internat librarian's Reviews > Me, the Missing, and the Dead

Me, the Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine
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's review
Mar 24, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: grades-9-and-up, mystery, coping-with-loss
Read in March, 2012

There are a lot of coincidences to accept here, propped up with a teen-friendly dose of magic realism. There are also a lot of loose ends – family tensions, romance, and all sorts of lives crumbling apart. But most important, there’s a fun story that steamrolls through all the plot debris.

The setting is modern London. Lucas Swain is 15, still holding out hope for the return of his father, who disappeared five years ago. Lucas’ hopes get a jolt when he discovers an abandoned funeral urn. The woman within, Violet Park, died about the same time Dad vanished.

And then the magic happens: everyone seems to have a Violet memory, and Lucas can sense Violet’s beyond-the-ash emotions. This premise, and the never quite all-there subplots, create a sense of near-chaos. But Valentine does well to provide just enough down-to-earth moments, along with a few good laughs, to keep everyone grounded.
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