This is the story of how my best friend disappeared. How nobody noticed she was gone except me. And how nobody cared until they found her . . . one year later.
In some ways this book falls into my “important books teens should read” list. In some ways, I’m not entirely sure I would recommend it to anyone. Keep reading to watch me have a fairly common internal struggle? Content warning: abuse, alcoholism, homophobia, domestic violence, drug usage
Monday’s Not Coming
by Tiffany D. Jackson
Published Date: May 2018
Read Date: March 2019
Genre: YA, Mystery
Rating: 3.5/5 Moose
Number of Pages: 448 pages
After a summer at her grandmother’s, Claudia comes home and cannot get a hold of her best friend. Not even just her best friend — in some ways, her only friend. And really, she wasn’t easy to get a hold of over the summer.
But even more disturbing, no one seems to care. Not Claudia’s parents, not Monday’s family, not the school…
Rants, Raves, and Thoughts
I know what you’re thinking. How can a whole person, a kid, disappear and no one say a word? Like if the sun just up and left one day, you’d think someone would sound an alarm, right? But Ma used to say, not everyone circles the same sun. I never knew what she meant by that until Monday went missing.
I’m not entirely sure where to start with this book. Overall I do think I enjoyed this book, but at the same time, I don’t know if I recommend it. I am probably a week out from actually having read the book, and I just still don’t know where I fall on how I feel.
The concept of the book is important. It’s a story that spun out from the news stories of the missing girls in DC a few years ago, particularly due to the increase in the number of missing black girls. If you are sitting there scratching your head at this — I was too. I didn’t remember hearing about it, and definitely went down a rabbit hole looking into it.
There are a lot of programs in our country that are incredibly broken. The fact that so many kids fall through the cracks is evidence of this. The fact that missing kids from a minority background get less media coverage is another. The people that go looking for fame when a story is finished is appalling.
All of this sets up Monday’s Not Coming. Claudia returns home and no one seems to care that her best friend is missing. She’s been pulled out of school, there is conflicting stories of if she is with her father or an aunt, she’s not answering her cell phone, and no one seems to care. Except Claudia, and occasionally an adult.
It’s intriguing and terrifying to think about. And some moments are incredibly difficult to get through and some really had me on the edge of my seat. But the problem is that these moments are spread out over 448 pages of a conflicting timeline. I get that nonlinear timelines are super popular at the moment, but this one occasionally is too much. And yes, it is explained, and yes, it does make sense. But by the time the explanation comes, I was almost too exhausted to care.
I think my biggest issue is that the big reveal as to why the timeline is nonlinear seems to dilute the reasons that the adults don’t seem to care. I mean, the adults don’t do much of anything, and it is awful. But also — sometimes it is understandable. (This is really hard to explain without giving away the ending.)
The rest of the book discusses how awful rumors can be (as well as how damaging) and how easy it is to miss a kid’s learning disability (which can also be damaging.) In some ways it was like reading two different novels — both of which were stories I enjoyed. They just…didn’t quite mesh for me.
This is an incredibly important story that needs to be told, I just wish it had been told a little bit better.
I’ve read so many stories recently that makes me ponder survivor’s guilt, especially of those who knew something bad could happen yet were conflicted due to their own personal issues. I don’t know if I believe it is warranted, or at least, where the line would be, but it is a concept I am considering exploring more.