You Must Not Miss
By: Katrina Leno
I don’t know what sold me on this book more the idea that a desperate girl’s fantasy world actually becomes reality or that line on the cover, “Imagine the perfect revenge.”
Okay probably 60% revenge and the rest the fantasy world.
This book however also makes me realize how much an ending matters whether good, bad or head-scratching. But I think in a way head-scratching might be a little worse than even a bad ending.
I digress though.
Magpie is reeling from a number of issues anyone would have a hard time facing including sexual assault and bullying. On top of that she’s essentially abandoned by her family including her alcoholic mother whom she has to take care of the only thing that gets her through is writing about Near- a perfect world (of no people) that one day she can suddenly enter.
Good parts about this book include issues being handled well. Magpie’s a good character. Props to some people at school at least attempting to reach out to her and she has a nice little group of friends among the previously bullied kids from school she tries to connect with.
Plus the idea of Near and her discovery of it is interesting and at first despite it’s beauty the sadness and tragic nature of it comes through. I think the idea that this was all in her head appealed to me more than what the book actually was in reality.
You Must Not Miss takes a while to get going though its well written thought out. Once her revenge starts it ramps up fast but that’s also when the elements of magical realism get even stronger and it didn’t entirely work for me. It just felt like a bit too much.
Now I think it was resolved okay for me but then the very last chapter is from a new POV- a character that we don’t get that much of even though their relationship with Magpie is very important and how that goes had me scratching my head a bit. I don’t think it should have been included or I think the book should have delved more into that relationship- which I think would have been interesting in and of itself because plenty of people have toxic friendships.
So I’ve been going back and forth on the book overall. Good representation and dealing with these rough issues with elements that didn’t work for me and then an ending that wasn’t even bad but left me feeling like, “Huh, it doesn’t really feel earned or like it belongs.”
Recommend: 50/50 It’s worth a read if you’re interested in how these matters are represented in books and I’ll definitely read Katrina Leno in the future but otherwise I might give this one a pass.