Sally's Reviews > The Missing

The Missing by Lisa McMann
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Nov 12, 11

bookshelves: 2011-reads, audiobook, ghosts-spirits
Read from November 07 to 11, 2011

First off- It's a stand alone book and not part of a series *Hooray!*, and also, for being quite a short novel (only 230 pages) it crams a lot in and is compulsively addictive. Part slow-building romance, part haunting mystery story, it quickly becomes spookily eerie and full of tension and suspense. All the way through this I had absolutely no clue what to expect and zero theories and suspicions as to what could have happened to the missing students- which made me even more desperate to find out and keep reading to the nerve-shredding finale!
Like Lisa McMann's other series the writing in this is a very detached style, with very stilted sentences- but again it works because it suits Kendall's personality. Kendall suffers with OCD, which makes her obsessive about order, routine and counting. The ordered, detached style seems to mirror Kendall's sense of isolation as she struggles to cope with everyday situations and her mind can't switch off focusing on the little details- but this also means that she notices things that other people don't.
The characters in this book is one of the best things about it. The story is set in a very small and close-knit town and there are actually very few characters, but despite this they are all relatable and believable. Kendall herself is sweet and intelligent but also feisty- on the school soccer team and can easily fit in despite being the only girl in their year at the tiny local school she attends. The little anecdotes really give the sense that her class have all grown up together and know each other so well. The new guy Jacian (pronounced "Hass-ee-an") is understandably moody and miserable after being uprooted away from his friends into this tiny farming town with no sports teams, but he develops into a really caring and understanding person as he are Kendall are increasingly thrown together.
I also really felt for Kendall and her despair when her best friend becomes one of the missing. She takes it so hard and I couldn't help but feel really emotional over the hole in her life. It was also that sense of his loss hanging over her- the not knowing what had happened and if he was ever coming back, making her feel unable to move on and make any plans for the future and college. She clings on to his memory and the hope that he is going to come back again. It is when Kendall thinks that Nico is trying to send her a message that things really start to get strange, making Kendall wonder if she is starting to lose her mind.
I really enjoyed this book, which was emotional and eerie, planting a mystery that left me desperate to know the answers to- and had a creepy building tension mixed with a slow-building new romance, which was very sweet and heartfelt.
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