Saturday, May 09, 2015

Book Review: 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Title: 17 & Gone
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Genre: Young Adult (Fantasy & Paranormal)
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publish Date: March 21st 2013
Pages: 353
Goodreads link:
Author link:

Book blurb: Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

Overall rate: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5 out of 5)

Book cover: 2/5

Story plot: 2.5/5

Characters: 2.5/5

Language: 4/5

Favourite excerpt from the book: 

I have his voice in my ear, and it's not a phantom, not a demon, not a hallucination. His voice that I lock on to so it's all I'm hearing.

"It's okay," is what he's saying. "Look at me. Lauren, look at me. They're not real. They're not real. I'm real. I'm right here."

I'm really a fan of paranormal stories, and I actually even chose this book for my sister when she asked for my help to pick new books to buy. I expected this one to be mind blowing, judging from the blurb at the back, and also because I've heard a lot saying that Nova Ren Suma writes real good stories. But I had a rather hard time finishing this book. It could be because of my reading slump lately (even though I still buy loads of books), but the storyline was one of the reasons too.

When I opened the first few pages, I almost got intrigued by the story. Almost. But I didn't. Even from the start, the story was dark already. I had a hard time trying to get into the story, and Lauren's characteristics didn't help me like the story either. There were so little information about Lauren, and all that was told were how Lauren started seeing the spirits of the missing girls, starting from Abigail Sinclair.

Just like how I had a hard time getting into this story, I had a hard time liking Lauren too. I know that Lauren was forced to change after she started seeing Abby (Abigail), but I feel like most of the time, she's making rather selfish decisions for the sake of people that she didn't even know. She wanted so badly to help the girls that she neglected Jamie, her boyfriend, and even distant herself away from her mother. But I guess there's a good thing in keeping this secret, because when her mother found out about the girls, she was sent to get therapy.

It upsets me that there's not much part where Jamie is around. I like Jamie, he's much more likeable than Lauren. And it relieves me that Jamie still sticks around Lauren when he found out the truth behind her actions.

I couldn't keep up with all the missing girls though. It would have been enough with just a few, but there's just so many names and stories that I give up trying to keep up with them. The only ones that I can still remember well are Abby and Fiona. Fiona was Lauren's neighbour when she was little, and Fiona's spirit was my favourite. There's just something unique about her character. And hair.

This story was rather slow paced. Because there's just too many girls, and the way the story was told, I often get confused. The ending wasn't something I predicted, but it wasn't what I liked either. I'm still confused about the reason why Lauren knew all these girls. Because not all of them died. Some of them went back home, and were still alive. I'd say that I am rather disappointed with the ending.

Even though I didn't enjoy this story as much as I wished, I think that Nova Ren Suma does write well. Her other book, Imaginary Girls, catches my attention too. If I have the chance, I'd love to read that one too.

I recommend 17 & Gone to readers that enjoy paranormal stories, but without much touches of horrors in it.

Till next time ♡ Love, Humaira

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