Tuesday 16 August 2011

Book Review: Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie.

Product details:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Paperback, 304 pages.
Release date: August 4th 2011 (First published 2006)
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Lauren has always known she was adopted but when a little research turns up the possibility that she was snatched from an American family as a baby, suddenly Lauren's life seems like a sham. How can she find her biological parents? And are her adoptive parents really responsible for kidnapping her? She manages to wangle a trip across the Atlantic where she runs away to try and find the truth. But the circumstances of her disappearance are murky and Lauren's kidnappers are still at large and willing to do anything to keep her silent…

Fast-paced and thrilling throughout, Sophie McKenzie’s Girl, Missing is a totally addictive read with an engrossing plot, compelling characters and a delicious romance to boot! I read this in one sitting, and was totally hooked from start to finish!

Fourteen year old Lauren has always known she was adopted, but now, feeling out of place amongst her adoptive family, Lauren wants some answers about her birth mother.  With her parents unwilling to provide the details, or even to discuss the situation, she decides to take the matter into her own hands, with alarming results.  Lauren will stop at nothing to figure out why her adoption was seemingly shrouded in secrecy, and so, with the company of her childhood friend James ‘Jam’ Caldwell, she sets out to find some answers.  Their search takes Lauren and Jam right around to world, to America, where they encounter treachery and deceit at every turn.  It soon emerges that Lauren’s parents are not the only one’s who want to keep the details of her adoption secret, and the people who know all the answers will stop at nothing to keep them hidden. As Lauren endeavours to uncover the truth she soon realizes that fact is often stranger than fiction, and understands that sometimes you really should be careful what you wish for.

While I have always heard good things about Sophie McKenzie’s books, Girl, Missing is the first book of hers I’ve read, and I’m happy to say that it definitely won’t be the last. I couldn’t get enough of this and read it in one sitting.  In Lauren, McKenzie has created a heroine who is both headstrong and brave and also very relatable.  Lauren is selfish at times, she messes up and she often doesn’t treat the people who love her most very well at all.  She’s a conflicted character, but she has a good heart, and I loved watching her grow and following her on her journey throughout the book.

The romance in this book was an unexpected, but very pleasant surprise too.  With young teenage characters – Lauren and Jam are fourteen and fifteen respectively, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of romance here, but the crush that Jam harbours on Lauren and their growing attraction towards one another really rings true, and is, in a word, delicious as well as being very realistic. Jam and Lauren are lifelong friends and total BFF’s – they share everything, but while Lauren acknowledges that girls are becoming increasingly attracted to Jam, she just sees him as a friend. Jam, on the other hand has other ideas.  This guy is adorable and a whole lot of teenage girls are going to totally fall for him when they read this book!

While the plot of this book can veer a little into predictable territory at times, it is nonetheless an exciting page-turner throughout and kept me hooked all the way through. I loved Girl, Missing, and can’t wait to catch up with Lauren, Jam and Co. when its sequel, Sister, Missing is released on September 15th.


  1. I've actually never heard of this, but it sounds good. I like stories that have romance, but it sparks from a strong friendship first and that sounds like what's going on between Jam and Lauren--too cute! Great review, Leanna!

  2. A couple of days ago, I watched a Lifetime movie with the same premise of this book.

    Sadly, I'm not a teenaged girl and I'm kind of falling for Jam already. He just seems like such a great character, along with Lauren.

    Great review. Now I'm interested in checking it out.

  3. Sounds like a very good thought provoking book! Thanks for the review!

  4. @Christina - Jam and Lauren totally reminded me of Jay & Violet from TBF!! I think you would really enjoy this book!

    @Missie - I'm not a teenage girl either, and I also totally fell for Jam. He's adorable!

    @Savy - It's such a fun read - you should totally check it out! :)

  5. I think I read this a long time ago, but I can't remember! I'm gonna need to re-read it, it sounds great! Had no idea there was a sequel - glad you enjoyed it, thanks for the great review!

  6. I heard of this one before, but it looks like this one has a different cover. Or is that not even possible and I'm just confused. Anyway, I like the sound of it and I'm wondering what the secret it. Great review.

  7. @Nina - Yes, you're right! This was re-released recently. This is the old cover:


  8. Great review Leanna! If you read this in one sitting it must be good. I will have to get my hands on a copy :)


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