Seriously, though. 17 & GONE has blown my mind. Stick around and see why.
From Goodreads: 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 waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.
So. This book was not about what I thought it was about. I mean, YES, there are seventeen-year-old girls and they've gone missing and they're talking to seventeen-year-old Lauren. But this isn't a paranormal, per se. Well, it could be. But it's so much more than that with it's tangled web of genres and directional possibilities. This is, in fact, my very favorite kind of book. And 17 & GONE is officially one of my favorite books ever.
Let me backtrack a minute. Think about all those paranormal/supernatural books you've read (or at least heard about). Now imagine, if you will, what would happen if the freaky things that happened in those books happened in real life. You'd probably be freaking out, and you may never fully recover from those experiences, right? Say word got out that you claimed to be dating a vegetarian vampire. Maybe you'd be dragged off in a straightjacket, yeah? At the very least people might cross the street when they saw you coming, because you, my dear, would be considered certifiable. And on top of that, you might start wondering if maybe you weren't, in fact, losing your mind.
Well, that's the realistic sort of path 17 & GONE takes us on while treading on the edges of a very magical one. 17 & GONE is part psychological, part magic, and in every way a mystery you simply must unravel, no matter how unnerving it is. And it is at times ridiculously unnerving. Nova Ren Suma immerses you so completely into Lauren's character that you begin to forget she's not real--and that you're not her. You get turned upside down, seeing and feeling the world as she's seeing and feeling it, so that when she's certain she's inside the magic, you're certain of it, and when she questions her own sanity, you begin to question it. When she's curious, no matter how scary the situation might be to an outsider, you feel curiosity more than fear. When she's terrified, no matter how normal a situation might seem to an outsider, you feel the prickle of goosebumps and the intense need to turn the page to find a way out. And when she's with her boyfriend...ah well, you doubt, you wish, you push away, you want.
And while you're feeling so much through Lauren, you're just as invested in all of Lauren's lost girls as she is, and you begin to want desperately for them to be found. All of these girls with their distinct personalities and stories worm under your skin and make you feel so much, and draw you to the pleas of other lost girls. And when the danger turns on Lauren and it becomes clear she may also disappear, you find yourself completely incapable of setting down the book until you know exactly what's to become of her.
17 & GONE takes you on a remarkable journey through magic and psychosis and fearful possibility; through desperate longings and the twists and turns our brains will take to find fulfillment of those longings. A work of consummate skill, 17 & GONE is a beautiful, chilling story filled with evocative imagery and thought-provoking, often rhythmic prose. Its arrestive voice and masterful use of dialogue captures the complexity of human interaction and need and leaves no doubt you're entirely inside the mind of a seventeen-year-old girl who's experiencing something truly extraordinary and terrifying. Altogether, 17 & GONE redefines what it means to be lost and will leave you questioning what it means to be found.
If you can't tell, I'm recommending you read this. So, yeah.
PSA Truth in Advertising Reviewer's Credo et cetera: No one sent me this book for review. Nor was I paid. I just totally dig it and think you might too.
*****Check out what the other Bookanistas are recommending this week:
Carolina Valdez Miller celebrates 17 & GONE by Nova Ren Suma [YOU ARE HERE, so, don't click this one]
Carrie Harris awakens you to INSOMNIA by Jenn Johansson…with giveaway
Christine Fonseca praises THE PLEDGE by Kimberly Derting
Corrine Jackson is wild for WHEN IT HAPPENS by Susane Colasanti
Elana Johson invites you to her ABANDON release par-tay!
Katy Upperman is bewitched by NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland
Lenore Appelhans swoons for STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood…with an annotated snippet
Stasia Ward Kehoe is wild for THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky
Tracey Neithercott highlights WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller
Tracy E. Banghart raves over JUMP WHEN READY by David Pandolfea Rafflecopter giveaway
And don't forget to enter our HUGE Bookanistas Relaunch Giveaway before it ends!