Title: Never Missing, Never Found
Author: Amanda Panitch
Publication: June 28th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: Finished copy in Hardback
Source: Provided by the publisher
Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.
Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.
Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late?
I received a finished copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Last year, Amanda Panitch’s debut novel, Damage Done, blew my mind away with such a plot twist that caught me off guard and so I had always been on the watch for what’s next for her. I must say that one of the reasons that I wanted to read Never Missing, Never Found was because of the author herself.
It’s difficult not to compare this book from her previous title which is also in the mystery/thriller category because Damage Done really set the bar for me. (You know what they say, “You’re only as good as your last game/performance/success/whatever”) and that’s why I was expecting a lot more from Never Missing, Never Found.
The thing is, Never Missing, Never Found became a bit more complicated for my expectations. In the book, the story is told in Scarlett’s POV. The readers get to have a glimpse of her past where she was taken and kept in a basement for years, the present, where she spends most of her time working at an amusement park, or trying to win her sister back and then, there were bits from the Skywoman comics (which I personally think took a lot away from what’s really going on in the actual story). The narration is uncomplicated but it’s the continuity that made everything a little vague.
But of course, there’s the ever present plot twist that I was waiting for every page I turn. Ms. Panitch is starting to have a reputation for writing unreliable characters and I think that’s what she was aiming for with Never Missing, Never Found. The “thriller” that’s lingering in this book weighs more on the characters rather than the plot. She also mentioned in my previous interview with the author that she likes to write dangerous girls and it’s evident in this book.
Overall, Never Missing, Never Found will keep you turning the pages, and when you reach the end, you’ll be turning them back to the start to see WTF JUST HAPPENED. It’s really messed up (in a good and effective way).
Plot twist – It’s always the plot twist. It may have been a little less “explosive” than my expectations, but still, it’s crazy surprising. I swear, you will never see it coming.
Back story – I personally wanted to read more about what happened in Scarlett’s stolen years. The scenes in the past somewhat felt “gray” if not dark and that’s what I was looking for. And aside from that,
Dangerous girls theme – Can’t say much. Just read the book.
Book description and cover image from Goodreads