Thursday, November 19, 2015

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

 Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
2008, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: Book 1 of The Missing

Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he's never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who's also adopted, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, "You are one of the missing." The second one says, "Beware! They're coming back to get you."

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah's sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere - and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip's lives.

Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying?

The Good: Found sort of blew me away, with its amazing premise and promise of even more in the rest of the series. The way things all came together was pure magic. It's not very often when I find myself absolutely shocked - mouth hanging open and eyes wide - at a reveal. This is one of those books that as soon as you finish it you want to go back and reread the buildup again to fully appreciate everything that brought you to this point.

The Bad: Almost the entirety of the book was buildup to the big reveal. While worth it in the end, it would have been very easy to give up on the book a long the way. The events leading up to the end were fantastical and it got to the point where I firmly believed there was no way they could add up to anything coherent in the end. Of course, I was proven wrong, but it's a minor miracle I read long enough to learn that for myself and I fear most readers won't make it until the payoff.

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