Katherine Tegen Books
May 22, 2018
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A gripping, relentless, and timely new novel from critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson, about the complex mystery of one teenage girl’s disappearance and the traumatic effects of the truth.
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
The quote on the front cover of Monday's Not Coming, from Laurie Halse Anderson, tells readers the book is, "A mesmerizing, punch-in-the-gut-story," and that could not be more true.
Claudia's best friend is missing. And only she seems to notice, or care.
"I know what you're thinking. How can a whole person, a kid, disappear and no one say a word? Like if the sun just up and left one day, you'd think someone would sound an alarm, right?" (pg 1)
When we're told on page one of the book that Monday's disappeared and no one, save for Claudia, seems aware, it seems impossible. A girl cannot just disappear with no outcry, no concern. Yet, as the story progresses, we see just how possible it is for that to happen. It is scary how easily someone can be written off - usually because they were written off even while still right there in front of people.
The way the story is told ('The Before,' 'The After,' and some in the present) not only allows readers to gradually learn about Claudia and Monday's friendship, what happens once Monday's missing, but definitely ups the mystery and raises even more questions that you want to figure out.
I really loved that there was an added, unexpected element to Claudia wanting to find Monday. The secret Monday had been helping her keep added a level of immediacy to her need to find her best friend. Paired with the added stress it caused Claudia, it really made the story (and her) about more than Monday.
There are a lot of secrets, a lot of concealment and fear of the truth being found out in Monday's Not Coming. Author Tiffany D Jackson does an absolutely superb job making some things not nearly as bad as a character fears and some things so, so much worse.
This book will grab you from the beginning, yanking you up, down, and around as you experience Claudia's quest to find Monday, to find her best friend; and as you witness people's indifference, learn of the girls' pain, secrets and struggles to not let things be noticed, it truly is that, "punch-in-the-gut story."
("If Monday were a color, she'd be red. Crisp, striking, vivid, you couldn't miss her -- a bully's eyere in the room, a crackling flame." [pg 41]. The designer of the book jacket, Erin Fitzsimmons should be recognized for her awesomeness with this cover. With the way Claudia sees/thinks about/notices colors, the red, red, red cover is such a perfect fit.
After Allegedly and Monday's Not Coming, Tiffany D Jackson is up at the top of my list of authors to pay attention to = and to recommend. Monday's Not Coming is an utterly unforgettable tale of two young girls, their secrets, their truths and what it all says about them, their families, those around them, and society. I loved this book even as it absolutely tore me up.
finished copy received thanks to publisher, for review consideration