Picture Me Gone

Picture Me Gone

Book - 2013
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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.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2013.
ISBN: 9780385681896
0385681895
Branch Call Number: J FIC Rosof
Characteristics: 239 p.

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cals_Leah Oct 05, 2015

I really loved this book. I enjoyed a "calmer" book compared to the over-stimulated books that seem to dominate teen fiction lately. It reminds me of some british films, where you don't have constant action or revelations, but instead, focus on the character development and daily happenings in their lives. I really feel like I know these people, and can see them as three dimensional people, instead of barely knowing them and wondering why I should care about them.
The insight Mila has of the world around her is unique at her age, for sure. But I think it's good for teens to see someone like that. She explains her thought process, which I found very interesting. Before the revelation of the story's main question, you watch her figure out the subtle clues and behaviors to understand the events that caused Matthew to leave.
I only had one complaint about this book which is my own dislike for books that don't use quotation marks for conversations. Especially since the main character is very Sherlock-esque with her thought process, I found it hard to tell sometimes what was being said aloud from what she was thinking.
Still, 5/5. Girls and boys.

AliReads Dec 27, 2013

I really enjoyed Picture Me Gone. Meg Rosoff writes so simply, then turns around and hits you with a truth nugget. There's dozens of road trip coming of age stories but few of them starring bright insightful twelve year olds and nerdy fathers. The author packs a lot of layers into all her characters in such a small book.

JCLChrisK Dec 10, 2013

"Have you ever seen a terrier at work? It stands stock-still, quivering all over with anticipation, waiting for the moment the slip collar comes off. Then there’s a fraction of a second where it seems to explode, launching itself forward at its prey. And a terrible snarling and growling and shaking and squeaking as it gets to grips, quite literally, with the rat. It’s not nice, but it is impressive. And quick.
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"It is not a sense of responsibility or a desire to please that makes a dog do this. It’s what they’re bred to do. They can’t help it. If I were a dog, I’d be part terrier."

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This is a coming-of-age novel of an unusual sort. Mila goes on an adventure and learns about herself and the world, but she is not the central character of the adventure. She is not the main focus of the other characters and does not propel the action, but is in fact rather peripheral to the mystery at hand. She's a passenger on the journey. She's an observer.
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Fortunately, she's the keenest of observers. Almost a Sherlock Holmes, you could say. She sees a situation and she knows where everything stands. Where everyone stands.
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Usually. This mystery involves the disappearance of her father's old best friend right as she is about to join him on vacation to visit the friend for the first time in years. This mystery involves things that can't be learned through simple observation because they are intentionally hidden behind lies, omissions, and deceptions. This mystery involves complications and contradictions that teach her adulthood may not be at all what she has thought.
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So, observant readers may have gathered that this book is not one of great action and monumental happenings. It is a story of character and voice. The excitement and tension are much more internal than external. And yet the character and voice are so brilliantly realized, the excitement and tension so believable and compelling, that I loved everything about this book from cover to cover. It was fascinating and captivating.

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"Marieka notices the world in what she calls a Scandinavian way, which means without a lot of drama. I register every emotion, every relationship, every subtext. If someone is angry or sad or disappointed, I see it like a neon sign. There’s no way to explain how, I just do. For a long time I thought everyone did. . . . .
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"Gil says human capacities are vast and varied. He doesn’t understand how people can speak just one language. Certain combinations of chords make Marieka wince. I peer into souls.
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. . .
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"I know because I know. Sometimes I can say, Aha! An empty bottle of nail varnish. That’s how I know. Meat in a can—no woman eats meat in a can. A dozen empty beer cans, the cheap sort, there’s a hint. But usually it’s nothing so obvious. I look at a picture and I see the things that aren’t visible at that moment. It’s not that I’m some sort of mystic; I just see a constellation of tiny facts too small for other people to notice. I don’t specifically register each element of the constellation but the overall impression will be clear."

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"Despite the fact that I can sweep a crime scene for rats like a terrier, I frequently have trouble putting clues together due to gaps in my knowledge of the world. I could do with a middle-aged accomplice."

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"What I like about Jake is how much he observes and how little any of it seems to ruffle his feathers. It’s like he’s taken the entire adult world on board and decided it’s mildly amusing and mildly irrelevant."

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"I cannot picture me grown up. I cannot picture me any different from the me I am now. I cannot picture me old or married or dead."

debwalker Oct 09, 2013

"Shelf Talker: Printz Award winner Meg Rosoff creates another riveting character in precocious 12-year-old Mila, who travels from London to New York to help her father find his missing friend."

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cals_Leah Oct 05, 2015

“Age is not always the best judge of competence.”

cals_Leah Oct 05, 2015

“Someday I'll understand more of these things. At the moment I just have to think them through. Not everything you want to know is explained properly on Google.”

cals_Leah Oct 05, 2015

“So much relies on one person assuming the other is telling the truth. If a person can lie to you about one thing, he can lie about something else.”

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