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They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney
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They Never Came Back

by Caroline B. Cooney

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207689,677 (3.32)None
When fifteen-year-old Cathy decides to carpool from Norwalk to tony Greenwich, Connecticut, to study Latin in summer school, she does not expect the shocking events that occured five years earlier to suddenly come flooding back into her relatively settled life.
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This could easily be a 4 star. Keeps you reading as this author usually does. I liked the current news tie in. Not sure I was that happy with the way the foster parents were handled. ( )
  librarian1204 | Apr 26, 2013 |
They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney follows a teenage girl named Cathy on her journey to find her true identity. A normal day in an advanced language program changes drastically after a boy named Tommy approaches Cathy. Tommy claims Cathy must be his long, lost cousin Murielle due to her strikingly similar physical features. Cathy dismisses his claims, but that does not stop her classmates from investigating the story behind Tommy’s missing cousin. Rory and Cade Lyman, Murielle’s parents, fled the country after stealing millions of dollars in business investments, but left Murielle behind. After being placed in foster care, Murielle was never heard from again. The foster care agency never let Tommy or his parents know the details of where Murielle was sent, so they never found her. Now, five years later, the FBI wants Rory and Cade Lyman arrested for their crimes. Can Cathy help bring them to justice? What happened to Murielle Lyman? These questions and more are answered in the thrilling, mysterious novel, They Never Came Back.
Although They Never Came Back is an electrifying story involving mistaken identity, theft, and family, I found parts of it to be very predictable. After the first chapter, I knew exactly where the plot was headed. There were some interesting twists to the storyline that kept me intrigued, but overall, it was easily anticipated. I was expecting the book to be much more captivating. After the first few chapters, the book becomes very boring. Also, the ending is not as lively and compelling as it could be. I have read other books by Caroline B. Cooney, such as Face on the Milk Carton, and I did enjoy those books. This one, however, is not as energetic and gripping as the other books. I am a fan of mysteries, but this one in particular did not meet my expectations. Although I found this book to be disappointing, I did not completely hate it, because the plot does include some unexpected twists. Therefore, I would suggest this book to those who enjoy mysteries. ( )
  ahsreads | Dec 14, 2012 |
Kind of an odd book about a girl who was abandoned by her fugitive parents when she was ten. Five years later, she is living with foster parents under a different name, attending summer school, when her long-lost cousin recognizes her. Should she reveal herself at Murielle, or continue to pretend that she's always been Cathy? It could have been better, but wasn't because the other students in the book especially were really irritating and unrealistic. An interesting concept not particularly well thought out. ( )
  ChristianR | Jun 14, 2010 |
This is one that Cooney should have left as a draft on her computer. The plot read like a poor quality re-tooling of the Face on the Milk Carton. This time the parents are evil wall street types that stole money from people to invest in the stock market and ran away laughing. While demonizing investment professionals, the book explores the mixed feelings Murielle has about her parents. Where they evil, did they love her, did she love them, etc. I actually thought the book was very boring. The book is inappropriate for reluctant readers due to it's slow pace and pathetic characters. ( )
  bookwoman137 | Jun 1, 2010 |
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

THEY NEVER CAME BACK by Caroline B. Cooney is a great thriller for middle grade readers. There are just enough twists and turns in the plot to keep readers focused, and it offers a few thought-provoking questions to make readers consider just exactly what they would do in the same circumstances.

Chapter one is about Cathy. She is enrolled in a special accelerated summer school. The program squeezes one full year of Latin into a summer course. Her focus is Latin morning, noon, and night. One afternoon in the cafeteria, Cathy is shocked when a boy named Tommy approaches her table and calls her Murielle. He even drops to his knees before her as he insists she is his long-lost cousin. He claims she was taken from his home five years ago by social services. Then he adds that she had been abandoned by her parents, who were guilty of stealing millions of dollars from business investors. Suddenly, Cathy is the center of attention.

Chapter two begins with Murielle. Ten-year-old Murielle is a lucky girl. Her parents are in the financial investment business, and they are able to provide her with anything her heart desires. She is used to living in a fancy house, having pretty clothes, new things whenever she wants, and private lessons in just about anything she is interested in doing. Even though they are constantly working and leave her in the care of various babysitters and housekeepers, Murielle thinks her parents are terrific.

One afternoon, Murielle is with her Aunt Lois headed toward the airport. The plan is that her aunt will be dropping her off to catch a flight with her father. They will be flying to England where they will meet up with her mother. Suddenly, Aunt Lois turns the car away from the airport and begins shouting about how she won't go through with the plans. Murielle has no idea what is going on except that she is not going to be going with her parents. At that point her life changes forever.

Could Cathy and Murielle really be one and the same? Is Cathy, who lives with a struggling foster family, really the daughter of millionaire investors? It's been five years since their scandalous disappearance. Could they really have been more interested in money than in their adorable little Murielle?

THEY NEVER CAME BACK is a fast-paced novel with a unique plot. Caroline B. Cooney's smooth flowing prose will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they follow the action to see just exactly who is who in this clever mystery. ( )
  GeniusJen | May 17, 2010 |
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