June 2014, Orion Children's, 272 pages, Hardback, Review copy
Content: missing person, mild teen romance,
Summary from Orion
Oscar Dunleavy, who used to make the world's most perfect apple tarts, is missing, presumed dead. No-one seems too surprised, except for Meg, his best friend, and his little brother Stevie. Surrounded by grief and confusion, Meg and Stevie are determined to find out what happened to Oscar, and together they learn about loyalty and friendship and the power of never giving up hope.
This wasn't quite what I'd expected for a missing person investigation, not that I knew entirely what that was. The apple tart was almost the sweetest part of this cleverly layered story. A lot of it wasn't overly happy, and with the blurb I knew it wouldn't be. I don't mean that in a negative way either. I guess when I think of apple tart I think of it going with cream and being a happy dish. I thought there might be a bit more happiness for Meg having the memory of the wonderful dessert from Oscar, but her character thought differently than I do.
There was a lot of dead ends and negative news during the adventure for the truth, which was a bit of a surprise. I'm glad I read it, however I won't be rereading it. There's nothing wrong per se, but because I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped and it veered off in odd directions it gets a lower grade. I hope this review makes some sense - it wasn't a bad read, and I was hooked by everything that happened, it just wasn't quite for me. I can't say for sure, but I might have read it on a day when I wasn't quite in the mood for it which would explain how I felt about it.
A heartfelt story of self-discovery after a tragedy can be found in Kite Spirit by Sita Brahmachari (Children's, 11 years +, 10/10E)