Never Missing, Never Found

Zoe N. | July 15, 2016 | Review

Never Missing, Never Found

Never Missing, Never Found

by Amanda Panitch

Genre: YA Mystery
Published: June 28th 2016
by Random House

four-stars

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Summary:

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?

Review:

Sometimes it may look like someone is doing something bad, or evil, but when you look more closely at the situation, you realize that whatever’s happening may not be so bad or evil after all. It may be warranted. Maybe even good.

I’ve said before that Amanda Panitch one of my favorite YA mystery authors (second only to Abigail Haas), and Never Missing, Never Found solidifies that position – and then some. It’s a shame her books are so relatively unknown because they are absolutely fantastic.

Scarlett was kidnapped when she was eight, but she managed to escape and return home. Now 17, Scarlett wants to have a chance at normalcy, so she applies for a job at an amusement park. But when an amusement park employees goes missing, memories begin flooding back and Scarlett realizes the past isn’t done with her.

Scarlett is a well-written and complex protagonist. As the story goes on it becomes clear that Scarlett knows more than she’s letting on and you’re forced to judge how much of her narrative to believe. If there’s one thing I love about Amanda Panitch’s books it’s her complex and well-developed unreliable narrators, and Scarlett is no different.

My one minor complaint is that I just wish there was a little more depth to the secondary characters. They were well-developed, but I feel like they could have just been a bit more complex.

I’ll admit that I didn’t quite like this as much as I loved Panitch’s debut Damage Done, but this is still an amazing thriller with a great, unpredictable twist. I am so excited to read whatever Amanda Panitch writes next.

four-stars

40 comments

  1. I’ve recently read a book with similar plot lines which is the reason why I picked up a copy of this book. It sucks, though, that the author failed to beef up secondary characters. I wouldn’t mind it if they had nothing to contribute to Scarlett’s story, but sometimes, it’s the people around the major character that makes them wholesome.

    1. I agree Joy. I feel like a lot of books have underdeveloped secondary characters because the author puts all their effort into developing the main character, so it’s a shame that happened here.

  2. WELL I NEED THIS ONE. I basically just follow your reading progress around like an excited puppy and then read all the books you like. I totally dashed out and got Damage Done like 2 days after you reviewed it. (NOT STALKERY AT ALL, CAIT.) Ahem. Anyway. Neeeeeeed. I still love Abigail Haas the most best of ever, but it’s SO GOOD to have another YA thriller author who comes close! AHHH!!

    1. HAHAHA I do the same thing lol. And I agree! If there’s any author that comes even close to Abigail it’s Amanda. Can’t wait to see what you think of this!

  3. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I’m not one to usually look for thrillers and such, but this mystery seems really interesting! It sucks that the secondary characters weren’t as focused on though – I love it when we get to connect to those characters. 🙂

    1. Even if it’s not your favorite genre, I’d still definitely tell you to give this a try for when you feel in the mood for a mystery. 🙂

  4. This sounds really interesting and I haven’t read an unreliable narrator in a loooong time. I may need to add it to my TBR. I really enjoy thrillers but I often find myself unsatisfied with the thrilling part of them. Great review!!

    1. Definitely give this one a try Emily, especially if you’re a huge fan of thrillers and unreliable narrators. 🙂 Thank you! <3

  5. True story time! I read your review for Damage Done and traded for the book because I knew I had to have it… and still haven’t read it! I fail so hard. And now I want this one toooo. I love reading an unreliable narrator when it is done well! I haven’t read a GOOD one in so long, either! Great review, so glad that this one was almost as good as DD 😀

  6. Have I told you I LOVED your taste in books in the past five minutes, Zoe? Because, seriously, I LOVE YOUR TASTE IN BOOKS! You ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS turn me onto books that never even cross my radar, but which sound like they were made for me. (Uhm. Not that I’m that big of a narcissist or anything. I hope. Yikes.)

    I LOVED Dangerous Girls, I LOVE YA Mystery/Thrillers, I’m majoring in forensic psychology, and I LOVE these sorts of plots (though I wish they confined themselves to fiction alone rather than to bleed into real life, as well; one can only dream).

    I honestly can’t even tell you how much I LOVE this review! (Oh, and, I went straight to buy the book, bought it, and THEN sat down to write this comment. Yeah. That happened. Guess I know what I’m reading next.)

    1. I am so glad to hear that Lexie! 🙂 I love your blog for the exact same reason too! xD

      And that’s so cool that you’re majoring in forensic psychology! That sounds like such an interesting field to go into. And I guess that makes you an expert when it comes to thrillers and mysteries, eh? 😉

      Thank you so much! <3 And I can't wait to see what you think of it!

  7. Ooh, I liked Damage Done and didn’t know she had a new book out. I’m a big fan of unreliable narrators too Zoe, they keep you on your toes when it comes to mystery and suspense reads. If you enjoyed it, I know I’ll love this one too Zoe. When it comes to suspense you’ve never steered me wrong yet. Awesome review and so excited to grab a copy! <3

    1. If you liked Damage Done, this one definitely won’t disappoint Kelly. 🙂 Let me know what you think of it if you decide to give it a try, okay? <3

    1. So glad to hear it sounds interesting Amy! Definitely let me know what you think if you end up giving it a try. 🙂

    1. I agree Liselle! Unreliable narrators are great and they really keep you guessing. 🙂 Thank YOU for the lovely comment! <3

  8. Oh god, you had me when you compared her to Abigail Haas (that woman is pure genius, I tell you. Genius!) Honestly I love mystery thrillers so much and I’m really disappointed in myself that I haven’t read many of them. Like really, Claudia? You’re off your game, big time.

    I’m super hyped up now! I’ve been looking for something that can satisfy the craze I went through when reading Dangerous Girls. Fingers crossed this is it!

    1. Obviously no other author can come close to Abigail Haas’ genius, but Amanda Panitch comes really, really close – closer than any other author I can think of. Definitely give her books a try!

    1. So glad this one sounds interesting Tracy! If you’re ever in the mood for a good thriller, definitely consider giving this one a try. 🙂

  9. I’m SO excited to read this one!! I’m very happy to see how much you enjoyed it. I feel like one of my most common complaints is that the secondary characters aren’t gone into deep enough. I always want MORE! Fantastic review, Zoe!! ♥

    1. I agree Lisa! Most authors spend so much time developing their main character that they forget to develop the secondary characters. Thank you! <3

    1. You are so welcome! If you like stories with unreliable narrators, definitely consider giving this a try. 🙂

  10. This author is second to Abigail Haas? I HAVE to read their books now!

    Unreliable narrators are super interesting to read about in general, but I think that they have even more impact when it comes to mystery/thriller books, because then it’s all a question about who to trust, and what actually has happened. It’s awesome that this author writes unreliable narrators really well!

    It’s a shame about the secondary characters, though. I think well developed secondary characters are super important.

    I hope you keep loving this author’s books, and lovely review! <3

    1. Thank you so much Chiara! It was absolutely incredible. I hope you end up liking it as much as I did if you end up giving it a try. 🙂

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