Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things
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Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  64 reviews
When Claire’s best friend Richy went missing, he disappeared without a trace. But when Emily Dickinson’s dress goes missing from the Amherst museum, she knows exactly where it is: in her closet.
AsClaire and her student teacher, Tate, attempt to figure out what do to about the dress, they begin to uncover the truth behindRichy's disappearing act. Following a trail of clues...more
288 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Roaring Brook Press (first published September 2012)
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The Class of 2k12
18th out of 22 books — 21 voters
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38th out of 41 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 856)
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Kelly
First: four times in this book, someone's appearance or expression was negatively compared to a librarian's. That got old real quick and also, it's a description that says nothing. Why four times? (view spoiler) Teens aren't that fixated on librarian appearances to continually refer to it when describing someone.

Now that that's out of the way.

Claire and her father just moves to Amherst, where Emily Dickinson lived. She's become obsess...more
Bookworm1858
Beautifully written but not my kind of book.

I picked up this book with pretty high expectations. I love mysteries and have enjoyed seeing more pop up in the YA genre; I have liked books from this press before; and the ratings on goodreads are pretty high. However the book I read did not quite align with those expectations. I would say this is very much a case of book not meshing with reader.

That would stem largely from the writing style, which I found very confusing and distancing. I admire the...more
Diana Renn
I was privileged to read an ARC of this unique literary mystery for teens, which will be published in October. I LOVED this page-turning novel, and devoured it in a day and an evening, even as I longed to linger over Kathryn Burak's gorgeous writing.

This is not a classically plotted "whodunnit" or "where is it" mystery. It revolves around two crimes: Emily Dickinson's stolen dress and an unresolved missing persons case. The main character, Claire, has recently moved with her father from Provide...more
Francesca Forrest
I had the pleasure of hearing the author read from the book and look forward to talking with her some more at our book group tomorrow.

I very much enjoyed the voice of the protagonist, Claire, who's repeating her senior year of high school in a new town (Amherst, hometown of Emily Dickinson) after a disastrous senior year in Rhode Island, where she was a person of interest in the disappearance of her friend Richy. She's suffered another great loss earlier in her life, and these losses alienate h...more
Brichimt
...had to review this for another publication, so I'm not suppose to write an actual review or else I'll really really really get in trouble, so I'll just write my reaction....

IMHO, this modern piece of literary work is absolutely a must read. The poetic phrasing of the prose... the poetry of both the main character Claire, who has suffered through the tragedy of her mother's suicide, and the poetry of Emily Dickinson. There's so much Dickinson-ness in the book...takes place in Amherst...a suici...more
Wandering Librarians
Claire is in her last year of high school for the second time. She and her father have moved to Amherst after the death of her mother and the disappearance of her best friend, Richy, a case that Claire was a suspect in. Claire just wants to get through the year, but she can't stop wondering what happened to Richy and if she could have saved him. After she and the student teacher in her English class, Tate, are brought together in a very strange way, Claire begins to string together clues that mi...more
Joanne
Beautiful language, imagery and characters you can`t help but love make EMILY`S DRESS AND OTHER MISSING THINGS a perfect curl up under the covers read. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, EMILY'S DRESS tells the story of Claire and her path back from the tragedies she`s suffered, from a mother who has died, to a best friend who has disappeared. Through her eyes, we meet those around her and learn about their own losses and watch as Claire begins to heal, even though it means facing her tra...more
Emily
What's generally called "literary fiction" (a term I'm not crazy about) doesn't really have an equivalent in the YA world, but if it did, Emily's Dress and Other Missing Thing would fit snugly into that category. It's sort of mystery and it has a hint of romance, but it's really a portrait of grief and recovery. It's slowly-plotted, especially for a book with a potential murder and a grand theft, but it's gorgeously written and refreshingly opaque. Much of the time, readers are left to infer exa...more
Vicki
2013's Edgar Award nominee, (Young Adult category) slowly unwinds into many mysteries being revealed, a suicide, a missing person, and a romance. Claire is teetering, and by rights she should be broken. The reader is guided expertly into Claire's jangled mind and watches her stutter step her way into finding answers. Alongside Claire, are some of the best supporting characters ever, Claire's best friend Tess, and her father's new partner, Grace. The setting is an important player in the story to...more
Karen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelsey
The Emily in the title is Emily Dickinson. If you like Emily’s poetry, you’ll like Emily’s Dress.

