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Me, the Missing, and the Dead
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Me, the Missing, and the Dead

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,951 Ratings  ·  313 Reviews
Me: Lucas Swain—I'm nearly sixteen years old and live in London. I was fairly normal until the night I found Violet. Then everything changed.

The Missing: Dad. He disappeared five years ago. Nobody knows what happened to him, and nobody cares except me. It's enough to drive you crazy.

The Dead: That's Violet . . . in the urn. Speaking of crazy—I know she's trying to tell me
ebook, 224 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published January 3rd 2007)
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Watermelon Daisy

Jenny Valentine is one of those authors who will always be a "three star" author to me. She has this weird sense of bizarre logic which I can't help loving, but she can't fool me into thinking any of her stories could be real. The covers of her books are always pretty. Just saying.

I quite like Lucas's thoughts. Although there were a zillion commas missing, and though people suppose boys to speak in a snappy way, Lucas doesn't seem like the snappy type. He's too nic
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fast-paced
There's a little bit of suspension of disbelief (LOTS of coincidences)to totally enjoy this book, but enjoy it you should. It reads fast, but unfolds slowly, and has a highly satisfactory ending that shouldn't come as a surprise, but did to me.
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ik had eigenlijk niet verwacht dat ik dit boek met zoveel plezier zou lezen, maar het zat goed in elkaar en heeft me aangenaam verrast!
Minh Nhân Nguyễn
3,5 sao.

Cuốn này mua cũng đã lâu rồi bây giờ mới đọc, lúc đó chưa xài goodreads, mua vì thấy bìa sách lạ lạ, tựa sách hay hay, tóm tắt nội dung cũng thú vị, chứ nếu là bây giờ chắc mình không mua đâu vì điểm trên đây thấp hơn mong đợi ở một cuốn sách mình chọn đọc.

Trước khi đi tới nội dung thì phải nói tới bản dịch cái đã. Cuốn này làm mình nhớ tới cuốn Cây cầu đến xứ sở thần tiên cũng của Kim Đồng làm. Cuốn kia mình xem phim trước, thấy rất hay nên mới tìm sách đọc, và sau đó thì thất vọng vô c
Angelina Justice
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This novel gets four stars for many reasons, but at the top of the list is that it is a short novel. This makes it an easier sell to reluctant readers, especially guys. Guys are my second top reason for giving four stars. This book is written from a "guy" perspective in a voice that resonates with how boys/men think and communicate.

Women, and maybe even many men, often forget that the "real" male and the fictional male are often worlds apart. Novels abound with stereotypes of men both positive a
Aug 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, ya
I think the cover is brilliant (much better than the photograph I have taken) and when I first got the book, I thought someone had actually doodled all over it. I remember thinking I liked it and at the same time wondered how could they sell such a book, even if it is second hand, until I read the blurb. Silly me.

I knew the book as Me, the Missing and the Dead (but I must confess I like the title Finding Violet Park better because it is a title that doesn’t give anything away) as it was released
Eva Mitnick
Jan 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
In a nutshell – London teenager Lucas Swain bonds emotionally with the cremated remains of an old famous pianist named Violet, causing him to come to a greater understanding not just of old people, but also of himself, his family, and his long-vanished dad. Oh, and Lucas gets quite a great girlfriend as well.

