Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch // Her Books Seem to Get Me Time After Time

Sunday, 17 July 2016
Never Missing, Never Found, by Amanda Panitch
Publication: June 28, 2016, by Random House BFYR
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.
Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she's starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.
Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it's too late?

My Thoughts:

As mentioned in every review I write for thrillers, I ADORE THEM. I love the madness that authors express when they are writing from the perspective of a character who gets really creeped out. Having read Amanda Panitch's work before, specifically Damage Done, which was pretty great in my opinion, I expected greatness coming from this one, too. Never Missing, Never Found is the COOLEST OUT OF THE COOL. A psychological thriller being taken place in an amusement park that's based around these fictional superheroes that the world has never heard of in their whole lives? Hell yeah. Panitch exemplifies a protagonist who was kidnapped when she was eight, and then was released when she was fifteen, and how a new experience in her life, very similar to hers, affects her when she has moved on in her life, and is not in the same setting where she was held captive.

MY FAVOURITE PART OF THIS BOOK? The fact that this is not necessarily about Scarlett's kidnapping. This is the aftermath, years later. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's like three years after she was released. Can you recall the number of times where we readers have read books about people who are currently being held captive? Like listen: I have no issues with that. There are a handful of authors who master that plot perfectly, but it's done so often that we kind of already know what to expect. Amanda Panitch wrote such a different, pleasing story that uses characters' prior life events to showcase a new event in a different setting. This was gorgeous.

Never Missing, Never Found features a protagonist named Scarlett who is beginning her summer job at an amusement park by her house, years after she ran away from her captor. Things seem normal at first, and she makes new friends who each have their own flaws that kind of set her off. Of course, that could simply be absolute paranoia; we cannot blame her. She immediately has a crush on one of the most upbeat guys she has ever met, named Connor. One of the girls who was also interviewed to work at the park the same time that Scarlett was interviewed goes missing, and Scarlett immediately begins to get flashbacks of her past and all of it.

"Worry means that he cares, but I can't have him worrying too much, especially after the heart-to-heart we shared. Worrying means that he'll want to get close. Worrying means that he'll want to know what's going on. He'll want to know my secrets, and nobody can get that close." (169) 

I liked just about everything about this book. Amanda Panitch's writing is so addicting and I honestly finished this in two sittings, which is rare for me these days. From the electrifying, captivating cover to the actual words, I turned out to be completely satisfied with the outcome and how real this story turned out to be. This is not your typical mystery where the protagonist puts their detective cap on and tries to investigate. Instead, we have something that could completely occur in reality, and what's better than having a summer-related plot?  

Never Missing, Never Found is a ray of sunshine. Okay, it contains dark themes and scary moments where you feel like you want to stay home for the rest of your life, but it was just so good. With its complex themes and Scarlett's brilliant, independent personality, this is just fabulous.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*

What are some psychological thrillers that are written differently than most?


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