ARC Review – I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain

Okay, wow. Something about this book (okay, I know what the something is, but I’m not going to share ALL OF MY FEELINGS on the internet… not today, at least… ;)) hit me where it hurt. When I finished, I felt this gaping ache in my chest, like something was trying to pull me apart from the inside. Yes, you heard it here – I’m Not Missing was that good. It tore me apart. But it also put me back together.

I’m Not Missing centers on Miranda Black, a senior in high school in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Her mom ran off to join a cult when she was in elementary school, and her best friend Syd’s mom ran off not long after that. So they adopted each other. They’d been friends for years, grown up together.

But then Syd disappeared too. All she left was a note with her deadbeat dad that said, “I’m gone, not missing.” Gone. Not missing.

Miranda is lost without Syd after living in her shadow for so long, but slowly, Miranda starts to realize she didn’t know Syd at all. First, there was the Nick Allison incident. Nick had stood Miranda up at junior prom, embarrassing her in front of the whole school. Or did he? As Miranda begins unraveling some of the mysteries about Syd’s life, she gets closer to the one person she’s hated for the last eight months – Nick Allison. Syd was such a mystery to her, and then she was just gone, not missing.

Gone. Not missing.

i'm not missing

3 Things I Loved

  1. The representation of complicated friendship. I’ve had a lot of really complicated friendships in my life, mostly because I’m an awkward weirdo who doesn’t know how to say things or do things. But neither did Miranda! It was glorious to read. I felt so represented in this book. My personality, my heritage, it was all right there in the form of Miranda. This book was real to me. It was so perfectly real to me.
  2. Nick Allison! Oh my goodness, he’s the awkward book boyfriend of my dreams! Heart eyes for days. Heart eyes forever!
  3. This quote: “What I’d learned from the two of them was that grief wasn’t about someone being gone. It wasn’t final like that. In fact, it was the exact opposite. It was about wanting them so bad and knowing that your want had no end – there was no one there to receive it, to stop it. It just kept going and going, seemingly endless.” This resonated with me more than anything I’ve read in a long time.

Dislikes/Problematic Content

Honestly, I’ve been wracking my brain and I’m coming up empty. The cast was pretty diverse – the MC was a biracial Latina (JUST LIKE ME!), for instance. Everyone appeared to be heterosexual, which is always a little disappointing, but Miranda’s family was handled very organically, and I loved that. There was also a lot of frank talk about consent, which is always awesome to read. I can’t think of a lot. I loved this book so much, so I might be a little bit biased.


A reminder of the rating scale:

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

I’m going to need to read this book again, which means I’ll definitely be purchasing a copy for myself. IN FACT, I’m probably going to preorder one for myself RIGHT NOW. So, that being said, I’m going to do the thing. I’m giving I’m Not Missing a PURPLE rating. I didn’t know I needed this book. I didn’t know someone else would be able to so perfectly capture the book of my heart. But Carrie Fountain did it. And I found it. And I’m happy. AND EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK.

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my review in any way.

I hope you all find the book of your heart too. ❤

Happy reading!


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