BFTA Review: Margaret Peterson Haddix – Found

Title: Found
Series: The Missing #1
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Simon & Schuster

Rating: 3.5/5

Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he’s never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who’s also adoped, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, “You are one of the missing.” The second one says, “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.”

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah’s sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere — and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip’s lives.

Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying? (

The entire time I read this book, I felt like Twilight music should be playing. No, seriously. When I picked the book up, I didn’t realize it would turn out to be sci-fi, but that’s really what it is.
While I had no problem following the action (although some of the time travel talk threw me for a little while), I had a more difficult time getting to know and like the characters. The novel was really more plot-driven than character-driven, but the characters felt wooden and dull to me. While I wanted them to succeed, it was more out of a need to see what happened next than to see what happened to the characters next. At the same time, I like that it was a plot-driven novel, because it’s a faster read, and I didn’t get bogged down in some convoluted characterization and explanation, which could also have happened. I just felt like it was balanced a little too far in the other direction.
The ending was a little twisty for me, as most twists are, but that was okay for me. I’m a little iffy about whether to pick up the second book. Does it get better? Do we meet more of Jonah, Katherine, and Chip, or is it another plot-driven novel?

Originally posted 04 April 2011.


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