Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Still Missing and Chocolate Milkshakes

Yesterday, I was craving burgers. Today I wanted a chocolate milkshake. Apparently I'm from the fifties.

To make my milkshake healthier, I subbed bananas for ice cream and ended up with a sugar-free chocolate delight!

Chocolate Milkshake
Serves 2

  • 1 1/2 bananas (frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Handful of chocolate chips (optional but awesome)

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend. Pour into two glasses. Add straws. Enjoy.

Scout was just mad we wouldn't give him a straw.

We loved it! You can taste the banana, but it's subtle and works perfectly with the cocoa. A delicious summer treat to help beat the heat!

[Insert clever transition here.] <--Sometimes I write notes like this to myself in hopes that when I revise I'll come up with something awesome. You can see that this tactic works extremely well.

I once again participated in Julie's online book club on Peanut Butter Fingers. Well, sorta. Okay, not really at all. See, this month's book selection was Still Missing, a novel about a kidnapping that was far too disturbing for me to read. I read the first chapter, knowing that it would be a rough book, and I couldn't get through it. But my awesome husband, an avid reader himself, agreed to take one for the team. He read the book while in Belize last week and decided that it was a very good idea for me not to read it. Especially while he was away from home and my only guardian was this guy:

Where's the trouble? Lemme at 'em!

The answers below are summaries of Terry's responses, written from his point of view. I came up with the questions based on Terry's description of the novel and the points he thought were most interesting.

[Warning: Spoilers!]


What were your first impressions of the two main characters, Annie and the kidnapper, and how did those impressions change throughout the novel, if at all? Annie didn't come off well, but we meet her in her present-time therapy session after she's been through so much. In the flashbacks she seemed pretty nice. For the kidnapper, it's pretty obvious who he is since you know it's a kidnapping book, and you suspect him immediately.

He does a good job of making you intrigued about his character, and he gets under your skin. He doesn't grow much, but Annie does learn more about him. She sees his human side but not enough to change our view of him. The scenes where Annie reads to him are conflicting because it's hard to see how she could possibly enjoy the conversations, but obviously Stockholm syndrome is a real thing that many victims experience.

Annie changes a lot throughout the novel, and some changes are for the worse, but her development is understandable given the circumstances and she remains a likable character. You always root for her and give her the benefit of the doubt, despite her foul mouth and unsettling actions.

Everyone said this book is disturbing, graphic, and difficult to read. Do you agree? If so, what was so horrible about the descriptions? I agree, especially regarding the first half when she is in captivity. The rape scenes and not knowing the kidnapper's next move were always graphic and unsettling. I never had to stop reading, but I'm glad you didn't read it.

What did you think about the way the plot turned into more of solving a mystery about who set up the kidnapping?
I thought the fact that the time lines (therapy and outside experiences) met up was particularly interesting. It kept me invested in the story to see the investigation unfold in present time.

What were your thoughts about the frame of the novel (the psychiatrist sessions)? How did it improve or detract from the book?
I thought it was frustrating to never meet the therapist. I suspect that the reader was intended to be the therapist, which broke the barrier. I also felt that the way Annie spoke to the therapist was unrealistic--no one speaks in narrative that way.

Would you recommend the novel, and why or why not?
I would recommend it for a thriller/suspense fan because it certainly kept me intrigued, but the reader should be prepared for the disturbing nature of the novel.

Stay tuned for Julie's next book club selection! She'll be posting the choices in the next couple of days, and you can be part of the vote! Visit her blog here.


  1. Oh my god, that milkshake recipe looks amazing! I'm going to make some now! =)

  2. I'm with you on the book, it was disturbing and the therapist/patient relationship seemed a little off but I found the book kept me interested for sure. I had trouble reading it right before bed because it would paint weird pictures in my head while I slept.

  3. I love chocolate banana smoothies when I'm craving milkshakes. A little mint extract is awesome too - it makes it even more like a dessert!

    1. Ooohh, that sounds awesome! I'll have to try that!