Ellen and Maggie have been best friends for as long as they can remember - sharing clothes, passions and secrets. But now Ellen's now there and Maggie's left alone. Looking back over the events before Ellen's disappearance, Maggie tries to make sense of her friend's actions. At school and at home, she feels no one understands what she is going through - except maybe Liam,Ellen and Maggie have been best friends for as long as they can remember - sharing clothes, passions and secrets. But now Ellen's now there and Maggie's left alone. Looking back over the events before Ellen's disappearance, Maggie tries to make sense of her friend's actions. At school and at home, she feels no one understands what she is going through - except maybe Liam, the boy next door who has always had feelings for Ellen.Can Maggie get used to missing Ellen?...
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Missing Ellen Reviews
Best friends since junior infants, Maggie and Ellen do everything together. Just like most teenagers they have sleepovers, go to the local teen disco, share clothes and make-up and rarely think further into the future than the following weekend. All this changes when Ellen's father leaves the family home and shatters the family's existence. Ellen struggles with the change and Maggie watches as her friend spirals out of control, unable to help her. A new older boyfriend means Ellen moves in different circles and while Maggie continues on with her school work in the run-up to exams, Ellen seems more interested in the worlds of bars, nightclubs and booze. The girls friend, Liam, is the only other person who can see Ellen's deterioration and Maggie wonders how her recently absent friend would feel about the new closeness between Liam and herself... This YA novel explores the boundaries between childhood and adulthood. There are many books about this period in a teenagers life, but not all of them get it right. There are moments when a young woman changes, not only physically, but mentally too. These moments can be hard to pin down, usually blurring the instances of first love, sexual awakening or desire for independence. Natasha Mac a'Bháird has taken an ordinary friendship, in an ordinary town, added in the (now common) separated parents and shown how a young, happy girl can become so unhappy that she becomes almost unrecognisable, to even her best friend. The departure of her father, and the new woman in his life, affects Ellen a lot more than she lets on. Her mother is in the depths of despair and is therefore not available to notice the change in Ellen. However, Maggie can see it. She tries to reason with her friend, but she is too angry, too bitter and is too far gone. Unusually, the school that the girls attend seem unaware of anything untoward and Maggie struggles to contain Ellen's wild side. The novel starts at the end; Ellen is gone and Maggie is writing her feelings down, diary style, sharing her dreams that Ellen is off somewhere having a ball. The writing is undercut with loneliness and guilt, with Maggie feeling uneasy about moving on without Ellen around. The author slowly reels in the reader, through clever technique and limited characters, meaning that the story of Ellen becomes part of our world, our narrative. There us a gaping hole in Maggie's world since Ellen left, but the beginning of that hole began with a crack. This novel shows how the smallest crack can become a serious fracture if not treated with care. This talented Irish author has written a wonderfully moving read, not reliant on pulling at heart strings, like many YA books do. It tells a story, one that could have had many different endings. Just like real life...
A review copy was provided by O'Brien Press in return for an honest review."You will be back by then Ellen, wont you? I'm keeping this notebook safe for you because I want to believe you'll read it someday, and you'll know I never stopped hoping you'd come home"I don't usually read YA novels. I weep sometimes when I walk past the section in the book shop. All paranormal activity and little substance. I am however, glad I read this little gem.Missing Ellen is told through her best friend Maggie in the form of flashbacks and Diary entries. Her diary is her her own personal psychologist. A place to exorcise her thoughts, to get all her demons down on paper in an attempt to come to terms with missing Ellen.As the Tag line suggests, Ellen was starting to disappear long beforehand. Ellen lives a troubled life at home. Her parents are divorced and her mother is falling to pieces. Ellen finds solace in her social life. Natasha does a fantastic job representing what we all go through as teenagers. We long to be treated as "grown ups" whether we think we are ready for what that entails or not. Ellen falls in with what could be described as the wrong crowd. She begins skipping school to spend time with her new (older) boyfriend and becomes dependent on alcohol in order to cope with her world collapsing around her. I have thought of many possibilities for an ending but I was wrong on each. It's bitterly sad but I would recommend this novel to any young girl. They could certainly connect with the characters. Adults will also enjoy (or cringe) at the memories this story will resurrect.
