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Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Printz Award-winning author Meg Rosoff's latest novel is a gorgeous and unforgettable page-turner about the relationship between parents and children, love and loss.

Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room—sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She collects information about Matthew from his belongings, from his wife and baby, from the dog he left behind and from the ghosts of his past—slowly piecing together the story everyone else has missed. But just when she’s closest to solving the mystery, a shocking betrayal calls into question her trust in the one person she thought she could read best. 

Goodreads Summary

I like Mila’s statement that she would choose to “lead a transparent life...without anything shameful and no dark shadows”.  Her thought is appropriate because of the mystery that she travels to the U.S. to solve - as part of a visit to see one of her father’s oldest and best friends.  The adults in this young girl’s life have Secrets!  Catlin, her friend in London, has secrets too because of her parents’ crumbling marriage.  The story alternates between Mila and her dad in New York, Mila and Catlin’s texting between NY and London; and Mila’s flashbacks to her friendship over the years with Catlin.  The flipping between the Catlin storyline and the mystery of Matthew sometimes seems disjointed; but, the underlying problems are the same.  Catlin’s parents’ crumbling marriage alters Catlin’s behavior and viewpoint.  Matthew’s marriage is falling apart; and, he has caused damage in his past to others through his confident, risk-taking personality.  Now, he is the one who needs help.
I usually love the secondary characters in novels because they often provide warmth and humor.  Not in this book!  Even Honey, the friendly dog that Mila loves on her trip becomes fiercely exclusive with her affections as soon as she’s reunited with Matthew.  Honey loves Matthew “unwaveringly, with perfect faith”.  Suzanne (“brittle as glass”) and Joy (the person who makes you flinch because she’s so direct and outspoken) are two strong women.  Originally cast as a possible villain, angry Suzanne turns out to be the person who seems to be lying, but is actually keeping someone else’s secrets. 
Mila senses connections and emotions; she sniffs out the truth and creates a picture for herself.  Reading Mila’s logical assessments of rooms and situations made me realize that I was lacking in observational skills and intuition.  There are many subtle, unexpected, quirky things about the author’s writing style and about the characters in this book.  I wanted to pick up the story and re-read certain passages. 

Four Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Berenice said...:

    Picture Me Gone sounds interesting. I love the idea of being able to read a room from all the unspoken things. I've only read one book by Meg and that was How I Live Now, which I really liked. I'll have to check this one out. Fantastic review, thank you! =)

  1. Tracy said...:

    I loved this one! It was one of my favorites of 2013.