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Picture Me Gone Hardcover – 5 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (5 Sep 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0141344032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141344034
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Meg Rosoff became a publishing sensation with her first novel, How I Live Now, which won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Her second novel, Just in Case, won the Carnegie Medal in 2007. What I Was was described by The Times as 'Samuel Beckett on Ecstasy'. Meg was born and grew up in Boston, USA, worked in advertising in New York and has lived in London for the last 20 years. She is married to an artist and they have one daughter.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By newnatbooks on 15 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover
How does Meg Rosoff do this? Create a page-turning novel that draws you in from page one with none of the overworked cliches and tricks that writers use. Mila is instantly likeable, taking care of her forgetful academic dad. The bond between Mila and her parents sustains the reader through the marital hell hole that the remaining adults inhabit, scorched throughout by betrayal and deceit. Meg manages uplifting humour despite a teenage death and reaches out for the perennial mystery facing adolescents: 'What happens next?' The setting is unmistakably well-researched: upstate New York in April with impeccable dialogue and first person perceptions by a blunt, observant twelve year old, whose world is subjectively brilliantly portrayed. This is a book for people of all ages to enjoy, including as it does a loving dog and a exquisitely responsive baby. It might even get boys reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover
Meg Rosoff is renowned for her ability to inhabit her young characters with conviction and authenticity. In her latest novel, Rosoff 'is' Mila, a bright and intuitive 12-year old who accompanies her father, Gil, on a trip to upstate New York to visit his best friend, Matthew, whom he hasn't seen for many years. The trouble is, Matthew has vanished. But why has he disappeared just when his oldest friend and his daughter are about to cross the Atlantic to visit him? And where has he gone? Mila, with her almost Holmes-like powers of perception, is determined to find out.

In essence, this is a story about friendship and loyalty. Rosoff examines the bond between Gil and Matthew who saved his friend's life in their youth. She contrasts Matthew's rocky marriage poignantly with Mila's own loving family. She explores the recent rift between Mila and her best friend Cat, a friendship that Mila is desperate to rekindle by text on her trip. She creates affectionate connections between Mila and Matthew's baby son - and even with Matthew's dog, Honey. She develops a blossoming new friendship between Mila and Jake, a boy she meets while she is in America. This relationship, in particular, is very tenderly handled and shows the author at her empathetic best.

On the face of it, this is a simple tender-hearted tale told in less than 200 pages. Written in the present tense and without the benefit of quotation marks, speech occasionally runs into thoughts which can be confusing and there are also a couple of plot points that don't quite stack up. But Rosoff's remarkable ability to inhabit Mila overrides these niggles. A compelling read, commendable on many levels.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By djdhp on 7 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to read a proof copy of this book and have waited for publication to buy my own so I can read it again as there is so much in it to think about, never mind a plot that makes you want to whiz through it just to find out what happens next. Mila, twelve years old and named after her grandfather's dog, has the same tenacious qualities as a terrier. She also has the same ability to home in on the details around her, seeing the obvious which adults miss among their own preoccupations, and when her father's friend goes missing just as they come to visit him in America, she is determined to work out where he has gone. The mystery of this slowly widens out as she fills in the background detail of his life and every character she meets is beautifully drawn (even Honey, the dog!).

It is written in first person, present tense, not a style I always enjoy, but Mila's voice is so clear and realistic that I was drawn in very quickly. We see everything through her eyes yet she never comes across as an unlikely or cutesy over-mature narrator - she is clearly still twelve. Speech is not shown in speech marks, which intrigued me - it makes sense as the story is filtered through Mila and it was not confusing to read. For me, the effect was that it blurred the boundaries between outward speech and inward thought and made me think about the differences between what people say and what their thoughts might be.

I guess this would be classed as Young Adult fiction yet, like all Meg Rosoff's books, it is fiction for anyone who wants to enjoy it - I read it (as an adult with an interest in children's books), my sixteen year old is just finishing it, my fourteen year old will read it next. It left me thinking about silence and lies, language and translation, friendship and family relationships, and the answer to the mystery is as satisfying as everything else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jamieson Wolf on 5 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Mila has an unusual way of seeing things.

She can read a room the way others read body language. She can look at every day ordinary objects and learn about the people that inhabit them. She can also read people in the same way, knowing that what they're saying and what they actually mean often aren't the same thing.

When her father's best friend goes missing right before Mila and Gil are supposed to visit, they make the trip from London to America anyways to look for Matthew. However, the situation is jarring for Mila, everything is out of place.

His beloved dog, Honey, has been left at home. So have his wife and new child. What's going on? No one would just walk away from all that. There is more going on than meets the eye, but no one looks at the world quite like Mila and she's determined to find answers.

Mila is also worried about her friend Cat. Her parents are going through a divorce and they are tearing her world apart. Can Mila make sure that Cat is all right even as they go to another country?

Everyone involved in Matthew's disappearance is hiding something. However, when the betrayal happens, it turns Mila's world inside out and leaving her questioning everything she thinks she knows...

Every novel by Meg Rosoff is different. We've been treated to a post apocalyptic tale, a story about Fate, a historical novel and magical realism. Rosoff again changes track and gives us Picture Me Gone which is a combination of a mystery entwined around a coming of age story.

Rosoff's strength lies in the characters and worlds she creates. Mila will pull you into her story from page one. It helps that there are no quotation marks around dialogue, so that it's as if you're reading Mila's diary or thoughts.
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