Unfortunately, I do not, so I did not.

Emily’s Dress follows Claire as she makes a new life for herself in a high school in Dickinson's home town. She moves there after (1) her mother commits suicide after two previous failed attempts and Claire can’t save her and (2) her best friend Richy goes missing and she’s a prime suspect. She works through her grief by reading Dickinson’s poetry and getting to...more
Sarah (The Book Life)
This book is a complete gem. I almost missed out on reading it, myself, but I am so glad that I didn't. You've got the perfect mix of a rich, layered story, solid and unique characters, and a nice bit of mystery worked in.



Claire is not a simple girl and she doesn't have such a happy past. I really enjoyed viewing things from her perspective and seeing her way of coping with life and the things it throws at her. We don't find out everything about her all at once, nor am I really sure we ever kno...more
Jon
Seen at my blog, Scott Reads It
Emily's Dress And Other Missing Things is unlike any book I've read recently. I don't read alot of contemporary books so the fact that I enjoyed this book was a pleasant surprise. For the most part, Emily's Dress is a well-done novel but it's weak in a few aspects. Emily's Dress definitely caught me off guard and I didn't expect this book turn out like this!

The beginning of this book was spectacular and I loved the book in the first couple of chapters. The way B...more
ExLibris_Kate
The first thing you notice about Claire is her proclivity for living inside her own head, almost to a fault. It has been tough the last two years with the loss of her mom and her best friend. Since the move to Amherst, Clare has taken refuge in Emily Dickinson's life and poetry as well as her own dark sense of humor. It is that darkness that draws the attention of a concerned student teacher which, in turn, triggers Claire to do something that seems a little crazy. The upheaval in Claire's life...more
Gina
EMILY'S DRESS AND OTHER MISSING THINGS by Kathryn Burak

I’ve been anxiously waiting to get my hands on an ARC of EMILY’S DRESS AND OTHER MISSING THINGS by my fellow Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan and Class of 2k12 debut author, Kathryn Burak and I finally got the chance!

Do you like books with fast paced plots? Do you like books written in beautiful, lyrical prose? Or do you want it all? EMILY’S DRESS AND OTHER MISSING THINGS is a mystery that weaves it all together! High school senior, Claire is...more
Shanon (Escaping With Fiction)
Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things is a true delight and it provided me with one of the most memorable and unique reading experiences I have ever had! This book is in a category all on it's own. Kathryn Burak has a beautiful writing style that is very poetic and flows so well. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book but I was pleasantly surprised to encounter a story that combines mystery, a budding romance, Emily Dickinson, sadness, friendship, loss, adventure and emot...more
Alice Of Wonderland


"When Claire’s best friend Richy went missing, he disappeared without a trace. But when Emily Dickinson’s dress goes missing from the Amherst museum, she knows exactly where it is: in her closet.

As Claire and her student teacher, Tate, attempt to figure out what do to about the dress, they begin to uncover the truth behind Richy's disappearing act. Following a trail of clues across state lines, Claire and Tate attempt to find the person that Claire knows in her gut is responsible for his disa
...more
Jacqueline
“Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things” is one of the best YA books that I have read in a long time. Themes of loss, recovery, dealing with both failure and success, and even love permeate the book. The overarching theme is the importance of help, having it, knowing you have it and asking for it. This is a theme that is near and dear to my heart, and it is not often covered as well as it is in this book.

I love how “Emily’s Dress” takes on the serious, sad topics while still remaining optimisti...more
Kira
This is a very unique book.
It was a very quick read, but not because it was teen-lit; it was because it had such a natural voice, a natural flow to it. Burak wrote in such a style that people actually talk. It's very hard to describe without reading it for yourself, but so many breaks, pauses, disjointed and scattered thoughts, all coming together in thoughtful sentences and a great narrative.
I identified with the main character, Chloe, because we both lost our mothers, though in drastically dif...more
Kathy Martin
This was a wonderful, lyrical story about a girl dealing with grief and loss. Claire is struggling with her mother's suicide and then her best friend Richy goes missing. Her father moves her to Amherst where he is teaching at the college. Claire's mother loved poetry and when Claire visits Emily Dickinson's house she feels a closeness to her mother. She sneaks in frequently through a window that is left open just a little.

