OF THINGS NOT SEEN
By Lindsey Lane
Genre: YA / Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Date of Publication: December 16, 2015
Number of Pages: 240
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Tommy Smythe is missing.
Fact: Tommy was good at physics and less good at basic human interactions.
Fact: Tommy recorded his thoughts and observations in a notebook.
Fact: Tommy believed in the existence of parallel universes.
Fact: Tommy was adopted. The facts are simple. The conclusions to be drawn from the facts are not simple. Did he run away to find his birth parents? Did he slip through a wormhole and enter one of the multiple universes he believed in? Did he simply wander off? Only one thing is certain: until a possibility is proven true, all possibilities exist. Told through multiple perspectives, here is a story about how residents of a small town seek answers to the mystery of a teen’s disappearance.
* * *PRAISE FOR EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN:
“In her first novel for teens, Lane offers a gripping and genre bending mosaic.” - Publishers Weekly
“Complex and Rich” - Horn Book
"This is the kind of book you tuck in with and escape into, and it will stay with you long after you finish the last lines. Haunting and beautiful.” - Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice, Devoted, and Afterward
“The narrative jiggers between unexpected opposites—joy and fear, love and violence, grief and hope—all the while holding forth the constant idea that the world offers us credible evidence of what seems impossible if we only know where to look.” J.L. Powers, author of Amina, This Thing Called The Future, and the forthcoming Broken Circle
"Ever look at a pearl and notice that its one color is, in fact, many colors? That’s the beauty of EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, the stunning debut novel by Lindsey Lane.” - Conrad Wesselhoeft, author of Adios Nirvana, Dirt Bikes, Drones and Other Ways To Fly
Check out the book trailer!
* * *
Going into Evidence of Things Not Seen, I was expecting a good mystery and a captivating story. I knew the narration was told from multiple perspectives, so I was a little wary because it's such a difficult thing for a writer to successfully pull-off. Author Lindsey Lane pulled it off and made it easy to keep up with the different narrators.
As I delved in to the story, I found myself becoming more and more intrigued with the many characters in the life of the missing boy, Tommy. Each chapter gives something different to the reader, with side stories, information regarding Tommy's disappearance, interactions with Tommy before his disappearance, and possible theories about where he is and whether he's alive.
For me, the side stories were so well-written that I found them more interesting than the overall mystery. Lane's characterization was excellent. Her writing made me feel like I knew these teens, and I wanted to find out more about what happened to them and wonder now about how they are doing. I wanted to know more about how they encountered Tommy when he was around. I wanted to soak up as much of these characters as I could.
I would consider this a New Adult book rather than YA. There is material here that is definitely too mature for some teens. The story went into graphic detail that I could have done without and that I definitely feel younger readers don't need. Just because those realities may exist in the world doesn't mean readers need them described in detail. To Lane's credit, as disturbing as the scenes were, they were all incredibly written.
For readers who need closure in their endings, Evidence of Things Not Found; it's not that kind of story. I can make my peace with the ending because it is a reflection of how things happen in real-life -- we don't always get the answers we want or need.
Overall, I'd recommend to all of you to give this one a try. It's definitely worth the read and it's very thought provoking. Four stars.
Lindsey Lane is the author of the young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen (Farrar Straus Giroux) and the award-winning picture book and iTunes app Snuggle Mountain (Clarion/PicPocket Books). She is represented by Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Before she received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010, Lindsey was a features journalist (Austin Chronicle and Austin American Statesman) and an award-winning playwright (The Miracle of Washing Dishes). Lindsey is a featured presenter at schools and conferences and universities and also teaches writing at Austin Community College, Writers League of Texas, and the Writing Barn. She lives in Austin, Texas but loves to travel, especially to the ocean. She loves books, films, good food and her cadre of dear friends. Her idea of a perfect evening is having a dinner party at her home with friends from around the world and discussing everything under the sun while eating, drinking, and laughing.
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