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Friday, June 1, 2018

Review: I'm Not Missing by Carrie Fountain



Title: I'm Not Missing: A Novel
Author: Carrie Fountain
Format: Paperback ARC
Pub. Date: July 10th 2018
Source: Goodreads First Reads


Book Description:



When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.

When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.






Review:


★★★★★

I was absolutely blown away by this book. I was shocked to learn that this is Carrie Fountain's first novel. It's beautiful, haunting, and just straight up well written.

However, I definitely wasn't surprised to learn that her first two publications are books of poetry. It's clear that Fountain has a way with words. The way that the writing flows is beautiful. It's a bit slow paced, but I liked that. This book is set in the desert area of the US, so for me the tempo of the writing matched the slow, low heat of the setting that the author drew me into.

I like that all of the characters were multi-faceted and had depth to them. You learn who Miranda is both at the side of her best friend Syd, and rediscover her along the way when Syd is no longer there. You learn who Nick is both through the eyes of Syd, who hates his guts, and through Miranda, who yearns for him even after he makes some questionable decisions. Even her father, who isn't really a main character, you learn to see the fatherly, put together side that Miranda sees and the scientific genius version that the rest of the world sees.

I like that Miranda was a little weird, and that she's relatable. She's flawed, like all of us. She respects prayer because of her family roots, but she isn't into the praying thing herself. So when she needs to sleep, she recites a historical speech to herself aloud instead. She breaks a romantic tension moment by laughing. She struggles with friendship and loss in a way that I think is just so human.

And then there's the case of the missing friend. Well, "not missing" friend. I actually wasn't sure where this plot arch was going, in a sort of a "who done it" type mystery style. I won't give spoilers, but I will say that I did not see the book taking the twists that it did, and it took me by surprise. But in a good way.

My only real criticism of this book has to do with the ending. I felt like there was still a few loose ends left frayed by the time the book was over. I'm a little disappointed that Miranda's mother wasn't a bigger part of the plot line. I would have really liked to have followed that path to learn more about what happened and why.

This book is gritty and emotional, but also full of twists and even quite a few laughs. Reading the slow paced, flowing language made it very relaxing and soothing to read, despite all of the drama and issues that are presented in the book. Be warned, there's some hard to swallow for some topics, like sex, abuse, and abandonment.

I hope this isn't the last novel by Carrie Fountain, and I recommend this to anyone who likes realistic fiction with a darker, problematic side to it.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you.

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