Never Missing, Never Found

320p. ebook available. Random. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553507645; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780553507669.
Gr 8 Up—Scarlett Contreras was once a missing child. She was stolen and forced to live in a basement with another girl her age. They were made to clean house for the cruel proprietress of a brothel. But she escaped and now, at 17, has her first summer job at the local theme park. She doesn't like to talk about her past, so she avoids getting too close, but she wants this job and is determined to try fitting in. Scarlett's first day at work, however, is marked by an ironic tragedy. The teen who interviewed Scarlett for the job goes missing after her last shift, and almost everyone on staff seems to be in shock. Attractive assistant manager Connor takes Scarlett under his wing, making sure she isn't left to fend for herself. But it is recent employee Katharina who designates herself as Scarlett's trainer, and there is something oddly disturbing about her. When Scarlett's estranged sister Melody strikes up a friendship with Katharina, bizarre events leave Scarlett (and readers) fearing for her sanity. The story evolves in a series of shifting perspectives that alternate between Scarlett's life now and her life during her abduction, with each perspective markedly different in tone. One is occasionally frightening but mostly a pedestrian romance, while the other evolves into an intriguing psychological thriller. Both lead to a surprising plot twist that readers will not have seen coming.
VERDICT Teens who make it to the end of this twisty offering will be recommending it to their friends; purchase where suspense YA is popular.

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