Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee , Reviewed by Taylor Page

Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee


An innocent rite of passage turns into a nightmare for four couples, exposing their secrets and risking the lives of their children.

After passing the bittersweet parental milestone of putting her daughter, Sarah on the bus to sleep-away camp for the first time, Lena Trainor plans to spend the next two weeks fixing all the problems in her marriage. But when a second bus arrives to pick up Sarah for camp, no one seems to know anything about the first bus or its driver.

Sarah and three other children have been kidnapped, and with hours of the crime the parents receive an e-mail demanding one million dollars. When the specifics of the delivery terms throw suspicion on the parents of two of the abducted children, some of the parents begin to turn on each other, exposing fault lines in already strained marriages and forging new alliances. While the kidnapped children are living their parents’ worst nightmare, the police are trying to sort the lies from the truth in conflicting stories and alibis that seems to be constantly changing.

What if you placed your child on a bus for their first sleep away trip and then minutes later a second bus, the real one showed up?  Set in on this advanced thrilling novel of suspense Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The novel tells the story of a parent’s worst nightmare! Four kids have been kidnapped. Where are they? Who took them? Can it be that one of their parents is responsible in some way? I was definitely hooked on this book because of its fantastic description, chapter viewpoint, and unique mix of characters.

The descriptive writing defiantly made me interested in this novel. In an investigation or in search for a kidnapper what are the first things police ask? ….Did they have curly hair? Were they tall or short? Throughout the scenes the narrator uses very descriptive writing especially when describing a kidnapper. When Sarah is picked up from her home her mom notices a lot of things instantly and thoughts flash through her mind. He had curly hair, he looked young, and she even noticed a coffee stain on his tooth so she figured he was a smoker. This suspenseful novel gives you a picture to create in your mind. Almost making you feel like you were in this mind blowing situation.

The Differences in the kids was the second element I enjoyed in this novel. Doug Magee made all the children come from a different background. Each child had their own personality and some from different culture. When one abductor is killed, the four frightened kids are alone struggling to survive. Sarah, Linda, Franklin, and Tommy made the book fantastic because when worst comes to worse each kid plays a role in doing something that they are more skilled at than others.

I enjoyed the chapter perspectives presented in the book and I think it would make interesting discussion with friends and family. Never Wave Goodbye is like our world today there are many related tragedies like ”kidnapping”.  In this novel every other chapter shows a different point of view from either parents or kids. This is so you can mentally visualize each scene from different perspectives .In this book, though, the parents knew the children had been kidnapped the children themselves were left clueless and wondering .Including different outlooks was a great idea I thought because it is almost exactly like the shows about kidnapping such as LMN and I.D.

Overall I really enjoyed the novel, I recommend this novel for a teenager who loves an unsuspecting end that will actually challenge them to think about what they would do in this ‘’ what if ’’ type of situation and I also recommend it to parents who are not so strict. The four victims are definitely very strong and learn from one another, which can demonstrate that to anyone. With the use of specific description, chapter viewpoint, and great mix of characters Doug Magee has created an outstanding book, Never Wave Goodbye.


4 responses

  1. Samantha Blevins | Reply

    This sounds like a thrilling book! It is certainly something that I would consider reading. I thought that your book review made this book sound like an irresistible read. Your opening sentence did a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention, and you had a clear thesis. Consider working on your transitions between paragraphs. Instead of naming off the points in your thesis as your topic sentences, try to create sentence that make connections between the closing sentence of one paragraph and the opening sentence of the next paragraph. This will create a smoother read for your audience.
    I think that you use excellent variety in your sentence structures! However, work on avoiding run-on sentences. Either join these sentences with a comma and a conjunction (and, or, but, so, etc.) or separate them with a period or semicolon. Also, you use many compound sentences, which is great! Just make sure you are using a comma to separate the two independent clauses within your sentence. This will allow an easier, more understandable read for your audience because they won’t have to reread sentences to question their comprehension.
    Finally, I thought that you had a great conclusion! You did a great job of wrapping up this review by providing a clear and specific recommendation and referring back to your thesis.

    Good work 🙂

    1. Thank you. I will definitely work on my transitions and run on sentences. Working on my compound sentences and commas will be the first things I will do in my next review. My teacher , Mrs.Baisden has also spoke about run on sentences and how to separate them by adding conjunctions . I have been having trouble with replacing repetitive words. Can you help me solve this problem I’m having?

      Thank you for the advice

  2. Samantha Blevins | Reply

    The good news is that repetitive words are easy to take care of! If you have a dictionary or a thesaurus (which would be better), the easiest thing to do is to look up a word that you seem to be repeating a lot and find some different words that have the same meaning. There is also a website you can go to called It’s easy, and you’ll be expanding your vocabulary! Hope this helps 🙂


    1. Thank you, that seems like a great idea I will use this advice in my next review


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