The Vanishing Season
By Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published July 1st, 2014
Young Adult | Mystery
Source: received from HarperTeen in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You!)
About the book:
Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter’s come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I’ve watched the danger swell.
The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I’m the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I’m tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.
I’m tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don’t know why. I think it’s because death is coming for one of them, or both.
All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried.
This is a book I should not have read. I had no clue that was the case just by looking at that cover. It’s so pretty and it pulls you in and says, “Read Me!” I certainly didn’t get any indication from the synopsis either! The story just sounded like a young adult mystery. I was game for it. Oh, how wrong I would end up being…
This is definitely the perfect example of a two star rating: this book just isn’t for me!
Story / Setting / Tempo
The story is told in the third person but it’s told from Maggie’s POV, if that makes sense. Maggie has just moved from Chicago to Door County on the Peninsula in Wisconsin. Her family has had to give up their life in Chicago for a job her mother has had to take and to save money. As if Maggie doesn’t already have enough stressors on her life, she now has to navigate her new home and town. One thing is pretty easy for her: her next door neighbor, Pauline, quickly befriends her and introduces her to Liam, Pauline’s childhood bestfriend.
The first 50% of the book is spent building the relationship between Pauline and Maggie and basically illustrating Maggie’s new life in small town Wisconsin. I got bored when nothing was happening, especially because there was very, VERY little mention of the murdered girls. From the synopsis (and the book title) I thought the story was about the murders. Turns out… not so much.
So finally, the book started to get interesting for me at about 60% when my least favorite airhead, Pauline, is sent away to stay with family in the city for her protection from the murderer. First clue I would not like the book: I hate one of the main characters. Oh, I really liked Maggie and Liam. I enjoyed both their character make up and their voices, if you know what I mean. But you can’t escape a main character whom you don’t like.
As soon as I was done reading, I was in shock. I didn’t know whether to cry or fling my ereader at someone, anyones’s head!!! This was the ending I was expecting. I wish I could go into more detail but I will say this: the great Russian tragedies of authors such as Turgenev come to mind when I think about the ending to this book.
UGH… So NOT what I look for in a YA title.
And what about the title of the book? Where does that fit in with the story? Can someone explain, please?
The best way to describe how I felt after reading this book was depressed and disappointed. I needed a mind wipe book and I needed it STAT. You know what I went for, what the ultimate opposite book was? It was a young adult contemporary romance title that had giggles and fun stuff that I knew the author could deliver.
Mind wipe successful. It was scary there a few moments… I was worried because lobotomy was the next logical step 😐
About the author:
Jodi Lynn Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches, The Secrets of Peaches, Love and Peaches, Tiger Lily, and the popular May Bird trilogy. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and an endless parade of stray pets.