Two reviewers: "This is the best book I've read this summer."

Summary:

Monday Charles is Claudia’s only and best friend. She and Monday would do everything together. Dancing, studying, the two were inseparable. But school is starting and Monday is missing. Every summer, Claudia stays at her grandmother’s house, so the first day of school is their day to reconnect. Claudia came to school ready to meet her best friend for the first time in months, but, Monday did not show up. She must be sick. So Claudia called her house. No one picked up. Claudie then went to visit Ms. Charles, who is known to be tough and a bit unpleasant. When Ms. Charles said Monday was staying at her dad’s house and not coming back to school, Claudia was devastated. She had no other friends and would be alone at school.

Then one day she saw April, Monday's sister. When April said Monday was living with their aunt, Claudia knew something was wrong. She went to her favorite teacher, Ms. Valante, to ask for help to reach Monday. Ms. Valante called child services, but they had no answer. Then Claudia went to the police to file a missing person's report, but that was denied. She kept pushing away the thought that Monday might be dead, so she could get answers. Claudia went to the library, one of Monday's favorite places, to see what kinds of books Monday liked to read. Turns out, they were all about child abuse. Now that she knows that, she goes to her mom for help.


BTSYA / Teen Reader (15):
I think Monday's Not Coming deserves so much more recognition. It brings up so many important issues that are often overlooked: poverty, bullying, child abuse, and child abandonment. It is very educational. I was extremely captivated and read this book in just one sitting. The story itself makes you want to keep reading. It is dark and thrilling, but also explores traumatic reality and outcomes that are deadly serious.

This is a one-time read that you'll finish quickly, so borrow it from the library. The structure may be confusing for some readers. The author moves back and forth in time and that may be confusing for some readers and make it harder to keep up with the story. The setting changes with every chapter and can be a lot to keep up with. Despite this, Monday's Not Coming is the best book I've read all summer and I recommend it to every teen 12 and older who is looking for a good, enlightening read. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I absolutely adore this heavy and heartbreaking novel. The story begins as a strange mystery, but as it progresses, different complexities and perspectives emerge and we realize that Claudia and Monday are not what we initially see them as. Especially Claudia. Monday’s disappearance is center stage, but this is also Claudia’s journey as she copes and deals with her missing friend. The plot was executed perfectly and the build-up and climax was amazing. The plot twists in the last chapters really intrigued me. I love the writing style and how it subtly includes hints of Claudia’s trauma when she described her emotions and thoughts. These small details turn out to be significant and helpful in understanding the later chapters.

The only thing I found a little hard to understand was the settings because the novel switches between time periods called “The Before” and “The After.” At first, it can be confusing to understand how everything fits chronologically, but as the story goes on, the different time frames and events really add to the depth of the novel.

This is a young adult novel for readers at least 15 years old. It is an incredible read that is brilliantly pieced together and written. This is probably the best book I read all summer and maybe all year.  I love that it sheds light on issues like domestic abuse, and how often it can get overlooked or ignored. All in all, this was such a rewarding read. This is something I definitely recommend for everyone.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Powerful, moving, and unforgettable. Our TWO (!) teen reviewers called it the best book they've read all summer... One added, "Probably this year." 

Content Awareness Factors:

The story contains sexual situations, violence, slurs, child abuse, and murder. Characters use profanity.


Type of Book:
This is a realistic novel that is part mystery, party trauma journey for two girls who are best friends.
Educational Themes:

Monday's Not Coming is a ripped-from-the-headlines type story. There are natural discussions that take place about the story elements themselves, but don't hesitate to talk with your reader about how the book affected him or her. The story is frighteningly real and may stir thoughts, concerns and ideas they didn't know where there ... and won't mention unless you ask.

Reading Level:
4.3
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer ages: 15, 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a one-time read ... but definitely a book to read!

Title Monday's Not Coming
Author Tiffany D. Jackson
Publisher Katherine Tegen Books, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2019 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9780062422682
Material Paperback
Cost $10.99
Genres Mystery, Historical Fiction, Realism | Realistic Fiction, Social Issues
be the star you are Cybils
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