Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

Going into this, I thought it was going to be a murder mystery type book, but it was actually a really odd love triangle story. It did keep me interested because I wanted to know who was behind killing these girls, and why this ghost or spirit is hanging around. It was much different than what I expected. I can't really say that I enjoyed this book much unfortunately. It seemed to be going nowhere, but I kept reading for hope that it would get really interesting. In that aspect, it did, but not until the very end. The end was great actually. Not at all what I was expecting, but also it seemed a long winded story to get there.

It starts off with Maggie moving to an old decrepit house in this middle of nowhere place. Her family has financial issues, so this is what it has come to. She becomes good friends with Pauline, a rich girl who lives near her, and her best friend, Liam. She has feelings towards Liam, but he has been hung up on Pauline since they were kids, though she doesn't seem to return the feelings. After Pauline stays out too late one night and gets sent to her aunts until the serial killer is caught, a new bond forms between Liam and Maggie. They are pretty much inseparable. I don't really feel like I got to know Maggie much throughout the story, but I did like her.

Pauline is a bit of a harder one to like. I mean, she's pretty much perfect, but she seems unhappy all the time. She has dreams of a future away from there, but knows that she probable will never do what she actually wants. Her relationship with Liam is frustrating. She obviously cares for him, but is afraid to lose their friendship because she needs him in her life.

Liam pissed me off. He is totally into Pauline, but then the second she's gone he is all about Maggie. When Pauline returns, it's like he totally forgets about Maggie and is all about Pauline again. He is sweet and romantic, but he flips like a switch from one girl to another. I almost did feel bad for him though, because Pauline and Maggie were the only people he really had besides his dad. Since his dad is a bit of a weirdo, everyone just labels Liam as someone to stay away from too.

The romance is sweet, but it is basically the whole book. Whether it be him pining over Pauline, or being with Maggie. Okay, so the friendships they form are a huge part too, but I was so distracted with all the romance and lying, and deceit to really care about their friendships anymore.

I really wanted to enjoy this book more, but it just wasn't for me. I was hoping for a mystery, but instead got a romance story with a random serial killer story thrown in the background. We don't ever find out anything about the killings, it just was there. We do get to see the friendships form, crumble, then get put back together though. What was the best, was how it all ended. It was a very unexpected end, that was actually really creative. I never would have thought the book was going to end the way it did. Sadly, it wasn't a saving grace for this book and I wish there had been more substance to the whole thing. I really needed more connection to the characters, and more depth to the story. The writing was very beautiful, but this book in general just didn't do it for me.

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. I did not receive any compensation.


  1. Ugh! I hate it when character can not make up their minds. Its like they only go with what convinces them at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

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