This is an unusual premise but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was no hint of cloying quirkiness about this book. Young Lucas knows that communing with a dead old lady’s as
Karen Barber
This is one of those stories that you'll read, and then look up to think 'what on earth?' As with the other Jenny Valentine novels I've read, there's a weird mix of totally unbelievable coincidences and really charming quirky characters.
In this story we are asked to believe that teenage Lukas discovers the ashes of an old woman in a cab firm, decides to work out who she is and then uncovers all manner of odd links between himself and the deceased.
I liked the way Lukas pursues this, even though m
Phong Nhược
Tôi đã phải phân vân vài phút khi rate cuốn sách này ở mức 2 sao hay 3 sao. Đây là một trong số ít các cuốn sách mà tôi đã quyết định sẽ đọc lại vào một ngày nào đấy ngay khi vừa đọc xong. Bên cạnh cuốn Rừng Nauy.
Nhưng nếu với Rừng Nauy là do cảm giác không thể hiểu được hết thì cuốn này lại là do không nắm bắt được ý chính. Tôi đọc cuốn này như trong trạng thái mơ ngủ vậy, vẫn còn rất mơ hồ về nội dung chính của sách nhưng cũng không phải là không hiểu gì cả.
Tôi cho 3 sao vì tôi nghĩ tôi cũng
Nov 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, realistic-fiction
A coming of age story about a London teen whose father disappeared five years before. Lucas Swain is a likeable character who doesn't have many friends and absolutely no girlfriends. He has wondered why his father left and begins to put the peices together when he becomes convinced an urn of ashes begins speaking to him. The ashes, or Violet Park, as she was known, was an artist who hired Lucas' dad to write her biography. I learned it is difficult to come to terms with what our parents are real ...more
Eerlijk gezegd weet ik niet wat ik van dit boek moet vinden. Het is een echt vreemd boek en het gaat om 2 nogal zware onderwerpen, de dood en verdwijning. Ik had al het gevoel dat ze aan elkaar waren verbonden, Violet Park en Pete Swain. Maar de manier hoe ze uiteindelijk elkaar kennen en uit elkaar gaan vind ik nogal teleurstellend. Ik ben iemand die meer is van de happy ending. Een minder tragisch einde. Maar eerlijk gezegd ben ik sowieso niet echt van zulke boeken. Ik hou eenmaal van fantasy ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This was one of those books that I didn't really know how to rate, or how to feel about. It felt a little different from most things I've read, but let me back up. I got this from the library, barely skimmed the title and gave it a shot because library books are low-investment. I sat down and read in bits and pieces.

This book is written exactly like what it says it is, a teenage boy trying to get his thoughts together on paper after some crazy things happen. I wasn't enraptured at first, but in
Gine Bugge Sande
It was okay, nothing special
Perhaps between 3.25 and 3.5 stars.
Original review posted here:

At a time when I’m starting to notice numerous patterns throughout YA literature, I finally find the book that breaks them all. Me, the Missing, and the Dead is that unique breath of fresh air I’ve been so desperately needing.

Lucas is an observant and perceptive character; the way he views things, on both simple and more complex levels, is just so intriguing and enlightening. This combined with his dry humor, which I find
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, 2009
Lucas Swain is almost sixteen years old, and his dad has been missing for five years when he meets Violet Park on a shelf at a cab office. Thing is, Violet Park is more than a little bit dead and living in an urn at the time.

But Lucas knows that she has something to tell him. Even though she's no longer among the living.

As Lucas tries to unearth the truth about Violet Park and what she wants from him, he realizes that there may have been a connection between Violet Park and his missing father. T
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
I requested this book through our library's ILL program. Usually I request a book because I owe a review on Net Galley and no longer have access to the ecopy, or it is on some Best of the Best list, etc - but for the life of me, I do not know why I requested this book! Despite that, it was a quick read.

Lucas discovers this urn with ashes in it at a cab office and feels drawn to it. Thinking about the urn later, he feels that Violet (the woman in it) is trying to communicate with him. He concoc
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes a person just has to solve the mystery. Why is there a cremation urn in the taxi stand? Whose is it? Who is the woman whose remains are in there? What does this have to do with me?
Lucas has a lot of questions. The first and most important is how he is going to deal with his father's disappearance. Why did dad leave? What did the family do to deserve this? Maybe he's dead? Secondly, how to rescue the woman in the urn. Obviously dead, she shouldn't have to live on the shelf in a stinky,
Michele Velthuizen
Interest level: 8th +
Reading level: medium
Genre: Trial by Fire, mystery, fathers and sons, families, assisted suicide

