Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Review: Picture Me Gone

Meg Rosoff is a popular name in young adult fiction these days. Her books receive medals and awards and four starred reviews. She might even become more popular in the coming days because her debut novel, How I Live Now, which I reviewed here, was just released as a movie back in November, and was reviewed and given four stars by Roger Ebert here.  Although the previews strike me as a casting error for the main character, I probably will end up seeing the movie to see how it compares to the book.

Thus, when I noticed another Meg Rosoff book in the recent acquisitions of our library, Picture Me Gone, I decided to add my name to the hold list. My review will probably be a bit skewed, since it is following a book I declared to be my all-time favorite read of the past year. Hard to compete with that, no?

Mila was named after a dog, which seems appropriate since she has some sort of special ability for reading people and situations right off the bat. It would seem like she would be the perfect person, then, to accompany her father as he heads off from their home in London to America to search for his missing best friend. The two begin collecting information and Mila sizes up plenty of people and situations trying to determine where Matthew could have gone. Strangely, Matthew left behind his beloved dog, who ends up accompanying them on the journey. The reader follows along as Mila racks up one clue after the next to unravel the mystery of Matthew's disappearance.

The writing keeps you reading and is very well done. The plot has purpose and drive. The characters are interesting enough. Still, the ending fell flat and it wasn't as magical a read, and thus the book ended up feeling just okay. Granted, I've said it would be hard to live up to the last book I finished.

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