Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 13th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Source: NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.
I quite liked The Night She Disappeared. It was nothing original, just a decent thriller with good writing. I didn’t think it was particularly special, but I did enjoy reading it. It was one of those books that was more about the plot than about the characters.
Because the story was told in multiple POVs, I never got attached to the characters. A little bit, but not much. It switched around a lot. I know some readers don’t like that, and sometimes neither do I, but I think because of the way the book was written that it worked. The book was told from Kayla, Gabie, Drew, and the villain’s point of view. I think there were only four perspectives, but I could be wrong. So there were at least four different POVs. And I never felt particularly connected to the characters, but I really wanted to know what had happened to Kayla and if she was going to make it out alive.
The book was told in fairly short sentences with easy writing. When I say easy, I don’t mean bad, I mean simple. It flowed and was just a really easy book to read and comprehend. I liked that. It was refreshing. Sometimes I feel that authors who write this type of suspense novel try to hard to make their book more than it is. They make it confusing and puzzling, and it doesn’t need to be. So I did like that.
Things I didn’t like? I thought the addition of the relationship that was forming between Gabie and Drew was awkward and unnecessary. Why do most young adult authors feel it is required to add a romantic teen relationship to the story? I didn’t care for that, and I felt that their chemistry was lacking, and I wasn’t buying their relationship at all. They would have worked much better as just friends.
I had an issue with the character of Detective Thayer. First of all, he was a complete (*&$@*&. And as far as I know, police officers wouldn’t treat witnesses that weren’t suspects like garbage. If they were being interrogated as a suspect, sure, but these were just kids. And I know it’s just my personal opinion, but I didn’t care for the way the police were portrayed in this novel. I feel it was just used as a plot device so the book could end the way it did. And I would share that with you, but no spoilers, so…I just felt it was a cheap way out.
There was also a repetitive thing going on in this book. How many times did the author need to tell me that Gabie was meant to be kidnapped instead? That Kayla wasn’t supposed to be working that night. That Gabie drove a Mini Cooper. That Drew was a stoner. It got a bit annoying, and I felt like the author was trying to tell me I was stupid. I am always looking for things like that in the manuscripts I edit because the last thing a reader ever wants to feel is that the author thinks they are ignorant. And I personally hate that. So the editor dropped the ball on that one.
I liked it. I didn’t love it. There were certainly things I felt could have been improved. But I also couldn’t put it down. So I feel comfortable with the rating of 3/5 stars.
Favorite Quote: It’s so stupid, but you can’t buy fireworks in Oregon, or even have them in your possession. At least, nothing that’s any good. Nothing that goes more than six feet along the ground or twelve inches into the air. Which pretty much leaves those black tablets that grow into ash snakes after you light them. Oh, and sparklers. Lame-O.
To pre-order a copy of The Night She Disappeared from Amazon.com, click here: The Night She Disappeared.