Quentin, Sarah, Ben and Cat are kids with one thing in common: they each experienced a head injury that brought them to the International Center for Advanced Neurology (I-CAN) to try to recover their brain and themselves. As Cat says, “The most terrifying thing about hitting your head so hard is when you wake up missing a piece of yourself. . . Things you could once do–kick a soccer ball without losing your balance, play air guitar with your best friend, climb in a kayak, or stand steady on the houseboat deck to pinch dead blossoms off the geraniums–all gone. Erased. Whole pieces of you are missing because your brain bumped against your skull.”
I still remember reading the best-selling medical thriller Coma by Robin Cook back in 1977 or 1978 when it first was published. It may have been that book plus a few personal experiences with doctors that made me lose faith in the medical profession. Since then, lots of “medical thrillers” have been written and consumed both by me and by the general reading public. And we probably trust doctors and the entire medical profession only a little more than we trust the government and politicians. All this to say, Wake Up Missing is not going to help the younger generation to become any more trusting than I was/am.
It’s a middle grade novel, but it is scary. “Something about this clinic isn’t right,” and Cat and her new friends may not be well enough in the brain to figure out what’s wrong before the evil mad scientist doctors mess up their brains for good. It’s a tad on the unbelievable side, but with some willing suspension of disbelief, it’s an enjoyable ride.
If you like this book, then I’d suggest:
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart.
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen.