To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
5.0 out of 5 starsMy son loved the new book smell
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2017
Delivered on time, as promised. My son loved the new book smell. :)
4.0 out of 5 starsNot scary, just good (Audiobook review)
Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2012
My daughter fell in love with Caroline B. Cooney when she read Code Orange a few years ago. She read several more titles, and often urged me to join her, but until I listened to They Never Came Back, I never had.
We both enjoyed this school story with a mysterious twist. The cover is a little creepy, but the premise isn't really. One day Cathy Ferris is eating lunch in the cafeteria when a classmate, Tommy, comes over to her insisting she's his cousin Murielle. Five years ago Murielle's parents disappeared, fleeing persecution from embezzlement. At first his 10-year-old cousin Murielle lived with them, but when his parents were suspected to be in on the scheme, she was put in foster care, where she was lost in the system.
The story is told in alternating chapters from Cathy's and Murielle's points of view (present and past) as the truth of the situation is revealed.
This book is neither creepy nor scary, as the title and cover might lead you to believe. It moves along at a nice pace, though it isn't completely suspenseful (This is a good thing for me, so don't read it as a negative. I can't read too many heart-thumping action-packed novels without fearing for my cardiovascular health).
CONTENT NOTE: The content is very clean in this novel featuring 15-year-olds. There's some very very mild crushing going on, but no other "mature" behavior or cursing, as far as I remember, which makes it a perfect book for those older middle grade readers (4th and up) who are looking for more "grown up" reading fare, yet it's also appropriate enough for older middle school readers looking for a clean read.
AUDIOBOOK NOTES: Suzy Jackson's voice was upbeat and pert and was a delight to listen to.
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the best Cooney novels thus far
Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2014
So far, this is my favorite Caroline B. Cooney novel. I first became introduced to Ms. Cooney's writing in 1994, as a sixth-grader reading "The Face on the Milk Carton" and "Whatever Happened to Janie?" On my own, I followed those up with "The Voice on the Radio", "What Janie Found" and "Janie Face to Face."
From reading "They Never Came Back", it reminds me of a situation where an adopted/kidnapped child might come face-to-face with his/her biological family. I often wonder what social media might do to someone, such as an adoptee, who sees a lookalike online (via Facebook, YouTube and/or a dating site), who could be a relative, and how such an experience might feel.
"They Never Came Back" takes us into the lives of Cathy/Muriel and how a possible case of mistaken identity has occurred. This novel has undertones of "The Face On the Milk Carton" and its follow-ups, but it is a completely different story. At first, it might take some time getting used to switching back-and-forth between Cathy's story/Muriel's story, yet it makes sense.
Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2011
When Murielle was 10 years old, her parents abandoned her in their flight to escape prosecution for embezzlement. With foster parents and a new name, Cathy (Murielle) has become comfortable with her new life, but still desperately misses her parents and extended family. When her cousin shows up in the school cafeteria and recognizes her, her real name and history are exposed.
Although an interesting premise, the "danger" of revealing her identity seems over-exaggerated. The drama of the other students' fascination with Murielle's parents is also overwrought, especially considering the dry nature of the explanations of the embezzlement.
Might be mildly interesting to fans of the author.
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.