by Nova Ren Suma
published by Dutton (hardcover) on March 21, 2013 // Speak (paperback) on March 6, 2014
With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautifully visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.
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!