I skimmed over this at my library book sale. The cover wasn’t very bright or catchy, but then I chanced a glance at the synopsis and it sounded like my type of book. I ended up getting it and what became of it is hard to say… Note: I have decided to go with a new review style. Instead of extensively explaining the plot, I will be copying the synopsis’ from the covers. Mostly this is because I sometimes don’t feel like I give the plot justice and I don’t want to accidently spoil something. Please let me know what you think!
Title: The Vanishing Season
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Age Group: Middle schoolers and up
My Rating: 2/4 stars
Synopsis: “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.”
The characters of this book seemed well thought out. If you needed me to I could probably describe the three main characters in detail. Maggie is an artsy nerd who works hard for what she wants. Pauline is a pretty, innocent girl who has big dreams, but doesn’t know how to act on them. Liam is a quiet, slightly odd boy, who is skilled with his hands (he builds stuff). The characters were original and I appreciated that. However, their personalities didn’t really make up for the plot.
I expected this book to be a mystery, full of suspense, and I would take pleasure in not knowing what would happen next. In fact, the book was not this idyllic one I had imagined. It was much more laidback, which isn’t necessarily bad, but I personally didn’t enjoy it. There were murders that happened, especially near the beginning. These weren’t fully the focus of the book as the synopsis suggested. It was mainly centered around a love triangle of the three main characters. About 75% of my way through the book, I became a little tired of this and was still waiting for the action to really start. The sad thing is, that it never really started. I can see reasons for why the author did certain things and there was a bit of mystery surrounding the ghost, but I honestly didn’t like how much the focus was shifted from the vanished girls. The book never came back around to that subject and I was left feeling like I lacked closure.
While the book may have had strong characters, the love triangle (which I didn’t expect from the description) ended up ruining it for me.