This was the second time I read The Face on the Milk Carton, the first having been when I was around the age of 9. I recall reading and really enjoying the book which is why I felt compelled to see how I would feel about it now. I did not enjoy the book nearly as much the second time as I recall having the first time, but for sake of the child in me I gave it an extra star.
The writing is not poor, but it certainly is not great either. I felt the character of Janie was never properly introduced, the core of the plot is introduced too quickly. Therefore we are left without a true comparison between life-changing realization (kidnapping) Janie and the Janie that was, supposedly, care-free. She vacillates between normal 15 year old and child-like too often, regardless of the situation, in my opinion as well.
The author also has that terrible affliction of telling and not showing us. The amount of telling was extremely distracting and left you disinterested in the setting and characters. Cooney also uses many coincidences, especially in the early portions of the book, to drive Janie's downfall into being one that does nothing but obsess over a single thing. Such as one of the characters just "happens" to mention a story about how he worried that he may have been kidnapped for a moment when he saw the incorrect date on his birth certificate. Some of the writing in the book also felt awkward and/or odd, leaving me to rephrase sentences as I was reading (not really a great sign).
Overall, the premise of the book is great but the author did not tackle it well. Since I loved it as a child I'm going to be kind and give it three stars, otherwise it would be two. Perhaps it is not a good idea to re-read books you loved as a child as an adult?