Girl, Missing – book review

Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie

Girl, Missing is the intriguing first book in its series, written by Sophie McKenzie.

Lauren has always known she was adopted; however when she gets a school assignment that asks who she is, she realises she doesn’t really know anything about her past. When Lauren does a little research, she begins to think there’s a possibility that she was stolen from an American family as a baby. Suddenly, Lauren’s whole life feels like a lie. Desperate to know the truth, she embarks on a journey to seek out her biological parents. But even more alarming than the fact that she could have been snatched is that her adoptive parents might be responsible for kidnapping her.

I expected to like this book more than I did. In saying that, I didn’t not enjoy it, I just didn’t love it. I had really high expectations going into this book and sadly, I don’t think those expectations were met. I probably shouldn’t have had ridiculously high expectations to begin with, but that’s the problem with checking out some Goodreads reviews before I dived into it. I should know by now to go into a book knowing nothing at all. For the most part, that’s what I do. If you’re considering reading this book, I recommend going into it knowing practically nothing.

The beginning was interesting, and it made me really curious as to what was going to happen. Overall, the plot was pretty good, but I felt that the characters and the way they interacted with each other let it down for the most part. Firstly, these characters are 14. They can be unbelievably dumb for their age at times. I just wanted to hit some sense into them for some of the things they did. I wasn’t that gullible and naïve at 14. And I didn’t like the fact that I felt like Lauren needed Jam to help her do everything. I felt like she was played the ‘damsel in distress’ role a bit too much. Jam always seemed to be saving Lauren. He always seemed like he was the one with some sense.
I didn’t really have a connection with any of the characters. I liked watching the relationship grow between Lauren and Jam, but I didn’t feel as though I would be distraught if something happened to either of them. Lauren really annoyed me at times and I was tempted to scream at her. In public. That’s how mad I got sometimes. I usually liked Jam because he saw both sides of the situation and was fairly level-headed. I know I shouldn’t hold anything against Jam because Lauren was acting like a selfish girl that needed saving occasionally and Jam was the one to do that. With Lauren’s irrational thinking and Jam’s level-headedness, I can understand how they make a good team. They’re just not my favourite characters ever.
There were some really thrilling parts in this book and I loved the story line, but it also seemed a little far-fetched. All the things Lauren and Jam did wouldn’t have really been possible in real life. Normally, I’m all for that in books. But because everything else about this book was made to feel real, these aspects let it down a little. But at the same time, I was really interested in finding out what was going to happen next. This book kept me guessing what was going to happen, and that’s my favourite part about it.
Overall, I would recommend this book for its intriguing story line and not because I loved the characters or thought the plot was terribly realistic. It’s a quick and interesting book to read, but I don’t think I’ll be reading the second book in the series. I like Sophie McKenzie’s other series, Split Second, a lot more. I’d give Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie a score of 7 out of 10. This is probably a book I’d recommend for younger teens.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

Split Second – book review

Split Second by Sophie McKenzie

Split Second is the first thrilling book in its series, written by Sophie McKenzie.

After the devastating consequences of a terrorist attack on a London market, Charlotte (Charlie) and Nat are drawn together. The pair seems to have a lot in common. However, the closer Charlie gets to Nat and his family, the more she begins to wonder if he knows more about the attack then he lets on. As their courage and loyalties will be tested to the limit, Charlie and Nat must work together to find out the truth.

This book has a fantastic storyline. I was grabbed from the very beginning; it was explosive. Literally and metaphorically. The fast-pace of this book made me unable to put it down. I completely loved everything that went on in the story and the pacing was perfect. There wasn’t one part of the entire book that was boring or hard to get through. I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time and didn’t want to stop reading for anything! I enjoyed reading from the two different points of views: Charlie’s and Nat’s. Their voices were so distinctive and I felt the two different points of view worked perfectly for the story.
I had mixed feelings about the characters at first. I didn’t know whether I liked them and Charlie annoyed me in the beginning. She was misunderstood by her family and, like them, I found it a little hard to understand her too. But as the book progressed, I started to empathise with her and seem to connect with her. I loved her attitude towards things and her desperate need for revenge.
I really loved Nat as a character. He was complicated, but that’s what I liked most about him. His flaws made him all the more believable. He was a very interesting person to get to know and I loved watching the relationship between him and Charlie develop. They had to learn to trust each other and I loved watching them work together. Both Charlie and Nat wanted the same thing, but their vivid personalities meant that I always knew whose point of view I was reading from. I didn’t fall in love with the characters and I didn’t swoon over Nat, but towards the end of the book I realised that I would be upset if something terrible happened to either of them.
I know some other people who have read this book and they thought that the ending was too predictable. As I’ve said before, I’m a very gullible reader and will believe almost anything that the point of view character tells me. I wasn’t expecting the ending and it suddenly made everything come together perfectly. I loved all of the twists in the story and I also loved how nothing was really as it seemed. This book was utterly thrilling and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book! I’d give Split Second by Sophie McKenzie a score of 8.5 out of 10. I’m looking forward to reading the next book soon!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!