Meg Cabot is a genius writer whose characters always have a distinctive voice, and who feel like they could be your best friend - from Mia Thermopolis to Heather Wells.
The Missing series, geared at the slightly older end of the teen market, is no different. I picked up the first couple of books in the series years and years ago, and saw Missing You, the final book, in the library a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't resist finding out how it all ended, and despite having not read the series for years, I slipped right back into the world Cabot created within the first few pages.
Jessica Mastriani was hit by lightning while walking home, and suddenly she started having dreams about where missing people could be found. After the government got involved, Jess was sent to Afghanistan to help fight the war on terror. Now she's back in America, her powers gone, trying to live a normal life.
Until ex-boyfriend Rob Wilkins shows up and asks Jess to find his missing younger sister.
Missing You is a combination of teen love story, crime novel and a story about healing. Cabot uses the tool of Jess finding Rob's sister to show us a variety of things - Jess's discontent with her life as it is, how Jess's older brother is doing, her mum's attitude towards her life, and of course the impact her powers have had on her and those around her.
I love Jess as a character - she's brave, independent and clever, and pushed to help others even though she's been hurt in the process before.
The crime plot, for want of better phrasing, dealt with some very, very dark issues. Cabot doesn't go into much detail, and handles the storyline delicately, while also keeping the tone of the novel consistent throughout. Some may think that's not appropriate for the subject matter at hand, but I felt the voices she conveyed seemed authentically teenager-y (not a word, I know).
Overall, Missing You is a great ending to the Missing series, and fans of Cabot will love it. Those who don't know her writing would do well to start with this series.
How I got this book: From the public library.