141 of 151 people found the following review helpful
Couldn't put it down, great story, brilliant book!,
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This review is from: Still Missing (Hardcover)
THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!
I've been waiting for months for Still Missing to be released. With all of the advance press and buzz it has been generating, people have been writing tons of reviews containing intimate story details that I didn't want to hear about before reading the book, and I've found it very difficult to keep forcing myself not to read them. So I won't do that to you in this review.
What is commonly known about Still Missing is that it is focused around Annie, a Realtor, who is abducted while running an open house. When I started the book, I expected the entire story to be about the abduction, her survival, and eventual escape. I was wrong. The abduction, and her survival through it (and being that the book is written in the first person as Annie talks to her therapist, the fact that she survives is no secret) is only half of the book. It's the vivid and introspective view into what happens to Annie AFTER the abduction, including some completely unexpected plot twists, where the story gets interesting.
Annie is a raw person. The author has spent a great deal of time developing Annie's psychology and internal thought processes, and this is shared with the reader, making Annie a three-dimensional person with real feelings and a real life. She says what is on her mind, and she doesn't hold back. She has the ability to utilize language you would expect of a truck driver, and uses it as she sees fit. But she is not crude - she is a sharp-witted, intelligent, smart-mouthed survivor whose brilliant comebacks often had me laughing out loud. I fell in love with Annie, her damaged psyche notwithstanding. Still Missing is told in the first person, and the reader really gets to feel as though they are a part of Annie's mind. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew her as a real person. For these horrible things to be happening to someone who I felt I knew, was almost unbearable.
And that's the beauty of Still Missing. Yes, there are some grisly details - there has to be, in order for the reader to be able to understand Annie's justifications, and realize the true horror of the situation. However, these are masterfully intermixed with different, saner events within the story's timeline, filling out the background story and the characters involved. This gives the reader a rest from the horror - but that doesn't mean that you won't be blindsided around the next corner!
Eventually the flashback timeline joins the present day timeline, and just when you think you've got the story figured out, and are expecting things to wind down - some totally unexpected plot twists are thrown your way. Annie's adaptation to these plot twists make for my favorite part of the story - they really show what she is truly made of.
Still Missing is publicized as being "unputdownable" and this statement is truth in advertising. I could not put down this book, I HAD to know what was going to happen next. Practically everywhere you look, popular summer reading lists are proclaiming Still Missing as the "book of the summer" - and with good reason. Reading articles online about Still Missing, I saw that this is Chevy Stevens' debut novel, and on the strength of it she was signed to a three-book deal: a virtually unheard-of event. The publisher has mounted a massive campaign behind it, and rights to the book have been sold worldwide. There is a very good reason for all of this: Still Missing is a GREAT BOOK!
Will Still Missing appeal to you? I am a middle-aged family man. I loved the book. My wife loved the book. In fact, I haven't met anyone who didn't love this book. It left me thinking about it for days afterward - and to me, that is the indication that I have just read something great. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Initial post: Jul 11, 2010 6:43:08 PM PDT
Julia A. Andrews says:
Thanks for a great and insightful review! I think this is the Summer's Blockbuster novel (forget The Passage with all its millions of promo bucks) and what a debut novel! I enjoyed it as much as you and your wife did. My husband is next in line to read it and I hope it loves it as much as we did.
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