A Fresh YA with Adult-Level Feels
“It’s not the secrets that matter when people we love die, but the memories we keep in our heart.” —Dante Medema, Message Not Found
Message Not Found by Dante Medema is hands down one of the top reads for 2022, and it is absolutely worthy of your time and attention.
Ok just listen. A YA book that openly confronts grief, friendship, the idea of betrayal, and AI? Just those aspects makes it a little wild, maybe slightly unhinged, but with some Dante Magic it all comes together to create a beautiful book.
Dante Medema brings Bailey to life in a way that I think truly cements how literature has changed for the better. While her prose is contemporary and fresh, it’s also full of beautiful phrases, descriptions, and emotions that even with all the technology references I can see how Message Not Found will be a timeless classic in its own right.
With just two books in her catalogue, Medema is one of those authors that knows who she is and understands exactly how to deliver the stories she wants to share with the world. That aspect in itself is magic—just like each of her books.
“Moments are like snowflakes; they look the same to everyone, but up close, they’re different. And if you don’t take the chance to look close when they fall, you miss them.” —Dante Medema, Message Not Found
What would a senior in high school know and understand about grief? More than you think. Bailey’s journey is one that hits you in the feels but makes your heart soar too. Best Friends are like family. The friendship between girls run closer to a sisterhood more than anything and yet when one friend is tragically ripped away from this earth, picking up the pieces and living life is not without mess.
I adored how grief is addressed in Message Not Found. I’m well-versed in this particular emotion and while I was prepared to be wrecked emotionally by Bailey’s story. Instead, I felt more like a proud momma. Like I could have easily been Jes-Mom while watching Bailey navigate through her last semester as a senior in high school. Grief isn’t a main character here— it’s just the catalyst for all of Bailey’s decisions, feelings, and actions that make this story so unique…because we all do crazy things in face of grief.
Even if you’re not a fan of YA, Message Not Found is truly a special book that deserves your time and attention. Friendship is transcendent of age and so is grief. This beautiful book speaks volumes on both topics. I definitely think Message Not Found is worth the read, and then pass it along to your all your friends. Message Not Found is a book that should be talked about. Go forth and talk about it, book friends!
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.