My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Published: May 21st, 2019
Trigger Warnings: Self Harm. Grief, Loss, Death
With a touch, Lexi can sense how and when someone will die. Some say it’s a gift. But to Lexi it’s a curse—one that keeps her friendless and alone. All that changes when Lexi foresees the violent death of a young woman, Jane, outside a club. But Jane doesn’t go to the afterlife quietly. Her ghost remains behind, determined to hunt down her murderer, and she needs Lexi’s help. In life, Jane was everything Lexi is not—outgoing, happy, popular. But in death, all Jane wants is revenge. Lexi will do anything to help Jane, to make up for the fact that she didn’t—couldn’t—save Jane’s life, and to keep this beautiful ghost of a girl by her side for as long as possible – Synopsis from Goodreads.
Missing, Presumed Dead was a very unique story. It’s almost hard to compare it to something else, I think that it’s probably going to appeal most to the Buffy and Supernatural crowd. Basically we have a queer paranormal/mystery that takes place in our everyday world.
This was my introduction to Emma Berquist’s writing and I thought it was really unique and strong. The story starts with our main protagonist Lexi, who has a very powerful, if not inconvenient gift where she can see can see how and when other people will die when she touches them. It’s not a gift Lexi is happy about, it was passed down from her Grandfather, and it’s caused her to have very few friends or relationships – she’s isolated herself as much as possibly. However, she has to work to live, so she uses her gift at a “club” downtown that is kind of a safety spot for people like her.
When Lexi is called into work, she accidentally bumps into a young woman, Jane, and sees that she is going to be murdered that night. Lexi freaks out and runs away, doing nothing to try and stop it but later feels a lot of guilt and goes looking to see if the ghost of the girl has hung back and sure enough…. It’s hard to go into much detail here because it would only be even more confusing than I’ve already made it and it would give way too much away. Stuff gets really really weird from here on out there, but a good weird and lots of intrigue and mystery.
Some kind of random things that I really liked about this story is that it didn’t go with all the traditional things we know about ghosts. Yes, some ghosts hung around because of unfinished business but some just hung around because they weren’t ready yet or they were waiting for someone. They were also warm, instead of cold. So, when they came up to you, it was comforting rather than unpleasant. Also, even though at first ghosts walked around looking how they passed (which is pretty nasty if you died a horrible death), you could eventually glamour yourself however you wanted. You weren’t stuck with it. I thought that was nice.
There is a small, queer romance that I did enjoy, even though I have a million and one questions about it but I’ll keep my lips zipped up. I think this might be a bit of a polarizing read, it’s quite different and I find that always puts people on the love it or hate it side of the fence. I personally thought it was fun and a really interesting take on a mystery story. I would 100% read Emma’s work again.