5th May 2011, Scholastic
282 pages, Paperback
Clowns, Christmas decorations, children's cafe, children's parties, missing family, runaways, fear, loneliness, self-blame, friendships, creating a band, unexpected surprises, mild romance, lots of humour, unexpected truths
Summary from Scholastic.
Ever since Jem’s sister Gracie ran away from home, Jem has wondered whether she’s to blame. Something she said to Gracie before her disappearance is preying on her mind. Jem couldn’t be the reason why she vanished, could she? But one summer, a series of strange and spooky coincidences makes Jem wonder if there’s more to the real story. Can Jem find out the truth behind her big sister’s disappearance? Will Gracie ever come home? Surprises and secrets transform Jem’s summer in this wonderful novel from a million-selling queen of girl’s fiction, which mixes genuine bursts of sweetness with a serious real-life theme.
Nayuleska's reasons for liking Jem...in spite of all the guilt and blame she piles on herself (built up through the novel), she refuses to be beaten, she keeps her life going (creating a band) even when her sister's disappearance still leaves a hole in her life.
Is there another character who deserves a mention? Iris! She's such a hypochondriac, but is a really good friend to Jem.
How evil/nasty is the enemy? The enemy isn't really corporal (no its not a ghost!), but Jem really blames herself too much for what happened.
Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Yes - I had a few suspicions, but I was mostly wrong about things.
One of my favourite parts was...when Iris broke her leg. Classic moment. I so wish I'd got a cast (had an airboot) which was purple (mine was grey) when I broke my ankle. Being over 18 can be a dampener on broken bones...
I give it a 10/10 - well, can I give it an 11? The reason I say that is that nestled near the spine of the first page where several pink and silver butterflies, such a cool thing to add considering the butterfly element of the book.
Be sure to check out Karen over on her website.
Forming a band seems to be popular, because Rebecca does it in The Real Rebecca by Ann Carey
Or for another bubbly girl, check out Frankie's life in Frankie: Fizzy Pop! by Jean Ure