Friday, May 15, 2015

Vanished by E.E. Cooper

Vanished by E.E. Cooper
Release Date - May 12, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in this fast-paced psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns.

Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love.

Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn't stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.

Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth's best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn't even tell Kalah good-bye.

One of the rumors links Beth to Britney's boyfriend, and Kalah doesn't want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it--and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.

When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit's suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she's swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah's caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth. 
Unreliable narrators, when used, effectively can craft a story into something extraordinary. They mesmerise the reader and keep them guessing. Vanished has, at it's heart, an unreliable narrator who may not be putting the wrong pieces together, even if those around her don't trust what she's seeing. As interesting as this story's main character is, it was the other elements that I found not as compelling.

Kalah is struggling with OCD, and anxiety. She's someone who latches on to the worst possible outcome of a situation and struggles with finding her way out of this cycle. She panics, and this causes those around her to not take her concerns at face value. They think it's her illness when she notices strange things. This novel paints those around her as concerned, rather than dismissive. They want to help, and recognize what she is going through. Kalah's family in particular is involved and present. This sensitive, and healthy look at anxiety and mental illnesses and coping mechanisms is a shining element of the story.

Teen mysteries often have an element of unbelievably to them. Their structure lends themselves to this easily and is often overlooked because of the genre. Teens spearheading their own investigations and having access to things they shouldn't are often just glossed over. This novel has a teen who sleuths in a very plausible manner. Everything she does to suss out the truth is something she would really be able to do without any training. She's logical and uses logical means to go about proving her intuition correct. This added a layer of realism to the story that was needed in order to keep it grounded.

Showing versus telling is a writing technique that requires delicate balance. I prefer to be shown something rather than being told in novels. This novel has a lot of telling happening within the story. We're told that Beth and Britney had a frenemies style relationship, but we never experience it. We're told that characters had fallen in love, without getting to see it for ourselves. The characters themselves were never given the chance to develop. With the names Beth and Britney being similar, and the characters themselves feeling interchangeable, it became a struggle to keep them separated, particularly in flashbacks. There wasn't anything defining about either of them that brought them to life within the pages. Other than the main character the background stories, motivations and quirks that define the characters were largely lost in favour of a more plot driven storyline.

The mystery itself is predictable, but well crafted. This is a series so not everything is fully wrapped up at the end of this novel, and there are certainly more twists and turns to come, but the ones found within these pages are easily guessed. The journey to these answers, however, is entertaining enough that you'll breeze through this quick read.

Fans of Sarah Shepherd's novels will find their next fix here as comparisons to Pretty Little Liars are fairly accurate. A fun, if predictable, mystery that sets the framework for future sequels. A novel whose focus is plot, rather than characterization, so those looking for that style of read will enjoy this quick paced mystery all the more.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments. Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you even more for leaving me a comment.

I have decided to make this an awards free blog. I appreciate the gesture, and love that you thought of my blog, however I simply can't pass them along as required.

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...