Review Blog

Aug 20 2013

Seventeen and Gone by Nova Ren Suma

cover image

Hardie Grant Egmont, 2013. ISBN 9781742976143.
(Ages: 14+) Seventeen and Gone is a chilling tale about girls that go missing when they're 17 told through Nova Ren Suma's poetic, evocative prose.
It's a story of one girl's devotion to finding out what has happened to Abby, a girl found on a missing poster. It's also the story of how that girl can lose herself in the process in this psychological thriller.
Within its pages, we find out about Lauren's commitment to finding out what happened to these missing girls, and she is the only one who has the courage to wear on and look for what happened even when their families and authorities have given up. Her perspective blurs the lines of reality, one day she'd be in school and the next she'll seeing spirits of the lost girls and they will be making her do things.
The writing is poetic, chilling and beautiful, and captures the heart of the novel perfectly. Through Nova Ren Suma's writing, we experience the strange and confusing hallucinations and feelings that the main character has as she slowly loses grip on her sanity.
I found Seventeen and Gone to be a thrilling adventure, with its overarching mystery about what happened to Abby and the things that were happening to Lauren in the process. I read the whole novel in one day, because I was glued to this strange and haunting tale.
Seventeen and Gone explores some very real issues, including not giving up on missing persons (in particular, girls when they turn 17) and the mentally unstable. It's certainly not a fluffy read, but one that helps us to understand some darker issues in life and may encourage others to reach out for help.
Jeann Wong

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