Review Detail

 
Young Adult Fiction
(Updated: July 02, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Thrilling, Suspenseful, Confusing and Paranoid!

In what was one of the most thrilling and suspenseful, yet confusing and paranoid, reads of recent memory, 17 & Gone held me prisoner as its almost dream-like atmosphere blurred reality to a point of non-recognition. Shadowy figures, whispered voices and a feeling of desperation overwhelmed my senses in a cacophony of sight and sound, leaving me unable to trust anything – or anyone – Lauren encountered.

Easily the shining beacon of 17 & Gone was Suma’s ability to create a dark and haunting atmosphere, that when interspersed with a stream of consciousness-esque prose, created a dream-like quality to her writing. As Lauren’s thoughts flitted about, from concern over Abby’s whereabouts, to fascination concerning the other lost girls’ stories, to obsession with discovering the truth, you almost get the feeling that you are, in fact, dreaming. Nothing that Lauren experiences is solid enough for you to feel like it is based in reality, yet nothing is so far out there that you can’t believe it’s happening. Everything is written with a sense of fleetingness and fluidity, like that thought you can’t quite grasp, that makes it feel like at any moment you might lose the story completely and be left with nothing but the whispers of what once was. It made for such an interesting, if at times frustrating, read that I couldn’t have put 17 & Gone down if I had wanted to.

Much like Suma’s writing, Lauren also gave off an air of impermanence; she was so easily side-tracked by a whisper, or a shadow, that we didn’t get a good glimpse at who she was without the lost girls who served to define her. Actually, she mostly served as a vehicle for the stories of the lost girls, which meant much of her personality was hidden or obscured. There were glimpses at a a fierce and independent young woman,

"My legs walked me over to him. “Luke? Do you remember me? I’m Lauren. I’m – ”

“Jamie Rossi’s girlfriend,” he said, stopping me, like that’s how I’d introduce myself to someone, my identity in relation to a boy’s."

but mostly, we learned about the lost girls: Abby, Fiona, Natalie, Shyann, and so many others that it became, at times, tedious to hear their stories over and over. To be as lost as them, to wonder to why they were haunting Lauren and what they hoped to achieve by isolating her from her friends and family. They became the thing which defined Lauren, and without them, Lauren was (seemingly) nothing.

But part of the reason I enjoyed 17 & Gone so much, despite not truly connecting with Lauren, was because of its vagueness. 17 & Gone kept me in suspense for so much of the plot, leaving me questioning everything that was happening, that I couldn’t help but eagerly read on. As Suma delivered a slightly unexpected twist, I was thrilled to have continued reading because of her excellent handling of such a…sensitive topic. (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here, so I apologize for my vagueness!) And paired with that ending, one that stays true to Lauren’s type of experience, I had to appreciate what Suma had managed to accomplish, all while keeping me mostly in the dark.

For fans of psychological thrillers, who won’t mind when the questions being answered aren’t necessarily the ones you hope to have answered (at least, not when you hope to have them answered), 17 & Gone will be an absolute delight. For people who appreciate concrete answers or plot-driven stories with definitive endings, you might want to think twice!

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Quinton Wyatt's summer break before high school should be nothing...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
On Delicate Wings
Mia Walters is optimistic that her final high school...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
Only A Breath Apart
Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The world is quite the different place after the loss...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Pretty in Punxsutawney
A Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from...
 
5.0
 
4.7 (1)
Through Fathoms Dark and Deep
What’s a pirate without her crew? Abandoned on an...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
99 Lies (100 Hours, #2)
Getting kidnapped over spring break was definitely memorable. But...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Ray Vs the Meaning of Life
Grandma’s Last Will and Testament names Ray to inherit...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
51uDXTa8hxL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Celebrate the weird, wonderful, and the downright bizarre in this...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Next to Last Mistake
Tess Goodwin's life in rural Iowa is sheltered and uncomplicated....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Emerge: The Captive: (Book 3)
A moment of distraction has cost him his freedom...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Awakening of Fire (Dragon Born, #1)
Dragons are just legends from the past... Felicia’s life...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Penderwicks at Last
The finale you've all been waiting for: The Penderwicks...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Over Raging Tides
The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Positively Izzy
Award-winning comics creator and author of the bestselling Invisible...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Onyx and Ivory
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Wings of Olympus
 
4.0
"WINGS OF OLYMPUS is a middle grade fantasy that those who love horses and Greek mythology won't want to miss...."
The Ark Plan (Edge of Extinction)
 
5.0
"Over all this is like a mix between The Hunger Games (tyrannical and evil government willing to kill children) and..."
Ocean Renegades! (Earth Before Us #2): Journey through the Paleozoic Era
 
4.0
"In OCEAN RENEGADES, Ronnie takes a trip into the Paleozoic Era with Miss Lernin. Here, she learns all there is..."
The Key to Everything
 
4.0
"Eleven-year-old Tash has been carted off to camp against her will, and she'll be there for a month while her..."
Shine of the Silver Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #11)
 
5.0
"This one picks up where the last one ended. Maldred the evil sorcerer is back and wants to gain control..."
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
 
5.0
"Edward Tulane is a distinguished, but vain, china rabbit. Edward’s girl Abilene loves him and he loves her right back...."
The Competition Begins (Junior Ninja Champion #1)
 
4.0
"Ty Santiago's family runs a gym that has a ninja training obstacle course, so when there is a junior competition..."
UFO Spotted!: A Branches Book (Hilde Cracks the Case #4)
 
5.0
"Hilde is at it again to get a factual story for the newspaper. This time, it's a mysterious flash of..."
Ghoulia
 
4.0
"To Ghoulia, she's just the average girl. To us, she's something completely different: a zombie. Ghoulia's aunt wants her to..."
Lights, Camera, Carmen! (Carmen #2)
 
3.5
"Lights Camera Carmen is a quick-to-read tale of a zealous and outspoken kid destined to make it big. ..."
Going Wild #3: Clash of Beasts
 
4.0
" Charlie, Mac, and Maria are back, having defeated Dr. Gray's army in Predator Vs. Prey. Kelly and Miko, however,..."
Gamer Army
 
4.0
"In a futuristic society where almost everything has gone online, Rogan spends a lot of his time playing the game..."
The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down
 
5.0
"Amy's family rushes for everything. "They walked fast, drove fast, shopped fast, and ate fast." This upsets Amy because there..."
Holes
 
5.0
"Important message. Unique perspective."
Watch Hollow
 
5.0
"Lucy and Oliver Tinker's father repairs clocks for a living, but the business isn't doing well. After the death of..."
Courageous
 
4.0
"Aidan lives in a fishing village in England. His one brother has died in the war, but George is still..."
Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things) (#5)
 
5.0
"The big event in Tom's world is the upcoming School Activity Trip, but he might not be going! He forgot..."
Bravelands #3: Blood and Bone
 
4.0
"Thorn, a baboon, Sky, an elephant, and Fearless, a lion, have been friends since childhood. Due to the evil influence..."
Tales from the Inner City
 
4.0
"In this heavily illustrated short story collection, Tan explores the interconnectedness of humans and the natural world. Using animals to..."
The Unteachables
 
5.0
"Mr. Kermit is entering his 30th year of teaching, and he's already put in for early retirement. He started his..."