some reason, it was impossible for Lauren to understand why her sister had an issue with her, or why her mother was always around her, wanting to be with her. After waiting twelve years and never knowing if she’d ever see her again, it’s not surprising that she liked having her close by her as much as possible. That being said, that make Lauren somewhat more relatable, as many people make mistakes and poor decisions as they begin to grow up.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel far more than I thought that I would; it’s a decent thriller that would be an excellent dip into crime for young adults as the plot is really well devised and written. I loved how McKenzie explored how the dark side of adoption affects many people, for example the adopted parents, biological parents, siblings and of course the adopted child both legally and emotionally; nothing is ever as simple as it appears on the surface. This is definitely a coming of age novel, but not in the traditional sense. It’s about separating the truth from lies, learning how to face whatever you discover, however unpleasant it may be. Considering the mature subject matter, the writing is easy to follow and I read the entire thing in a day, which isn’t bad. I’d suggest picking up this novel if you want a fast paced, reasonably short novel that’s packed with action. Lauren’s past and future were so unknown and so unexpected that although there were some cliché moments, you still found yourself longing to know how her story ended, although there were some loose ends that weren’t tied fully enough for me, I enjoyed this novel enough that I can overlook that.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back To Top
Designed By Hello Manhattan