Review: 17 & GONE

17 & GONE

by Nova Ren Suma

published by Dutton (hardcover) on March 21, 2013 // Speak (paperback) on March 6, 2014


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 visions, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And . . . is she next? Through Lauren’s search for clues, things begin to unravel, and when a brush with death lands Lauren in the hospital, a shocking truth changes everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautifully visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.


4 owls

Suma writes with an unflinching, beautiful style you can't help but admire. Her descriptive powers place her high on the totem pole of author talent. 17 & Gone didn't completely do it for me, however; for how character-oriented the novel is, I never fully connect with Lauren.

That being said, it's hard to turn away from Suma's sophomore YA novel precisely because of her expertise. The masterful prose kept me turning the pages, even when the characters/plot didn't. Suma's first YA novel, Imaginary Girls, was gripping in the same way -- because of her unabashed talent -- but provided more intrigue around that talent to back it up.

17 & Gone proves its worth at the end, with a heart-stopping climax and a soulful finale. Bring on The Walls Around Us!

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