Book: Message Not Found
Author: Dante Medema
Age & Genre: YA contemporary mystery
Bailey and Vanessa shared everything: laughter, secrets, and packets of Pop Rocks to ward off bad days. But that all changed the night Vanessa left Bailey’s, headed for home, and ended up swerving off a cliff nowhere near her house. Now Bailey, who thought she knew Vanessa better than anyone in the world, is left with a million unanswered questions, and the only person with answers is gone.
To help grieve her loss, Bailey creates a chat bot of Vanessa using years’ worth of their shared text messages and emails. The more data she uploads to the bot, the more it feels like she’s really talking to her best friend. That is, until the bot starts dropping hints that there was more going on with Vanessa than Bailey realized–a secret so big, it may have contributed to Vanessa’s death.
My Rating: 4 STARS
(I was sent an arc of this book by the publisher)
I was intrigued by this book right away, I thought the writing flowed very well. I liked how it is formatted with short chapters and Bailey’s chat logs with ‘V’, it made it feel like such a quick read.
I liked the chat bot part of this book and thought it was interesting how Bailey tried to deal with her grief by setting up the chat log with Vanessa. I liked how the friendship of Bailey and Vanessa is the focus of this book and how we see Bailey go from having such a perfect version of her best friend in her head to questioning some of the things she thought she knew about her. I also enjoyed the mentions of book blogging and bookstagram.
I liked Bailey’s friendship with Esther that slowly develops throughout this book, I thought it was a nice easy friendship. I didn’t care much about the romance of the book, it was okay but felt like it was an obvious thing from the beginning.
There is a mystery aspect to the story with Vanessa and what she was doing the night she died. I did enjoy the build up of the mystery and I liked how the author kept me intrigued throughout but I did think the ending was a bit cliché.
Overall I did enjoy Message Not Found, I thought the story was intriguing and the writing was emotional. I did think the ending was cliché but I liked the themes of grief and friendship that were the main focus of the book.