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Picture Me Gone    by Meg Rosoff order for
Picture Me Gone
by Meg Rosoff
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Meg Rosoff is well known for such excellent and unusual YA novels as How I Live Now, What I Was, and The Bride's Farewell. Now she has written a mysterious and lyrical account of a highly empathetic teen's exposure to adult tragedy, Picture Me Gone.

Mila and her absent-minded father Gil have been preparing to travel together to visit his oldest friend Matthew in New York - they haven't seen each other in eight years. Mila's mother Marieka has to work in Holland for the week. Now Matthew 's wife Suzanne calls to say that Matthew has disappeared but she still wants them to come. Mila is good at puzzles and worries at this one as events unfold.

Mila knows that Matthew (the more reckless one of the duo) once saved her dad's life, after getting Gil into the situation that endangered it. They have always been risk-taker and riskee. But why would Matthew leave his wife and their baby? The plot thickens when they arrive at Suzanne and Matthew's home. Why does Suzanne clearly dislike Matthew's moping dog Honey? Why is she so callous about her husband's absence? And is she involved with someone else?

As Mila and Gil travel to an isolated cabin that Matthew owns, to see if he might be there, Mila muses about her relationship with her best friend Catlin, whose parents are divorcing and who has been acting out. Mila learns that Matthew's disappearance relates to his son Owen's death in a car accident years before. And, at the cabin, there are more revelations about Matthew's life, as well as a new friendship for Mila.

Picture Me Gone is an engrossing story and Mila a delightful character whose take on the world around her is uniquely engaging. She learns some hard truths in her travels with her dad as they search for his friend 'but keep finding other things.'

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