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17 & Gone: 08/16/22
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma is Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall (2019) meets Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (2003). Seventeen year old Lauren's head is filled with the voices and faces of girls who went missing at her age. The one who set it all off was a camp counselor who disappeared from a nearby summer camp.
As the book progresses Lauren's life becomes more and more consumed by the missing girls. She struggles to complete her school year. She loses track of what she's doing or where she is. It's an all absorbing, twenty-four / seven obsession.
Of course there's something more going on here, thus the comparison to Shutter Island. Like the protagonist there, it's revealed that Lauren too has some distant trauma that explains her fear of going missing at seventeen, and her current obsession with girls who have gone missing at this age.
If you read the afterword, you'll be spoiled. Of course, this novel is nearly ten years old, so you may already be spoiled. Even knowing what's going on, it's a compelling read, one of the quickest reads I've completed so far this year.
Despite also being mostly a story set in Lauren's mind, the novel sits on the Road Narrative Spectrum. Lauren and her visions are all marginalized travels (66). As the clue to Lauren's current situation is informed by past trauma and her future is uncertain, her destination is uhoria (CC). Lauren's route is the Blue Highway, namely the road through her town that she drives in her endless search (33).