A complimentary advanced reader copy of this book was provided by Bloomsbury USA in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you!) My review was in no way influenced by this consideration.
Wake Up Missing is a well-written, quick-paced little morsel of a sci-fi novel. Written for tweens (wait. I hate that word. Pre-teens? Let’s roll with that.) Ahem. Written for pre-teens, its characters are smart, active, and dynamic enough to hold a slightly younger audience’s interest.
I read this book with my ten-year-old boys in mind, but I have to say that I became absorbed in it almost immediately–Messner manages to write content that’s safe for kids, but is thoroughly engaging for adults, as well. I never felt like I was reading a “kids’ book,” which I think is a sign of a truly great one. (Remember Harry Potter?)
Messner is an award-winning author, and she certainly writes like one here. Her plot has great movement, and her characters are multi-dimensional–both the kids and the adults. I particularly loved that her young main character fought not only for her life, but to understand and have compassion for those around her. There are some good messages here about love, loyalty, and self-esteem, and Messner manages to deliver them without being cloying.
I recommend Wake Up Missing wholeheartedly for all audiences, middle grades and up, and will be passing it along to my own children.
Clean as clean can be. 5 stars.