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Never Missing, Never Found


Never Missing, Never Found

I work in an amusement park. It’s fun for the most part, even with the long hours and cranky customers. However, after reading NEVER MISSING NEVER FOUND, I can’t help but look over my shoulder when walking through the employee passageway on my way to and from work. Of course, I know the events of the novel are all fictional, but at times they seemed all too plausible. That element of reality makes for a great fictional mystery. Written by the author of DAMAGE DONE, Amanda Panitch, NEVER MISSING NEVER FOUND is a mystery novel complete with numerous twists and turns combined with a complicated love story and sprinkled with humorous elements to keep the story light.

"NEVER MISSING NEVER FOUND is a great summer read that will have you on the edge of your seat."

NEVER MISSING NEVER FOUND follows the story of Scarlett, a girl who was kidnapped by a strange man as a child and forced to work as a maid for a woman she names “Stepmother." Scarlett won’t dare try to escape because, first of all, Stepmother says her family doesn’t want her anymore, and second of all, she’ll be killed if she does. Eventually Stepmother brings Scarlett a “sister” named Pixie, who is always intent on escaping. Long story short, Scarlett always tells Stepmother of Pixie’s plots to escape and Pixie always gets punished. Eventually, though, they both escape, but Stepmother tells Scarlett that she killed Pixie.

For this reason, when Scarlett begins work at the nearby amusement park, Five Banners, she is concerned when her coworker, Katharina, seems to know too much about her past. She acts strange around Scarlett, and even uses phrases that Pixie used to use. Scarlett thinks it’s just her imagination going wild. After all, after her return home, her life has been remarkably normal: she had a loving family, a new job, and even a romantic interest in her supervisor. She isn’t about to sacrifice all of that now -- no matter what.

Mystery novels are usually my favorites, and NEVER MISSING NEVER FOUND didn’t disappoint. I thought I had predicted the ending from the very beginning, but it was completely different than what I thought. If anything, it was a bit confusing at times, but life sometimes is! It’s definitely one of those books that I want to reread to piece everything together after knowing the ending, because there are probably a lot of small details that I didn’t pick up on the first time. I liked how Panitch switches from the perspective of the girls in Stepmother’s house and back to the present day, but neither part is too long; there is just enough information to get the point across. I also like that I was able to end the book without hating any of the characters. They all had interior motives that explained and justified their actions.

I would recommend this book to mystery lovers like myself, of course, but also fans of teen romance and comedy, as there are elements of all in NEVER MISSING NEVER FOUND. I would also recommend it to people who read and liked THE CELLAR by Natasha Preston, because there are many similarities between the two. Or, on the off chance that anyone reading this works at a Six Flags amusement park like I do, I would definitely recommend this book because, as you can probably guess, “Five Banners” is extremely similar to Six Flags! Overall, NEVER MISSING NEVER FOUND is a great summer read that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Reviewed by Leanna R., Teen Board Member on July 7, 2016

Never Missing, Never Found
by Amanda Panitch