Book Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

Missing by Kelley Armstrong is a young adult thriller. The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere. The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree. But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?

Missing is a bit of a mystery and very much a thriller. I liked the characters and the mystery surrounding Winter's search for Lennon and the missing teens from Reeve's End. I thought the reality of the hard lives people in Reeve's End face is engaging and makes the larger story and mystery much deeper. Winter's struggle to get a better life, and her willingness to risk it all to do the right thing draws the reader and makes them care so much about her as a character and a person. I found Lennon and Jude, and the personalities and mystery surround them, to be extremely well done. I will admit to being surprised several times with the elements intrinsic to the thriller aspect of the story. I like that the physiological component was high, and that while there was some gore, it was not overwhelming. The balance of character and setting development was pretty much perfect, making the town and characters all very real and multi dimensional rather than flat and boring bits in the background. While I am not a big fan of thrillers, I found myself rather hoping for even more about Winter what might happen next to most of the characters. 

Missing is a young adult thriller, a new direction for Armstrong. I have been a fan of her other works, but I am not usually a big thriller fan, but I recognized the writing style and enjoyed the read very much. I might even continue reading her thrillers because of her character and setting work, despite my general avoidance of the genre.

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