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Reeve's End is the kind of place every kid can't wait to escape. Each summer, a dozen kids leave and at least a quarter never come back. Winter Crane doesn't blame them - she plans to do the same in another year. She'll leave behind the trailer park, and never look back. All she has to do is stay out of trouble.
But then she has a chance encounter with a boy called Lennon, injured and left for dead in the woods. Her discovery has Winter questioning everything she thought she knew about her sleepy town. And when Lennon vanishes and his brother Jude comes looking for him, things take a sinister turn. Someone wants Winter out of the picture. Can she trust Jude? Or will he deliver them both into the hands of a stalker?
Missing is one of those books you devour. And boy, did I devour it! I’ve never read any of Kelley Armstrong’s previous books (of which she has many) but as soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read this book. I *had* to read this book! Teens going missing? A place no one cares that teens are going missing, because everyone thinks they’re just leaving town and not looking back? And a girl determined to find out the truth, who I aspire to be like, like no one’s business. I really got into this book, and Winter was such a great narrator, such a great PERSON, she was fearless, man, and I wouldn’t want to cross her, ever.
Missing is YA thriller, and it’s going to be quite hard to forget – Kelley Armstrong really sets the scene, Reeve’s End is nowhere, where people escape from at the first opportunity, so when Winter Crane finds a boy, Lennon, stuck up a tree, injured, she’s inclined to help (instead of y’know running away, but Winter is a far, far better person than I) it sets off a chain of events she could never have expected – especially when Lennon himself goes missing and his brother, Jude, arrives, anxious to find him and finds it hard to believe Winter isn’t involved in it all. So they make an unlikely alliance in a bid for Jude to find his brother, Lennon, and Winter to find her friend, Edie. It’s a great thriller, with a pretty creepy protagonist, like severely creepy, and I had no idea who it was.
I loved Winter. So much. Her abilities in the woods, the fact that she had to hunt for her food or not eat (which creeps me out, and there is a bit of me that feels sad for the animals but I’m a hypocrite because I eat chicken and beef and sausages so what’s the difference?), I loved her cabin in the woods (although the snakes are a no-no for me, just no. NO NO NO NO. Hell to the no. But otherwise I could have a cabin in the woods. Perhaps not in Reeve’s End, considering everything Winter goes through, but it sounds nice and all until a stalker comes a-calling. What I liked is the fact I thought this was going to be a romance between Winter and Lennon and I was so wrong. Sooooooo freaking wrong, but in the best way possible because JUDE WAS EVEN BETTER. I loved how much depth Jude had – he wasn’t just coming to Reeve’s End for a romance with Winter, he was coming to save his brother, and he was pragmatic and level-headed and wasn’t taking Winter’s nonsense (that wasn’t actually nonsense) and they just had this vibe that worked, which is weird since they like hate/don’t trust each other at the start, but what can you do? But I liked the way they both opened up to each other, because they were the only ones looking for Lennon and Edie, so they had to rely on each other and I loved it.
Missing had a few scenes that made me want to puke. Mostly the animal abuse, by which I don’t mean the rabbit or the deer Winter kills, but the feral dogs. I know they’re feral, I know they couldn’t help it in one of the cases, and I know they are fictional dogs but it doesn’t make it any easier to bear, I am never, ever comfortable killing animals in books and it always makes me feel sad inside, in my bones. But apart from that, which is a personal thing that likely comes from being lucky enough to never go into woods with wild animals who might skin me alive, I suppose, this was a captivating, pulse-pounding read. This is apparently a new direction for Kelley Armstrong but hopefully it’s a sign of many more fantastic books to come because I devoured this. I hardly wanted to put it down and it kept me sucked in from beginning to end.