Search This Blog

Love reading challenges? Check out my other blog:

2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

30 / 30 books. 100% done!

20 Books of Summer 2023

My Progress:

17 / 20 books. 85% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (2)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (2)
- Arkansas (1)
- California (16)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (3)
- Delaware (1)
- Florida (2)
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (1)
- Illinois (1)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (4)
- Maryland (3)
- Massachusetts (4)
- Michigan (4)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri (1)
- Montana (2)
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (15)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota (1)
- Ohio (3)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (1)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota (1)
- Tennessee (2)
- Texas (4)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (4)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (6)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (2)
- (1)
- Washington, D.C.* (1)


- Australia (3)
- Barbados (1)
- Canada (9)
- Chile (1)
- England (25)
- France (2)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Nigeria (1)
- Norway (1)
- Scotland (3)
- South Korea (1)
- Sweden (1)
- The Netherlands (2)
- Ukraine (1)
-Vietnam (1)

My Progress:

51 / 51 states. 100% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 25 books. 100% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

50 / 50 books. 100% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

52 / 52 books. 100% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

52 / 52 books. 100% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 40 books. 100% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 25 books. 64% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

109 / 109 books. 100% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Quirky Debut Unique, Funny and Utterly Authentic

(Image from Indiebound)

When 15-year-old Lucas Swain meets 75-year old Violet Park, he feels an instant spark. Even though he has nothing in common with the elderly lady, it's like destiny has brought them together. He also gets the feeling that Violet's trying to tell him something, that she can't rest until she communicates it to him. The only problem? Violet Park died 18 months ago. The vibes Lucas feels are coming from her urn, which is gathering dust on the shelf of a minicab office in London.

Lucas has always been odd - he mumbles to himself and dresses in his father's old suits - but he's not crazy. He doesn't just go around talking to dead people and corpses don't usually start up conversations with him. Still, he can't deny the bond he feels with Violet. It's so powerful that he steals her urn, probes Violet's past, even visits the home where she used to live. When his obsession with the dead woman leads Lucas to a real, live connection between her and his missing father, he begins to think his crazy quest might not be so insane after all. He's been after the truth behind his father's disappearance for 6 years - now, it looks like Violet's going to help him find it. The only question is: Does he want to know the truth? And can he trust the voice of a dead woman to lead him to it?

Me, the Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine is a quirky book that's hard to define. It's not quite paranormal, but it's not entirely realistic either. I guess it's just its own thing. Unique and funny, the story is about grief, truth, and navigating one's own way through life's little messes. As unconventional as the novel is, I found it entirely appealing. The only thing that bugged me was Lucas' constant, casual references to using marijuana. It irritated me not only because I'm against illegal drug use, but also because the weed mentions seemed to be thrown in as an afterthought to make Lucas seem more relatable to teens. Ridiculous. Lucas Swain's voice is one of the most authentic I've encountered in recent YA literature. Other than that minor annoyance, I adored this funny little book about a boy, a ghost and a wacky, but poignant search for the truth.

(Readalikes: I really can't think of one. Can you?)

Grade: B+

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for language (no F-bombs), sexual innuendo and references to illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Me, the Missing, and the Dead from the generous folks at Harper Teen. Thank you!


  1. Sounds pretty good, minus the drug references. Even though I like "clean reads" I don't mind reading about drug use if it's in context, if it makes sense, and adds something to the plot. Same with sexual situations and swearing. But if they're just THERE? Well, that's pretty lame. Great, thoughtful review!

  2. Susan

    Thanks for dropping by my humble blog

    Love your blog.

    Gosh I havent have time to hop around much. Suddenly a lot of things crops up.

    Will be following your blog

    Have a nice weekend :D

  3. Sounds really good, but I would also have a problem with the drug mentions. But, thanks for the great review! Happy reading!



Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center


Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive