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I'm Not Missing


I'm Not Missing

In Carrie Fountain’s I’M NOT MISSING, Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her and her father to join a religious cult, leaving Miranda to find comfort in her relationship with her best friend Syd. The two girls grew up together, both without their biological mothers present, and helped one other navigate the bumps and bruises of childhood.

Suddenly, Syd disappears without an explanation and leaves Miranda abandoned for the second time in her life. Without any assistance from Syd’s dysfunctional family, Miranda is left to try to decode the various pieces of the puzzle that led to Syd’s abrupt and mysterious disappearance. Along the journey, she discovers an ominous text on Syd’s phone from a contact labeled HIM. Through the process of determining the identity of HIM, and why Sid would suddenly leave, Miranda finds herself evaluating relationships with her family, her religion, love and her decisions regarding her future.

"I found Miranda’s character to be one of the most realistic YA characters written in the past years….Fountain’s ability to describe the setting of the novel is equally sound."

Similar to PAPER TOWNS by John Green, this novel keeps the reader continually engaged and intrigued to the very last page. Fountain begins the book a few nights prior to Syd’s disappearance but incorporates numerous flashbacks into each chapter so the reader can truly grasp the profound relationship between the two girls. By the culmination of the novel, I truly understood the depth of their friendship, the value it held for each girl and the acute emptiness Miranda is experiencing without Syd.

I found Miranda’s character to be one of the most realistic YA characters written in the past years. From simple dialogue with her classmates to internal thoughts regarding navigating high school to her relationship with her father, Fountain is able to create an instantly relatable character. On the other hand, Syd’s character is the antithesis of Miranda and less realistic due to her carefree actions and impetuous decisions. Yet the dynamic between the two is compelling and provides entertaining and thought provoking interactions.

In addition, the empathetic and supportive relationship Miranda and her father share proves to be one of the most memorable parent and child dynamics, with flashbacks to the aftermath of Miranda’s mother’s departure conveying the unique bond between father and daughter. Yet even through the events that Miranda experiences during the course of the novel, she and her father are able to continue to evolve and grow, understanding and respecting one another’s decisions as Miranda navigates her life. Not only was the character development noteworthy, but Fountain’s ability to describe the setting of the novel is equally sound. Taking place in New Mexico, Fountain is able to incorporate elements of the Mexican culture, providing a rich and vibrant setting for the backdrop of the novel.

I'M NOT MISSING is Fountain’s first foray into fiction, having previously only written poetry. I highly recommend her initial effort to any young adult reader, it would particularly resonate with anyone currently in high school who could readily identify with the issues tackled by Miranda and Syd.

Reviewed by Ryan H., Teen Board Member on August 1, 2018

I'm Not Missing
by Carrie Fountain