Nearly Gone

Nearly Gone Book Cover Nearly Gone
Elle Cosimano
The Penguin Group

Nearly Boswell, a teenager, lives in a trailer park by Washington D.C. with her mother.  Her father left them when Nearly was young. Despite her father leaving them with almost nothing, Nearly is determined to find father.  She checks the personal advertisements section in the local newspaper each week hoping her father has left a message for her.  Nearly is a bright student and is in accelerated math and science classes.  One day, Nearly discovers a note in the personal advertisements that is a clue which only someone with math and science knowledge could figure out the answer to.  She concludes it is unrelated to her.  However, later that day, one of the students she tutors is attacked and almost killed under the bleachers of their rival school at a football game.  Nearly realizes the clue she read in the personal advertisements section of the newspaper was directing her to the location where the student is attacked.  Over the course of the next few months, clues are left for Nearly in the personal advertisements section of the newspaper each week with a science and math twist, each time directing her to a location where the next victim is killed.  The killer is always one step of Nearly, and whenever Nearly figures out a clue, the killer has already struck.  This killer is undoubtedly out to get Nearly, as all the victims have been students that Nearly has tutored, but she must figure out who the killer is before the police discover the connection between all the victims, and Nearly is framed for murder.

When I first started reading this book, I thought the plot moved along very slowly.  However, as I kept reading, I found this book hard to put down.  The end of each chapter was filled with suspense, and I wanted to continue reading.  In fact, I finished this book only within a few days.  The author uses very engaging words that allow you to picture the scene clearly in your mind and make you feel like you are a character in the book.  Throughout the book, there were a few irrelevant events that did not relate to the plot and threw me off, which was a weakness.  Nonetheless, the rest of the book was filled with thrill and adventure.  I would recommend this book to young high school students because the vocabulary used in this book was moderately hard.  Overall, I would rate this book eight and a half stars out of ten stars.


1. Who is the Ukrainian student in Nearly’s AP Chemistry class?

1a. Oleksa Petrenko is the Ukrainian student in Nearly’s AP Chemistry class.

2. What is the name Nearly goes by?

2a. The name Nearly goes by is Leigh.

3. What kind of snack does Nearly’s best friend, Jeremy, give her everyday?

3a. Nearly’s best friend, Jeremy, gives Nearly Twinkies everyday.

4. How did Nearly get her name?

4a. When Nearly’s mother was giving birth to her, the doctor said that she nearly did not survive, so Nearly’s mother named her Nearly.

5. What happens to Marcia, the girl that Nearly was tutoring?

5a. Marcia is drowned in the swimming pool and dies.

quantum (pg. 9)

threshold (pg. 42)

somber (pg. 43)

astringent (pg. 89)

insurmountable (pg. 89)


6. Who beat up Reece?

6a. Oleksa beat up Reece.

7. What occupation does Nearly find out her father does for a living?

7a. Nearly finds out that her father’s occupation is a professional gambler.

8. Who pays for Nearly’s tickets for class trips?

8a. Jeremy pays for Nearly’s tickets for class trips.

9. Whose body is found in the bathroom of the amusement park?

9a. Posie Washington’s body is found in the bathroom of the amusement park.

10. What number is burned into Posie Washington’s skin?

10a. The number ten is burned into Posie Washington’s skin.

obliteration (pg. 131)

staunch (pg. 142)

infallible (pg. 150)

filigree (pg. 160)

slats pg. 178)


11. Who is on Nearly’s phone speed dial?

11a. Gena and Reece are on Nearly’s phone speed dial.

12. What is the Torpedo Factory?

12a. The Torpedo Factory is a collection of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants on the waterfront in Old Town.

13. Who attacked Nearly?

13a. The person who killed Marcia and Posie and Teddy attacked Nearly.

14. What do the numbers burned into the victims’ skin represent?

14a. The numbers represent the atomic numbers of elements.

15. What do the abbreviations of the elements add up to?

15a. The abbreviations of the elements add up to Nearly’s name.

cloying (pg. 268)

admonishment (pg. 280)

swale (pg. 286)

inhibition (pg. 290)

brevity (pg. 313)