In the process of searching for important people who have disappeared from her life, Miranda finds herself.
Ever since her Latina mother left to join a religious cult, biracial Miranda has been raised by her caring white dad who works for NASA in New Mexico. Coincidentally, her best friend, Sydney, had an alcoholic mother who also abandoned the family. Even though Syd hasn’t had it as easy as Mir, she’s always been supportive of her, especially after the “Nick Allison Event,” when Mir’s date bailed on prom night. But then Syd vanishes too, leaving only a note: “I’m gone. I’m not missing.” As Mir starts to piece together clues about Syd in this debut novel, the light thriller turns to romance à la John Green, with impeccable realism and spot-on dialogue. Mir also learns the truth about her longtime crush, Nick, and what really happened on prom night. Mir’s an endearing teen who chants the Gettysburg Address in place of religious mantras in times of stress, feels safe asking her dad tough questions about first love, and takes control of her body (and pleasure) when it comes to sex. While Mir and Nick’s relationship builds, the author never lets the mystery falter as she keeps readers guessing about Syd’s secrets and whereabouts. The ending is really a beginning as Mir finds both support and inner resilience.
A beautiful new voice to watch. (Fiction. 14-18)