This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger
Nearly Gone is a book that I was recently drawn to thanks to #booksfortrade. It totally escaped my notice when it came out in March 2014, but since I am always a fan of YA murder mysteries, I quickly snatched it up. Unfortunately, I found Nearly Gone to be another YA thriller that could've spectacular had it had less irritating characters. While I did ultimately enjoy the mystery, the rest of the book underwhelmed me.
Nearly is an obsessive character that will do whatever it takes to find what she needs, no matter who she unwittingly steps on along the way. She is not clueless to the feelings of the people around her, but she rarely seems to think about them on her journey to find the missing puzzles of…well…everything. She also has a hard time listening to anyone else advice besides her own. This makes her hard to stand as the narrator of Nearly Gone.
Her obsession with searching the personal ads for messages from her father. This is one obsession she has had for years and has recently caused her friendship with best friend Jeremy to suffer and her already strained relationship with her mother to become even more tense. Though I can understand why she is trying to find him, seeing as he might have the answers to why she can feel people’s emotions with a simple touch. It’s this obsession that leads her to realize that the killer who has been offing the students she tutors has learned of said obsession and is now communicating with her, while also pinning the murders on her.
I get her need to solve this horrifyingly personal crime, find out who the serial killer is and clear her good name. What I don’t understand is the need to alienate everyone Nearly came into contact by listening to no one except the (figurative) voice in her head that keeps getting her into stupid situations and those around her killed. What does she do when she realizes the students she is assign to tutor turn up dead? She hopes they don’t turn up dead and continues to search for hidden messages without involving the police. All so she can get that community service credit and qualify for that science scholarship.
If you haven’t realized yet, Nearly is an idiot.
Reece was nothing special
This is mostly because he was the least frustrating of the two. Reece takes an assignment from the police in exchange for an erased police record so he can start over and change his life. He is sent to Nearly’s school to get close to her and uncover any evidence that she might be involved in the death of the students she tutored. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he’s in love with her and needs to be saved from herself. I normally don’t like heroes that feel the need to fix everything for their love interests, but let’s be honest, if anyone needs saving, it’s Nearly.
To be honest, he just really didn’t stand out when compared to other YA heroes. There isn’t anything about him that makes him special, except that he wants to be a better person and atone for all the mistakes he made in his life, like getting his brother killed.
The mystery was fun, but the research was iffy
The mystery angle is really what saved this book for me. Serial killer mysteries are a dime-a-dozen in adult fiction, but it’s always new and exciting when I come across one that is young adult. I had to keep reading more, because there was no way I was going to stop until the killer had been found. When I find out who the murderer was, I was floored! I thought I had it all figured out, but boy I was wrong wrong wrong.
The only issue I had was the bits of information that the author threw at us here and there that brought me to an expected conclusion: Cosimano didn’t put nearly enough research into the process as I would have liked. For one, hospitals might look like they have lax security, but they’re pretty secure, especially when the patient is a) a minor and b) recouping from an attempted assault. There were more issues here and there that took away from the plot, but all-in-all, I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book.
So basically, Nearly Gone was flawed
I didn’t care for the characters or the romance plot, but the mystery was successful in keeping my attention. I will probably pick up the sequel, (mostly because I want to know what could possibly come after capturing a serial killer), but it’s not all that high up on my list of books I have to have. I will probably wind up checking it out at the library or something.