Wandering Librarians's Reviews > Picture Me Gone

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
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really liked it
bookshelves: family, fiction, middle-grade, realistic-fiction, serious-issues, growing-up

Mila and her father, Gil, had planned to travel from London to upstate New York to visit her father's friend, Matthew. Just days before the trip, Matthew goes missing. Mila and Gil take the trip anyway, hoping they can help. Mila is incredibly perceptive, and begins to piece together what Matthew's life was like and why he might have left. But as she's nearing the solution, she encounters a personal betrayal that changes her perception of everything.

The only other book I'd read by Meg Rosoff was How I Live Now which I hadn't really enjoyed so I didn't know what to expect from this very different book. I thought it was great. It was thoughtful and refreshingly different from everything I'd been reading. Mila is not a typical narrator, so I hope the book will be appealing to middle school kids and not just to adults!

Mila can read emotions well, even the ones that people are trying not to show. She notices the smallest of details, like Sherlock Holmes. She even notices and understands things her father doesn't see. Her father is a translator, and usually has his head in the clouds. Mila often feels like she needs to take care of him.

Mila and her father arrive in New York and are retrieved by Matthew's wife, Suzanne, and their infant son. Mila can tell right away that Suzanne's carrying a lot of anger. When they reach the house, Mila can see that the dog is clearly Matthew's dog, and Suzanne doesn't like it. Why wouldn't he take his dog?

Mila is beginning to see the kind of life Suzanne and Matthew had, and tries to reason out how someone could up and leave his baby son. There are a lot of surprising revelations as the story continues and Mila and Gil uncover more and more, things they never thought they would learn. Big, life changing things.

As Mila puts it all together, she comes to a surprising realization, which I don't want to give away. It is hard for her to handle. It makes her think about the nature of truth.

It's a very quiet, thoughtful kind of book. There are big revelations, but to call them "exciting" would be wrong. It's not going to be for everyone, but I highly recommend it.

Oh, but there's no use of quotation marks, which I find annoying and at times confusing. What exactly is the point of that?
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 8, 2013 – Shelved
October 8, 2013 – Shelved as: family
October 8, 2013 – Shelved as: fiction
October 8, 2013 – Shelved as: realistic-fiction
October 8, 2013 – Shelved as: middle-grade
October 8, 2013 – Shelved as: serious-issues
October 8, 2013 – Shelved as: growing-up
October 8, 2013 – Finished Reading

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