Book Review: The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney (Janie Johnson #1)

8:06 PM

Star Rating: 3.5/5 
Title: The Face on the Milk Carton
Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Publisher: Ember 
 Pages: 208
Genre: Fiction, Crime, Abduction, Thriller, Mystery

Where to buy: 


No one ever really paid close attention to the faces of the missing children on the milk cartons. But as Janie Johnson glanced at the face of the ordinary little girl with her hair in tight pigtails, wearing a dress with a narrow white collar—a three-year-old who had been kidnapped twelve years before from a shopping mall in New Jersey—she felt overcome with shock. She recognized that little girl—it was she. How could it possibly be true?

Janie can't believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, but as she begins to piece things together, nothing makes sense. Something is terribly wrong. Are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson really her parents? And if not, who is Janie Johnson, and what really happened?

This is a book that I have been meaning to get to since my birthday in September, it's incredibly short so I knew it wouldn't take me long! I really loved the idea of this story, mainly because it reminded me of a premise similar to girl missing by Sophie Mckenzie, a book I adore. So I had this on my wishlist and my mum got it for me for my 20th birthday.

I did enjoy this book! It was incredible to see Janie's story unravel and there was a lot of times where you were just starting to think you had figured it all out, just starting to think that it made sense and then your attention was drawn to things that Janie had found which just didn't add up. I really loved how it ended on a cliffhanger, it made me want to go out and see what happens next, I wanted to know more to the story but you also feel like you got a lot of answers in this book so it wasn't the kind of start where you feel like the story could have just been one book altogether, I understand why it has been split.

Janie as a character annoyed me at times because she came across to me as a bit of a typical popular girl who could get whatever she wanted just because she was pretty, I like the originality that she had red curly hair rather than the typical blonde/brown you see in most contemporary novels nowadays. I feel like the event changed her dramatically, she started to see how sort of trivial her life was and also started to feel guilty that she enjoyed her life thinking that she may have been taken.

I really liked the character of Reeve, he seemed really down to earth and he had so much patience with Janie throughout the book I don't know how he didn't slap her to calm her down sometimes, she did get a little out of hand at points but then again how would you react if you saw yourself on a milk carton as a missing child?

The reason why I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 is simple, you may think i'm being a bit harsh with the rating for this one simple reason but this is just because it bugged me and I understand that with other people it may not be a big deal but for me i was. I went between giving this book a 3 star and 4 star rating so much that I just decided to half it. The thing that bugged me, is that there was no character building before Janie discovered this milk carton, it was incredibly soon in the book and we didn't get to see what Janie's life was like before it, not only that but I found it a little unrealistic that she would recognise herself so quickly and obviously as a child that was meant to be incredibly young, I'm not sure I would've been able to recognise myself at that age, and Janie mentioned that there weren't many pictures of herself as a young child around the house so it wasn't as though she was exposed to herself as a small child either, so that bothered me a little.

Apart from that though, I did really enjoy this book, I would recommend that you read it if you are into mysterys because it certainly had me confused and questioning a lot of the time.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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  1. Lovely review. I've added this book to my Good Reads, It seems great :) Rebecca | xx