Missing Ellen is an Irish contemporary YA book that is deceptively simple at times. It is full of normal mundane school and friend activities. Then every so often, like a bolt out of the blue, a couple of lines strike you hard to remind you this is a book about missing someone special from your life.My Recap :Maggie is missing her best friend Ellen and is at a loss to make sense of exactly how her friend just disappeared. With a series of diary entries she tries to piece together what happened and even more importantly how she is going to cope with it. My Thoughts :I don’t feel we have enough Irish YA books so when I do find one, I tear into it with high anticipation. Missing Ellen is one that didn’t let me down. It is full of things I can identify with (well remember at least!); teenage discos, exams, friends changing and all in a setting that is so familiar to me.Maggie is lost without her friend but as we discover long before Ellen left, she had started to disappear anyway.“I suppose I still wanted to believe she was the same person underneath but the truth was the friend I had grown up with was already gone for good even before she walked out that door.” I can remember so clearly this happening to me when I was a teenager. The friends I hung around with matured so much more quickly than I did and I got left behind. I wasn’t ready to grow up as fast as they did and it created a void in my life for a few while until I made new friends. So I can understand the sadness Maggie feels and the feelings of being left behind.There is an element of mystery as to why exactly Ellen is missing and what precisely happened. This suspense is carried nicely throughout the book and is more than enough to sustain your interest. The best part of the book though is the characters. Both Ellen and Maggie are realistically portrayed with all the ups and downs, highs and lows of teenage life. I wanted to alternatively smack Ellen on the ear and then just hug her death. The writing style is deceptively simple. So simple and chatty that you are flying though the book and then you hit a few sentences so profound that you have to stop and think. All the stages of grief and the feelings of missing someone just feel so believable and natural that I was choked up more than once while reading.Overall Missing Ellen is book that is very easy to connect to and even easier to enjoy.Who should read Missing Ellen?If you are a fan of realistic YA contemporary fiction then I’d recommend this one to you. Especially YA fiction that deals with issues. And if you are looking for a YA book with an Irish setting, here is one for your list.Thanks to O'Brien Press for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
This is one of those books that stays with you long after you've finished it - a moving story, beautifully written. The characters are so real, I felt as if I knew them. Their language is believable, probably because the author doesn't try and use modern 'yoof' language, but instead the characters' expressions are timelessly authentic. The storyline also feels authentic; in part because what they get up to is familiar to me - I had flashbacks (good and bad!) from my teenage days.In short, I loved reading this book. I hope there will be more to come soon - keep writing, Natasha!
Another reviewer described this book as 'deceptively simple', which is apt. The narrator, Maggie, is writing the story of her friend, Ellen, before she disappeared from Maggie's life. Told partly through letters Maggie writes to Ellen in her notebook, the novel gradually reveals the intricacies of Maggie and Ellen's friendship - Maggie acting as a calming, staid influence on Ellen's wilder side. I especially liked how the author got across that Maggie is a fairly innocent teen - she doesn't drink much, isn't keen on breaking rules for no reason and is completely unimpressed when Ellen meets older guys 'in a band' - but without making her boring, or a caricature. As the details of what happened unfolded, I found myself wanting to re-read the book in light of the ending, which is always a good sign!
I've been reading so much fantasy and US-based stuff lately, it was great--and strange--to have something propel me right back into secondary school and growing up in Ireland: uniforms, and counting down the classes before lunch and going home, and not quite fitting in.Sometimes I miss my biggest problem being trying not to fail Honours Maths, but I wouldn't do it again for all the money in the world.
Well put together story about a girl coming to terms with missing her best friend. Quite a quick read as well, despite the subject. Full review to come.
Good book, not the best though. Very short, and kinda hard to pick up on at first
Sweet and poignant. Dramatically very well-structured, the inevitability of the events is very believable. Kudos to Natasha Mac a Bhaird for the skilful narrative.