Nearly 'Leigh' Boswell is someone we can all relate to. A senior in high school, she's determined to go away to college and leave the small town she's been confined to for so long. Leigh believes that if she works hard, abides by her mother's rules and wins the school chemistry scholarship, everything will work out as planned. Of course, everything doesn't.
The creative clues and complex riddles make the reader stick with Leigh along her lengthy and difficult journey
The book begins with Leigh reading the 'Missed Connections' ads in the newspaper; the "personals" that people write in order to find love interests that slipped through their fingers the first time. While this has been a habit for years, something unusual sticks out of this morning's edition: a message that seems darker and utterly wrong. Little does Leigh know that this is what begins a series of killings that all seem to point to her as the murderer.
For a debut novel, Elle Cosmiano does an impressive job. The creative clues and complex riddles make the reader stick with Leigh along her lengthy and difficult journey, for it's practically impossible to decipher who the killer is until the tail end. That being said, Cosmiano doesn't spend "nearly" enough time on her character's special gift: her ability to feel every emotion of the person that she touches. While it comes in handy to understand what others won't say, it doesn't explain a lot about Leigh herself, or have much to do with the plot.
However, NEARLY GONE is still a fun read, and definitely worthwhile to those who don't read enough murder-mystery novels.
Reviewed by Lucy P, Teen Board Member on March 25, 2014