Review: The Vanishing Season


Title: The Vanishing Season

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Goodreads / Author’s facebook / Author’s twitter

I had high expectations for this book just from reading the summary, but I was so, so disappointed after I’d read it. It just didn’t live up to what I hoped it would be.

More on that in a moment, but first – a brief excerpt from Jodi Lynn Anderson’s HarperCollins page:

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.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.

That sounds great, right? That’s what I thought, but the book turned out to be nothing like I expected. There’s a love triangle between Maggie, Pauline, and Liam, who are all neighbors. A love triangle which is incredibly predictable, I might add. I hate love triangles.

But more obnoxious than that, there is absolutely no explanation of the ghostly presence that narrates short segments throughout the book. I mean, you find out who it’s supposed to be, but it makes no sense whatsoever and isn’t explained in the slightest. Other than that, there is nothing “haunting” about the book. It’s normal realistic fiction! There is a mysterious killer in town whose presence affects the main characters, but it’s not supernatural at all. Which is fine, just don’t advertise that from the start.

Once I got past my initial disappointment and final confusion and thought back over the whole reading experience, I realized that The Vanishing Season was not the worst thing I’ve ever read. I actually liked the author’s style, and there were plenty of fabulous moments of truth in the dialogue and character development. But overall, the book was just a “meh.”

2 out of 5 stars.



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