When Lucas walks into a cab station and spots an urn with the ashes of a stranger called Violet Park - unclaimed for months by a passenger who left it in a cab - he can't stop thinking about who Violet was and why she ended up forgotten and forlorn on a shelf in a cab office. With the help of his grandmother, Lucas decides to steal the urn and find out what exactly happened to Vio
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pleasant discovery. Thanks, children's librarian that stood this one up on top of the bookshelf! I loved how nonchalantly Valentine treats the part of the plot where Lucas communicates with a dead old lady. It's not a magical, mystical book — it's a gritty, sensible book where the protagonist happens to find an urn and chat with the occupant. I appreciate books for kids that acknowledge that parents do a bad job sometimes, that things can really suck, that "old people" aren't just cut ...more
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, young-adult
es ist die geschichte des 16jährigen lucas, der in einem taxibüro die urne der toten violet park entdeckt und von ihr nicht mehr loskommt. er nimmt sich ihrer an und versucht über sie einiges in erfahrung zu bringen. über die beschäfigung mit ihr erkennt lucas das wesen seines vaters, der die familie vor jahren verlassen hat. der tod von violet und das verschwinden von lucas vater hängen eng zusammen.
manchmal wundert man sich, dass lucas schon 16 jahre alt ist, er benimmt sich nicht immer so. e
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
For the first half of the book, it was more of a 3.5.
But towards the end it abruptly turned into 4 stars ⭐.
Jenny Valentine has created a brilliant piece of work. She's thought up an amazing, unforgettable character, which is Lucas Swain. Considering the size of the book, she made so much room for critical thinking & personal reflection on life. & I didn't get the cliche ending I was prepared for. Thank you!!
Amazingly good and enjoyable. 16-year-old Lucas goes to a cab station one night and finds the urn of a woman named Violet, abandoned in a cab several years ago. The next day, he realizes that he needs to get that urn and do something for Violet. He enlists his grandmother's help to claim the urn, and begins a journey that leads him to discover not only who Violet was, but why his own father disappeared 5 years ago. I loved it.
Apr 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is on the narrow edge between realistic fiction and a ghost story. The result is a fascinating tale of a teenaged boy, his missing father, and what may or may not be the ghost of a woman whose ashes were left in the office of a taxi company.
It reminds me of the Terry Pratchett "Johnny" novels, but with less slapstick, possibly because much of the story is very British and has bits of dry English humor.
Rebecca McNutt
Not the best writing in the world, but the plot was creative, memorable and interesting, and I liked the characters for the most part. I was hoping that this book would be a lot better than it was, but at least it was half-decent.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sweet, surprising and wonderfully written, this story shows how easily the faults and secrets of ourselves and those around us can cause life-changing damage, but also be overcome. I sped through this in one sitting - it's that kind of book.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book!
Veki Everdeen
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How are her books always this good???
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Finding Violet Park,” by Jenny Valentine is an engaging and interesting mystery. Sixteen year old Lucas Swain, with a missing father and a broken family, notices an urn labelled Violet Park in a cab office and becomes curious. He will do whatever he can to uncover the secrets of this mysterious person in the urn with the familiar name. But while digging for the secrets of Violet Park, will he discover more about his missing father?

One thing that I liked about this book was that it was both humo
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Jenny Valentine moved house every two years when she was growing up. She has just moved house again, probably not for the last time. She worked in a wholefood shop in Primrose Hill for fifteen years where she met many extraordinary people and sold more organic loaves than there are words in her first novel. She has also worked as a teaching assistant and a jewellery maker. She studied English Lite ...more
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“What's wrong with the world Peter?
God, I don't know. Where do you start? People give up. We're defeatists and we stop striving or fighting or enjoying things. It doesn't matter what you're talking about - war, work, marriage, democracy, love, it all fails because everybody gives up trying after a while, we can't help ourselves. And don't ask me to solve it because I am the worst. I'd escape tomorrow if I could, from every single thing I've always wanted.”
“It's what you do when you grow up, apparently, face up to things you'd rather not and accept the fact that nobody is who you thought they were, maybe not even close.” 1 likes
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