I was choked up more than once while reading ... very easy to connect to and even easier to enjoy
this talented Irish author has written a wonderfully moving read, not reliant on pulling at heart strings, like many YA books do. It tells a story, one that could have had many different endings. Just like real life
-- Bleach House Library
the mystery at the story's core is consuming, transforming the novel into a real page-turner ... Mac a'Bhaird skilfully teases out this tension, illustrating the insecurity, paranoia, and rebellion which typically accompany adolescence ... Missing Ellen is a beautifully crafted tale of friendship, loyalty and loss. It sensitively and skilfully explores the emotional rollercoaster of growing up, changing and moving on. It is a novel which is ultimately redemptive and reassuring, alleviating any sense of guilt, blame, or betrayal, in reminding the reader that sometimes we simply must let go and live on
-- The Looking Glass
a truly heart rending novel
-- School Librarian Magazine
this would be the best Irish young adult book of the year ... terrifically well paced ... a great sense of mystery
-- Robert Dunbar, The Marian Finucane Show, RTE Radio 1
skilfully deals with interrelationships between friends and family ... displays brilliant characterisation and a window into early teenage life in Ireland ... an excellent book. Will be much enjoyed by readers in their early teens
-- Inis Magazine
5/5 ... emotionally compelling and haunted, right to the end
A moving, contemporary story about life, friendship and family
-- TBK Magazine
a great story ... of friendship and growing up, and the strains that come with it
The writing style is deceptively simple. So simple and chatty that you are flying though the book and then you hit a few sentences so profound that you have to stop and think. If you are a fan of realistic YA contemporary fiction then I'd recommend this one to you
a thoughtful, affecting and very well written novel
Glad I read this little gem ... bitterly sad but I would recommend this novel to any young girl. Natasha does a fantastic job representing what we all go through as teenagers ... adults will also enjoy (or cringe) at the memories this story will resurrect
engaging ... a good read ... worth checking out
This book is the reason why I adore contemporary young adult fiction. Mac a' Bhaird is a stunning writer and her coming of age tale is both hopeful and poignant. Missing Ellen is a wonderful novel with characters so recognisable you can't help but care for, a story that is both captivating and affecting and one that you will remember long after you close its covers. Simply gorgeous.
with so many great first-timers this month, it's hard to pick a favourite. Have a look and try for yourself! - but have to admit, we do really love Missing Ellen by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird
Readers are sure to identify with the pressurised environment of the school setting and the exploration of themes such as peer pressure, bullying, first crushes, friendship and loss. Sensitive and well-written ... an excellent read for mature readers. Highly recommended
-- Children's Books Ireland Recommended Reads Guide 2013
9/10 ... makes you keep reading ... had me guessing at all the possibilities of how she could have disappeared
it was great--and strange--to have something propel me right back into secondary school and growing up in Ireland
Such a great read ... the character of Ellen is so well executed. My only complaint is that it was actually too short! This book will speak volumes to you about friendships between girls. I look forward to the next book from this author.
a compelling first teen novel
-- Evening Echo
A beautifully crafted book for teens and pre-teens. The best "letters to loved ones" book since "Love, Aubrey". An amazingly touching story ... written in a simple, easy to understand style. A must read.
Deftly captures the spirit of early adolescence in a book that will appeal to anyone who has ever had a friend that meant the world to them. The author covers the terrain of adolescent emotion with great sensitivity and insight. The central friendship is believably fraught with tension and affection, jealousy and admiration.
A sharp and poignant book about friendship, growing up and loss. Beautifully and sweetly told ... an excellent debut leaving readers waiting for more.