Meet Quentin, a middle school football star from Chicago…
Sarah, an Upstate New York girls’ hockey team stand-out…
Ben, a horse lover from the Pacific Northwest…
And Cat, an artistic bird watcher from California.
The four have nothing in common except for the head injuries that land them in an elite brain-science center in the Florida Everglades. It’s known as the best in the world, but as days pass, the kids begin to suspect that they are subjects in an experiment that goes far beyond treating concussions….and threatens their very identities. They’ll have to overcome their injuries – and their differences – to escape, or risk losing themselves forever.
Book descriptions taken from Goodreads.
I have to say that I enjoyed this book far more than any of Messner’s other novels. I felt like this was what I had been looking for from her writing for a long time. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her other books, such as CAPTURE THE FLAG and THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z, but I just felt like there could be a lot more to what she was saying. It wasn’t even her premise either. It was also her writing in this book. If felt like it was different somehow… Maybe… more readable to an older MG audience, I guess? Whatever it was, I loved it.
This book is almost reminiscent of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s writing with an pinch of THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY by Victoria Forester. If you liked either of those authors, I highly recommend that you try this book. I do have to say that I don’t feel Messner is entirely on their level yet, but I think that’s just because that she’s had less experience in this type of setting. I do hope that Messner continues on in this genre, because I would love to see what she can do from here on out.
As always, Messner’s characters were great and I really appreciated the way she built them up. It really made the story stronger as time went on and in the timing and the idea of the ending of WAKE UP MISSING. Knowing a friend who has gotten a concussion which was more or less my fault, (again, I’m sorry,) I felt like this book was really realistic and true to life. I feel like it could really happen someday, which was one thing that I really liked about this story. Very readable for boys and girls. 4 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 272