Wednesday, April 10, 2013
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
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.
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
You don’t get what you think you’re going to get, but wait a beat and what you get is… equally as good as how things were laid out. Split it between what’s she’s experiencing, the things she knows AND what’s eventually revealed, and I was impressed. The Paranormal element of missing girls and her knowing things about them because they’ve revealed themselves to her had me thinking that there was some thread linking each girl to the other, half of me was afraid this was some murder-mystery… then there was me realizing that it’s far more complicated than that; seeing this as more sophisticated in how things linked up.
First, though each girl in this has a story, a lot of them are sad ones… some of them strangely not so sad at all given rise only by the teeniest meeting of circumstance; yet in all those stories is a thread of possibility. All of these stories read real for some girl, past present future what have you… but they all read possible… making all of them more haunting than any other paranormal thing.
Then, seeing there’s no external source magical thing linking things up, but just Lauren and how there’s little known about her save the boyfriend who’s into her and a mother who doesn’t ‘mother and scold’ but was just there. I like the realness in all of them… particularly her and how her various relationships were starting to fray, plus there’s her admission on how easy it is to in fact get things going down that road and push people away.
So, there are questions on what’s real, what they want, what she’s to do and what becomes of her… all piling up on each other, making for a slow buildup. It’s quietly atmospheric so while I was held by the word and her world, I was never quite sure what /who to believe... but these individual girls and their particular stories had them coming alive for me as they were for her. Yet her and them? They had me feeling haunted a little.. all those mentions of missing and forgotten.
Bottom line: This has frighteningly real stories that’s coupled with an unexpected end, one that makes sense the more I think on it. Plus the slow build up and the sophisticated way things finally do connect allows for a feel that’s not quite real but more real the longer considered.
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