Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, YA
Length: Full Length (448 pages)
Age recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.

When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

This book is told in the voice of teenager Claudia Coleman. The book does contain non-descriptive physical and emotional abuse of children that may not be suitable for young readers. Indication of abuse is given but details are not disclosed.

I loved Claudia and her complexity. I loved her dedication to Monday. Monday was her only friend, her other half, the one who gave her confidence and the one that kept her secret. Now suddenly alone, at first I thought Claudia was seeking Monday for her own selfish reason…to keep her secret from becoming apparent to all that she know but as I grew to know Claudia I came to see her love and commitment to her best friend Monday Charles.
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I admit the layout was almost too confusing for me to follow. Chapters were labeled Before and After, and also Before Before and 2 Years Before Before so I was often confused about what time period I was reading. Even after completing the book I was still a little confused on the time line of things that happened. I hope that I received the full effect and understanding as the author intended. This non-chronological order did take away some of the enjoyment of reading such a wonderfully touching story.

It took too long to build the story. Yes I enjoyed the author’s writing and the difficult plot that she spelled out so gracefully but I think the story could have been condensed and several parts could have been left out and the book would have still been detailed enough.

This is a beautiful vision of friendship and family. Can someone truly be forgotten? Can the love of someone cause our faculties to shut down in order to protect us from something so horrific and painful? Claudia’s dedication to Monday is beyond admirable and showcases their amazing bond and the tremendous amount of love in their relationship. But to a point the love is also scary. So scary that Claudia’s love for her canceled out her from having other friends. Claudia isolated herself in this bubble with Monday and now we see how when that bubble burst the magnitude of the breakdown of Claudia’s world.

This book is so deep and thought provoking giving light to a cause that is such a melancholy sadness to young lives. Young lives that should have an unmeasurable amount of hope for their future.

This book did serve as a good book club conversation topic. We were all in agreement that the author’s writing style is very enjoyable and that Claudia is a well developed character whose story captured all of our hearts.

We also agreed that this is a story that needs to be read. The author’s boldness to take a underlying social issue of missing children touched our hearts and also gave us a point of view that isn’t often heard about when such issues are made known through the media. We got to see the point of view of those who are impacted by such an unsettling truth. The children who are abused have friends, they have teachers and school officials who care but are restricted on the actions that they can take. Sadly as with the case of Claudia, her voice went unheard to several but she did not give up and she did not betray her bond with Monday. Claudia felt guilty for living, for carrying on her life without Monday. We also got to read about Monday’s siblings and how their fear translated into silence. The voice that was missing was the abuser and how she came about to be so cruel and heartless to not only her own children but their father. This story also touched on the heartbreak of not being able to conceive but then there are women who are blessed to have offspring but they are the creator of physical and emotional pain for those that they birth.

This is a dark story with no happy ending. A story of those who live and their efforts to try to rebuild from the destruction that was so plainly hidden in sight. Even though confusing to me at times, the flashbacks in the story did help establish the relationships. The flashbacks plotted out early on in the story helped fill in the events at the ending. The author did a wonderful job with the plotting to pull off such a complex move.

This is a highly recommend to those who are age appropriate for such subject matter.

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