Monday, February 17, 2014

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Mila has a gift. She can read a room, a person, a situation - and tell if you're happy, or pregnant or having an affair. 
When her father's best friend, Matthew, goes missing, Mila joins in the search. She sees clues no one else notices, facts everyone else overlooks.
But the answers refuse to line up and Matthew refuses to be found. 
Is there something Mila missed?
Something closer to home than she ever imagined?

Star Rating

At only 195 pages, this is a very short read and I read it in one sitting. I had wanted to read this book for ages but did not want to pay the £12.99 price tag for such a short novel. Luckily, I found this beautiful hardback copy hidden away in one of my favourite charity bookstores, Fara in Teddington, for a mere £4.20 so I just had to buy it. 

Picture Me Gone has a beautiful front cover that fits well with the American style motel setting of the story. Mila, a 12-year-old girl from London, sets off on an adventure to America with her father, Gil, to discover what has happened to his best friend Matthew. Matthew has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth leaving behind his loving wife and son Gabriel.

 Mila is a very special young lady and has a strange gift for reading into situations and uncovering clues. She comes across, throughout the novel, as much older than her years and I often found myself forgetting that Mila was merely a child. It wasn't until Mila, discovering her father had been lying to her throughout the trip, gets increasingly upset and angry that I remembered she was only 12 years old.

The plot idea behind this novel is exciting and imaginative and in the blurb Meg Rosoff promises a mysterious thriller, 

"Is there something Mila has missed? Something closer to home than she ever imagined."

Unfortunately, this novel never really gains momentum and the discovery of Matthew and the reasons why he disappeared didn't really live up to my expectations. As an avid lover of crime fiction, I was probably expecting more twists and turns and some gruesome results. However, I must remember that this is a Young Adult novel centred around the characters and their relationships with one another. With this in mind, it was a successful and superbly written novel by this high esteemed writer of YA fiction. 

This is a quick, easy and enjoyable read with a fabulous front cover that will take pride of place on my bookcase. Although I don't think this plot line is one to remember I will certainly be trying out some of Meg Rosoff's other titles soon.

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