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17 & Gone Hardcover – March 21, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-When 17-year-old Lauren glimpses a "MISSING" poster for Abigail Sinclair on a telephone pole, she runs through traffic to remove it. Mesmerized, she reads it as she returns to her van, and when she looks in the rearview mirror, she sees Abby looking back, disheveled, dirty, and wearing her "last seen wearing" outfit. In the coming days and weeks, Abby is joined by other missing girls, all the same age, who disappeared and whose families have stopped looking for them. Lauren becomes obsessed with the missing, but mostly with Abby, whom she believes is the only one she can actually save. But as she delves further into the lives of these girls, she becomes more and more detached from her own reality. Suma's novel subtly explores one teen's descent into schizophrenia. Lauren's first visions of the missing teens are realistic, though paranormal, but as the story progresses, readers begin to wonder about the authenticity of the hallucinations. Lauren is the pivotal character and the only one truly and fully developed, but rather than weakening the story this enables readers to live exclusively in her version of events. Mature without being graphic, with a complex and intriguing plot, this novel should have no trouble finding readers.-Heather E. Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, ALα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In her latest title, Suma takes the typical YA theme of a young girl who discovers semimagical powers and turns it on its head. When her van stalls while driving to school, Lauren notices a poster of a missing girl, Abby. Gradually Lauren begins to feel haunted by Abby and other girls, all age 17, who have gone missing, and she determines to find out what happened to them. Hints are dropped along the way that the narrator, Lauren, may not be reliable, and it soon becomes apparent that Lauren sees the girls not through some mystical power; they are, instead, figments of her imagination and signs of early-onset schizophrenia. Suma expertly paces Lauren’s unraveling mental state and her increasing anxiety over what is happening to her, while the supporting characters of Lauren’s boyfriend and mom are well drawn and believable in their struggle to help Lauren. A compelling, skillfully written page-turner. Grades 9-12. --Eve Gaus
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Seventeen-year-old Lauren sees dead people. Specifically, dead seventeen year-old-girls who went missing and were never found, runaways. No one else can see these ghosts, not her psychologist-in-training mother or her boyfriend. She's looking for Abby, who went missing from a camp near her school, certain Abigail wasn't a runaway like some of the others. Soon all the ghosts are gathering in the burnt down main house on the property she rents with her mother and Lauren is responsible for all the girls who will be forever seventeen.
17 AND GONE is a bizarre story. Quite early I decided that Lauren was an unreliable narrator, and I had a idea why. The ghosts had to be distracting and I could see why she became obsessed with solving Abby's presumed murder. Having finished the book, I can't think of anything about Lauren's personality that jumped out at me. Her head was in the clouds, listening to the ghosts give her clues. If I ever went missing, I'd want a Lauren looking for me.
17 AND GONE is often a confusing read, because Lauren spent most of the novel in her head with the ghosts. I thought Nova Ren Suma could have added more tension and picked up the pace to make for a more in-your-gut plot.
THEMES: (I'm going light on the themes to avoid spoilers) runaways, missing teenagers
This isn't the type of story I'd tell people to run out and read. It's not a book I'll put on my reread list. I wish I waited for a price drop. I did enjoy 17 AND GONE, just not enough to rave about it.
Though I have to also admit, Jamie, the boyfriend, made this book pretty dang awesome too. He doesn't run when things get hard, but he's also not a doormat. He's a different kind of guy than often seen in YA, and one that melted me more than once.
Lauren is a 17 year old girl who became obsessed with other 17 year-old girl s who had gone missing. she sees and talks to them and dreams about them. I had a hard time distinguishing between mental delusion and reality- as did Lauren and I suppose that was the author's point, but I'm much too analytical to enjoy being taken on a head trip journey. I guess it's just been too long since I was 17, but I couldn't relate to Lauren.
Most recent customer reviews
Overall, I felt like the story was interesting and mysterious overall -...Read more