Miss Me Not by Tiffany King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An emotional and engaging story:
A wonderfully contrasted story of pessimist and reluctant-optimist mentality – as the reader sees Madison, the central character, go through a confusion of attitude and acceptance.
Madison has a heavy guilt problem going back four years – one which completely reshapes her personality. In the early part of the story we see a very angry young girl, bitter and virulent toward everyone other than her friend James. With him, she has a strictly delineated relationship; since James has his own demons to deal with the two of them find a working relationship, bound by a mutual desire to end it all and leave their respective troubles behind. But pipped-at-the-post by a fellow school acquaintance, their suicide pact is rendered useless, and the anger Madison feels toward the tragic young man who ‘stole her thunder’ is evidently and accurately portrayed in the narrative.
This is a girl who, frankly, would have terrified me had I known her in high school: sarcastic, self-piteous, angry, distant, - all of which make you wonder about the past that has led her to be this way. It is therefore all the more warming to see that – little by little – the attention of the good-looking and warm-natured Dean begins to soften Madison’s harsh edges somewhat. Yet she resents herself for this, as though she feels she doesn’t deserve anyone’s kindness. So the question is prompted, can Dean do enough to make a difference?
Unfortunately, this shaky relationship leads to a gradual fracture in her friendship with James; a friendship that will lead to a terrible outcome. And as to Dean, he clearly carries his own guilt and feelings of failure – all vividly portrayed in the sequence of events.
Miss Me Not is a powerful character-driven story about despair and enlightenment. The story moves at a lively pace – with each chapter cleverly ending with a teaser which leads you on to want more information. There is also a pulling storyline which references past pains with all of the principal characters – making you eager to know more about each of them. The subtext on the matter of forced-religion is particularly astute… sadly too often a feature of children's lives. Tiffany King does well to illustrate this social problem so vividly.
And finally, the ending – all neatly tied up in the Epilogue, which I found to be an adroit summation to the events… in fact, the book finishes with a “no muss no fuss” attitude, and I thought this was perfectly executed.
All in all, a good read, an informative and well-paced backdrop, and a cleverly constructed plot.
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