Message Not Found (Hardcover)
An emotionally complex portrayal of secrets, loss, and grief from Dante Medema, Indies Introduce author of the Indie Next Pick title The Truth Project.
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.
This compelling puzzle of a story, filled with engrossing twists and turns, is written in alternating prose and text message formats. Teens will gobble up this fast-paced page-turner.
About the Author
Dante Medema is an author of books for young readers. Her debut novel, The Truth Project, was an Indies Introduce title and an Indies Next List Pick. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her husband, four daughters, and a room full of alien memorabilia—and books, of course. When she’s not writing, she dabbles in baking, decorating, painting, sewing, and reading up on Enneagram personality types. To learn more about Dante, visit her online at dantemedema.com.
"Medema delivers on the heartbreaking premise of Message Not Found, offering a beautiful tapestry of grief and friendship, with the hint of a mystery woven seamlessly throughout. Bailey’s loss is as compelling as her search for answers, and readers will cling to the unraveling secrets along with her." — Kyrie McCauley, Morris Award-winning author of If These Wings Could Fly
"A beautifully written, compulsively readable tale of friendship and grief in its many forms, Message Not Found is a timely stunner. Medema is skilled at seeing into the heart of hard subjects, and tackling them with grace. A must-read." — Liz Lawson, author of The Lucky Ones and The Agathas
"Message Not Found is a compelling mystery; immensely readable. Bailey’s search for the truth drives the reader to turn page after page." — Mikki Daughtry, co-author of New York Times bestsellers Five Feet Apart and All This Time
"Message Not Found is a compelling look at the complexity of relationships, secrets, grief, and growing up. The characters and friendships walk straight off the page, while the mystery drives you forward. Prepare to exert extreme self-control in order to not race to the end!" — Jenna Evans Welch, New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato
"Intricately plotted and emotionally impactful, this story suspensefully and viscerally peels back the layers of friendship. [A] skillfully crafted tale." — Kirkus Reviews
"For readers who loved Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay and E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, this book brings to light the heartache, pain, and emptiness felt when grieving from a loss." — School Library Journal
"Medema captures perfectly the crushing grief of losing a friend and the mess of emotions it involves." — Booklist