Tuesday, 18 June 2013

ARC Review: Seventeen & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Seventeen & GoneSeventeen & Gone

Author: Nova Ren Suma
Series: -
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 354
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Puchase: Amazon - TBD
Australian release date: 1st July 2013

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.

Reviews: 3 1/2 out 5 Stars

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Seventeen & Gone by Nova Ren Suma and for that I was pleasantly surprised.

This won't be an in-depth review to avoid spoilers, it's the sort of book you need to unravel piece by piece to get the overall clear picture of what is going on yourself; it makes you think right from the onset and stays with you long after you have finished, of course with better understanding of the story's purpose.

Our protagonist is Seventeen year-old Lauren who begins to have visions of  girls who have gone missing ‘the lost girls’; she is intrigued by their stories and feels the need to unravel more. 

Lauren was a likeable character although a little distant; the story is told through her eyes and while she was believable the emotions I felt this story needed to be conveyed were unfortunately lacking from her, she more or less became obsessed about and consumed by the missing girls and if you add her real-life dramas into the mix it made for quite an intense read.

What surprised me was the unclear feeling this book has, there were no definitive answers initially which left me confused but also intrigued by what was actually happening - the psychological aspect was compelling, I was absorbed by the mystery and left saddened by the believability of the subject matter; it’s a story which makes you think and the overall message is extremely poignant.

Hearing the stories of the missing girls - Shyann, Abby, Fiona, Natalie and a few others was interesting but at times a little too much; it became repetitive unfortunately although their back stories could have been quite interesting if there weren’t so many. Abby was a stand-out character to me because of the overall role she played. This was definitely a character driven novel.

The last portion of the book really held my attention; the surprising twist blew me away and really made the story all the more interesting and I found myself satisfied by the overall conclusion and came to understand Lauren and connected more with her as a character – up until this point, I felt indifferent towards her.

This is the first book I have read by Nova Ren Suma, her writing flows beautifully, it’s a gripping story that leaves you thinking long after you have finished reading which I think is a wonderful sign of amazing storytelling. It is a complex and captivating plot and intricately crafted with great attention to detail and researched extremely well.

Overall, Seventeen & Gone is a great psychological thriller with an intriguing mystery; it’s a book which is dark and gritty and held my attention throughout wanting to know more about Lauren, her visions and the missing girls.

Thank-you kindly to Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for providing me with a copy of Seventeen & Gone to read and review.


Nova Ren SumaAbout the author: Nova grew up in small towns across the Hudson Valley and can currently be found in New York City and online at her blog distraction no. 99.

Nova Ren Suma has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College, and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Corporation of Yaddo, and, twice, from the MacDowell Colony. She has published short stories for adults in literary journals including Gulf Coast, LIT, Small Spiral Notebook, and more, and is the author of the tween novel Dani Noir (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, 2009).

Imaginary Girls (Dutton, 2011) marks her YA debut. She is at work on a new YA novel, slated for future release from Dutton.

Website - Twitter

Australian VS US covers

Seventeen & Gone 17 & Gone


  1. I am a total sucker for psychological thrillers, especially ones that mess with your head or have an unreliable narrator. Plus, I love Nova Ren Suma so much. I loved her Imaginary Girls (which I'd say has a similar feeling to what you described here - vagueness, intensity, a sort of a dark vibe). I think I'm going to have to make time and squeeze this one into my reading schedule, as I definitely need to find out how this story goes!

    Brilliant review, hun!
    Evie @Bookish

    1. I haven't read Imaginary Girls but I'm quite curious about it - this one definitely messed with my head! I had no idea in which direction it would go which was a nice surprise :)

      Thanks Evie <3

    2. Love books that mess with your head! I think it's my favorite kind (these and the ones that totally creep you out!). If you like books like that maybe try The Ruining by Anna Collomore, a thriller based on The Yellow Wallpaper (short story). That one really messes with you! And definitely read Imaginary Girls - the atmosphere in it is amazingly creepy!

  2. I read her first book and it just wasn't for me. She has a very unique writing style but I didn't really like that things weren't always clear. I guess I need more answers. I'm glad you were able to enjoy this even if you did have some issues.

    1. It did take a very long time to get clear answers; her writing style is definitely different which threw me off initially but I quickly got used to it.

  3. I've heard such great things about Suma's writing, and think it would suit me. You've really made me want to read 17 and Gone, Sharon. Great review!

    1. Thanks Andrea :) I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding this one. I hope you get a chance to read it, it is certainly unique.

  4. I like the sound of the mystery of the "lost girls" and like that the twist surprised you, thanks for sharing this one Sharon!

    1. It was a very surprising twist which I liked :) The lost girls are one big mystery that I enjoyed unraveling.

  5. This sounds like a really interesting book, and I really like the Aus cover!

  6. she is doing a reading/signing at my local bookstore tomorrow so i wanted/tried to read one of her books (dani noir?) but couldn't get into it.


  7. So glad you liked this, even if certain parts were disappointing! I really loved Suma's writing—it's so consistently elegant in all of her novels (I've read Imaginary Girls also). I definitely was surprised by the twist toward the end as well—didn't see it coming at all.


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