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 adoped, 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?
With Found, Margaret Peterson Haddix begins a new series that promises to be every bit as suspenseful as her Shadow Children series -- which has sold more than 41/2 million copies -- and proves her, once again, to be a master of the page-turner.
First Look: ***** Shady adoptions? Brother-sister adventures? TIME TRAVEL? Um, yeah, why I wouldn't I pick this up?
Setting: ***** The setting, an average suburban neighborhood, wasn't really a big part of the story. I assume setting will become a huge part in the next books, though...
Characters: ***** The teenage years, for some odd reason, are so incredibly difficult for adults to portray correctly in their writing. I see it all the time: the teenager is sarcastic, snippy, impatient, with no respect for adults. Yeah, some teens are like that, but not all of them. A big old fat high-five to Haddix for actually making realistic seventh graders! They were so refreshing to read about. Jonah seemed very, very real to me. And trust me, I know how seventh grade boys act. I mean, I live with one, people. Katherine was right alongside Jonah the entire time, and I loved the way the siblings interacted. So real!
Plot: ***** Yay for top-secret FBI investigations involving shady adoptions! And airplanes. While the time travel didn't come in until the very end, it was awesome. And the parts leading up to it were awesome, too. It was suspenseful, and exciting. I have a feeling the next book will be beyond exciting, since this one was already super-fast. I really enjoyed it.
Uniqueness: ***** This book tackles a time travel story, and a coming-of-age story, without majorly copying anyone.
Writing: ***** Haddix did a great job with a teenage boy voice. It felt really connected to the story, which is good. Lately I feel like I've been reading so many books with narratives that just weren't connected to the story. The action sequence at the end was maybe a bit rushed, and I got confused at one point, but overall the writing worked very well for me.
Likes: I really, really want to know who Jonah is now. The missing-children-of-history thing is an amazing concept, the kind that makes me bang my head into a wall and wonder why I didn't think of it first.
Not-so-great: I hate doing short reviews, but this is late and I just can't bring myself to say a whole lot, for whatever reason. So sorry about the lateness and the short review, people. :)
Total Score: I really got into this book! It had a compelling plot, realistic characters, and some killer suspense. And plus, it had time travel, which really takes the awesomeness up a notch. Most YA readers are much older than the characters of this book, but that doesn't mean they can't relate and still immerse themselves in the plot. There isn't a predictable moment in it. Now I really need to get my hands on the next one!
Reviews of other The Missing novels: