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ME, THE MISSING, AND THE DEAD by Jenny Valentine

ME, THE MISSING, AND THE DEAD

By Jenny Valentine

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-085068-5
Publisher: HarperTeen

Deciding to hire a cab with the ten pounds his sister left in his jacket after borrowing it, Lucas enters a London cab company office to find himself mystically drawn to Violet, the dead inhabitant of an urn left behind by a fare years earlier. Lucas’s own father had gone missing right about the time his younger brother was born, and his mother has never managed to let go of her anger and loss. Thus, the journey of discovery to find where Violet belongs becomes in part Lucas’s attempt to come to terms with his own circumstances. Readers never learn whether it’s his own loss that draws him to the answers, or whether Violet somehow leads him along through a series of interviews that enlighten both his and Violet’s shadowed pasts. The voice is fresh and humorous, which keeps the melodrama low and the atmosphere light. Everyday quirkiness brings the secondary characters to life as distinct individuals, and fortuitous turns in the plot lead to the answers to Lucas’s critical questions. Charmingly told, this mystery manages to be both frothy and nourishing. (Fiction. YA)