Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Picture Me Gone

Picture Me Gone
By Meg Rosoff
Published 2013 by Putnam Juvenile

Mila is pretty good at figuring things out. Maybe that's why she's accompanying her dad on his search for his best friend - a man he's known for many years who seems to have just walked out of his life one day. Will Mila find Matthew? Or is it too late?

This was another book that I had started in e-galley form and had to finish in print as my galley expired. This one in particular caught my eye because it was getting some buzz as a possible Printz contender (Rosoff having won a Printz already). Well, it didn't take home a Printz, but it was a finalist for the National Book Award, so I guess there was some merit to that contender talk after all.

This is the first book of Rosoff's that I've read, though I think I have a copy of There is No Dog sitting on one of my shelves (maybe I'll read it this year!). I've been meaning to read how i live now but just haven't found the time. I'm not sure that I'm thrilled with this book being my introduction to Rosoff's work.

That's not to say it's a bad book - it's a pretty quick read and I found Mila an interesting, if somewhat too precocious, character. However, I didn't really find the mystery all that mysterious. It seemed pretty clear to me early on what Matthew's deal was, though maybe that's at least partly because I'm an adult and I think the situation is much easier to read if you are an adult. It feels like the mystery is not really the point of this book. This book is about more than that. It's about the space where you are crossing out of childhood and realizing that your parents aren't perfect and being an adult is just about as messy and complicated as being a kid.

It's all fine and good with me if Rosoff wants to write a book like that, but I couldn't help but be disappointed. I went into this book expecting and wanting a mystery and this wasn't quite what I was looking for. This book certainly has its merits and I think will appeal to a certain population of middle school readers. The surface level writing is quite lovely as well. But, overall, I find myself a bit underwhelmed by this book. I'll have to give Rosoff another chance.

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