Claire is also dealing with a new school. She isn't normal or average and...more
Mrs. Strudthoff
Claire and her father have just moved to Amherst, Mass., where her father has taken a job at a college there. They moved not because they wanted to but because Claire needs to escape her past. Her mother committed suicide, and it was Claire who found her. Just a few years after that traumatic experience, Claire's best friend disappears. The police and his parents believe that Claire had something to do with it.

Claire, hoping for a fresh start but not really expecting one, is drawn to the home o...more
Kim Graff
I really enjoyed this book. It was so good for so many reasons. The writing was amazing, the way Burak described things, Claire's voice, the story, the tension, the romance... it was all so perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

From the start, you know something is not right in Claire's world, but not exactly what. The writing and voice drew me into the story before I was sure what the plot was going to be. I knew from the book jacket it was going to be mystery of some sort but I didn't know h...more
Hannah Cobb
Claire finds a rare sense of peace when she visits Emily Dickinson's house. Before long she starts using the Dickinson house as her favorite place to write. The only problem: she sneaks in after hours, through an unlocked window. When her student teacher spies her breaking in and follows her, Claire inadvertently steals one of Emily Dickinson's dresses--and is flung headlong into an adventure that forces her to face the tragedy and mystery of her own past.
Claire is both sarcastic and sweet, scar...more
Kimberly Sabatini
Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things is my clear 2012 pick for an amazing book that has flown under the radar. I love the cover, but feel that the book would have benefitted from having an edgier vision to match the story within. There was so much more behind the cover of this book than I had ever expected. There was mystery and romance, but what pulled me in was the way that Burak wrote from Claire's point of view. I was completely immersed in the feelings and emotions of this character. Clai...more
Read  Ribbet
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Panella
At first I was very unsure of this book, but as the pages wore on, I found that I really liked it. The author has a unique writing style and the book is driven more by character than plot or dialogue, but it worked for this one. I liked that Emily Dickison's poetry is woven into the story and I liked that the two main characters have a proclivity for living in their heads and getting lost in their own thoughts and stories. Claire and Tate revealed fragility, strength, warmth, and caring all with...more
Chapin Haag
I really enjoyed this book because Loss,Recovery and Dealing with failure & success was the theme. But I also enjoyed the how the author wrote the book and putting into a great perspective. You could really image everything and get a good picture in your head about what is or what was happening. This book also keep you engaged to make you want to read more!
I would recommend this book to people who like ......

.Mysteries
.Poetry
.History
.Romance
.Great prospective
.Connecting to a character
.Makes...more
Liz
I wish there had been more books like this when I was a teenager: sad, funny, elegant, and acutely intelligent. The heroine is damaged but capable, dispensing ironic wit and poetry with the delicate grace of a hand smoothing the wrinkles out of a lace skirt. (If you've read it, you'll appreciate that metaphor.) It's a quick read, but an extremely rich one. The beauty and texture of the language and the loveability of the characters will keep you lingering on each page, even when the more action-...more
Voraciousread
I thought this was a lovely,lyrical,almost poetic book but as clear from the reviews here not for everyone. It is, I think, not a typical YA book. It reads more like literary fiction. If you are looking for books with heavy melodrama, shocking sex-and-drugs-and-rock-and-roll plots, ones that take on "issues,'' or simple romantic story lines, this probably isn't the book for you. If, however, you like complex stories and characters and kind of have a literary bent, this is worth a look -- and it...more
'sylvie'
Another fantastic book. Totally not what I was expecting but wow... I read this in two sittings I think?
The only thing I wish was fleshed out a bit was the solving of the... Richy. There were still so many questions left unanswered, but maybe that was the point...
Anyway, this book. Is fantastic. I really loved how poetry was woven into it...
I also loved how the MC was 'troubled' but totally not. And that quote about how she sees the lightness in everything... wow. that went into my quote book.
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“I'm walking past the Unitarian church that's not far from the cemetery where you can find Emily Dickinson's grave, when I realize that in this part of my life I've become a scarecrow. It's been like this since that day the police came to the house - I have holes in me, and wind blows through. Oh, I seem to be person-shaped all right, but I'm going nowhere.” 1 likes
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