Missing Ellen – Book Review

Author: Natasha Mac a’Bhaird
Publisher: O’Brien Press

Publication Date: October 2013
ISBN: 9781847173539
Age Group: YA


Ellen and Maggie have been best friends for as long as they can remember – sharing clothes, passions and secrets. When Ellen goes missing, Maggie feels completely alone. Looking back over the upheaval that led to Ellen’s disappearance, Maggie tries to make sense of her friend’s actions. At school and at home, she feels no one understands what she is going through – except maybe Liam, the boy next door who has always had feelings for Ellen.
How will Maggie cope without her best friend? And where on earth is Ellen?

My Review

This is a sharp and poignant book about friendship, growing up and loss. This book will take you by surprise with the story structure. The back-story is in letter format, which is written in the present tense with lots of ‘do you remember that time…’ Which works and adds layers to the story. 

These letters are intertwined with the main story, which is told in the past tense. So you take one step forward – finding out what happened in the past, and one step back – finding out how the main character is feeling now and her memories of her friendship with Ellen.

Its an unusual structure but it works. having the main part told in past tense  adds a heavy and nostalgic tone. Despite the complicated and tragic plot it’s an enjoyable book. And beautifully and sweetly told.

And it’s a 
début ! An excellent debut leaving readers waiting for more.

Many thanks to O’Brien Press for the review copy.

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