Missing Ellen by Natasha Mac a' Bhaird


                                                                 Amazon | Goodreads

A review copy was provided by O'Brien Press in return for an honest review.

"You will be back by then Ellen, wont you? I'm keeping this notebook safe for you because I want to believe you'll read it someday, and you'll know I never stopped hoping you'd come home"

I don't usually read YA novels. I weep sometimes when I walk past the section in the book shop. All paranormal activity and little substance. I am however, glad I read this little gem.

Missing Ellen is told through her best friend Maggie in the form of flashbacks and Diary entries. Her diary is her her own personal psychologist. A place to exorcise her thoughts, to get all her demons down on paper in an attempt to come to terms with missing Ellen.

As the Tag line suggests, Ellen was starting to disappear long beforehand. Ellen lives a troubled life at home. Her parents are divorced and her mother is falling to pieces. Ellen finds solace in her social life. Natasha does a fantastic job representing what we all go through as teenagers. We long to be treated as "grown ups" whether we think we are ready for what that entails or not. 

Ellen falls in with what could be described as the wrong crowd. She begins skipping school to spend time with her new (older) boyfriend and becomes dependent on alcohol in order to cope with her world collapsing around her. 

I have thought of many possibilities for an ending but I was wrong on each. It's bitterly sad but I would recommend this novel to any young girl. They could certainly connect with the characters. Adults will also enjoy (or cringe) at the memories this story will resurrect.


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