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Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  69 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.
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 clue
288 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Roaring Brook Press (first published September 2012)
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  274 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it

"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 d
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
Francesca Forrest
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-group
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
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
Diana Renn
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
...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
Stephanie A.
So many ingredients I love: Emily Dickinson's poetry and her house-turned-historical museum, an isolated girl who doesn't really know how to have friends and is still affected by her mother's suicide, a worried and devoted but sort of hapless single dad, a lovely older boy who starts out as her student teacher (but she's repeating a year and 18 going on 19 so it's hard to cry foul), and said boy having a savior complex that quickly transforms into genuine intrigue and enchantment.

Those are the r
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit, dnrip
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
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Baley Petersen
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Self indulgent novel written by a poet wanabe.
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it
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
May 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
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
Sarah (The Book Life)
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 k
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Kathy Martin
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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

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
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dallas-library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
“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
Mrs. Strudthoff
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-lit
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
Kimberly Sabatini
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-ya
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
Hannah Cobb
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
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
Read  Ribbet
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Panella
Oct 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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