Me, the Missing and the DeadAuthor: Jenny Valentine
Genre: YA Contemporary, Mystery
Published: April 1st 2008 by Harper Teen
Me: Lucas Swain--I'm nearly sixteen years old and live in London. I was fairly normal until the night I found Violet. Then everything changed.The Missing: Dad. He disappeared five years ago. Nobody knows what happened to him, and nobody cares except me. It's enough to drive you crazy.The Dead: That's Violet . . . in the urn. Speaking of crazy--I know she's trying to tell me something, and I think it's about my father. . .A dead lady may not be much to go on, but my dad's out there somewhere, and it's up to me to find out where.
This was really good. I thought at first that it's a ghost story, being there's the word 'dead' in the title. But it turns out to be a family story, of coping up with the loss of a family member. Lucas's father may not be dead, but he may as well be for the ones he left behind.
I don't think Lucas finding Violet's urn was a coincidence. For me, it was divine intervention. It was like life's way of letting Lucas know what kind of person his father was. And in the process, it also helped him come to terms with himself, with his mother and with everything he believed in about his father. He may not get his father back but he learned to move on.
"...secrets are never that hard to unearth. Somebody always slips up, or leaves a trail, or says the wrong thing at the right time. And then everybody finds out the truth, whether they want to or not."
"People give up. We're defeatist and we stop striving or fighting or enjoying things. It doesn't matter what you're talking about - war, work, marriage, democracy. It all fails because everybody gives up trying after a while; we can't help ourselves."
"...it wasn't like being dead was the end of everything. It was just the end of being who you were, with all the hang-ups and memories and crazy ideas that weigh you right down when you're alive. If you look at it like that, dying isn't such a bad option for some people."