ARC Review: Message Not Found by Dante Medema

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ARC Review: Message Not Found by Dante Medema
Message Not Found

5 Stars

Book Info

Released: March 29 2022
Genre: Young Adult
Published by Quill Tree Books
Pages: 400
Format: eARC

Grab some tissues before you dive into this emotional exploration of grief


Recommended Read!

Bailey and Vanessa are best friends, and they share everything from secrets to experiences to Pop Rocks. Or at least Bailey thought they did, until the night Vanessa leaves Bailey’s house to go home only to end up swerving off a cliff nowhere near her house. Leaving a grieving Bailey to wonder what secrets Vanessa was keeping. To try to get some answers, Bailey creates a chat bot of Vanessa using emails, text messages, and social media. The more data that Bailey adds, the more she feels like she has Vanessa back. Until the bot hints at the secret Vanessa was keeping that led to her being on that cliff the night she died.

Message Not Found is a compelling emotional tale. It’s told through a combination of prose and text messages that kept the story feeling fast-paced and had me finishing this in one sitting. Medema highlights how complex grief can be: it’s messy and angry and consuming. The grief Bailey experienced felt authentic and like a character on its own. I appreciated how Medema didn’t sugar coat any of the mistakes Bailey made when it came to getting material for the machine learning she did. The machine learning aspect was a creative plot device that felt realistic. As I was reading this, I found myself begging Bailey to learn from her mistakes and to open up to those around her. I loved that Bailey had support, even when she messed up. Although, I do wish that we would have gotten a little more character development with Esther and Mason.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to keep reading until you find out what secret Vanessa was reading. It might devastate you, but that’s what I loved about this book. This had me thinking about what lengths I would go to if it meant I could get to say goodbye to a passed loved one.

Grab some tissues before you dive into this emotional exploration of grief and uncover the secret that Vanessa was keeping from Bailey.

What did you think of our review?

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About Dante Medema

Dante Medema is an author of books for young readers. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband, four daughters, and room full of alien memorabilia—and books, of course. When she’s not writing, she dabbles in baking, decorating, painting, sewing, and reading up on enneagram personality types.

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ARC Review: Message Not Found by Dante Medema

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Amy R

Thanks for the review.