The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Vanishing Season
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published by: HarperTeen

When Maggie moves from Chicago to a small dilapidated house in a small town, she isn't holding out much hope for liking it. But when she meets her neighbors Pauline and Liam, things start looking up. Soon after Maggie has settled, a serial killer starts targeting young women in the town. Pauline's mom sends her away until after the murderer is caught which brings Liam and Maggie closer together. But when Pauline returns things between the trio get tricky.

What makes this book interesting is that it's told from both Maggie and an unknown ghost's perspective.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the interesting ends.

The ghost doesn't understand why it's there, what it's looking for, or who it is. So I read to figure out who she was. Is she one of the murdered girls? Was she murdered in the house?  Will she help Maggie figure out who the serial killer is?

You don't actually find out who the ghost is until the end and it's disappointing. The point of the ghost's perspective isn't compelling reading. The book couldn't have been worse without it.

Maggie, like the book itself, is boring. She's a good student. So smart that her parent's home school her. She loves reading, drawing, and doing everything she's asked. She's aware of her parent's finances and vows not to be something else they have worry about. It's all well and good for a kid but it makes the story a tedious read. You have to push yourself to keep going. She doesn't have to disobey her parents to be interesting but she isn't really affected by anything. She doesn't have her own thoughts or emotions. Everything she feels she keeps inside. And though we are privy to those feelings they aren't expressed with the appropriate words.

For example, when she and Pauline have a falling out, she completely ignores her and never, even in her head, gets angry. Then, she pretends nothing has happened and they hang out. She can't stand up for herself, express herself, or even voice what she's feeling. How boring is that?

Maggie's character is devoid of interesting, descriptive thoughts and ideas. Which begs the question, why should we be interested in her? I honestly don't know.

This book just seemed confused. It seemed as if Anderson didn't know what she wanted the book to be about and in doing so many could-be-interesting plot points not one comes to a fulfilling conclusion.

I also have to mention that I usually like to put some of my favorite quotes as pictures in my posts and this book did not leave me with one I would feel good about putting in here. The writing wasn't bad but it also wasn't very memorable.

I give this book one out of five cateyes.

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  1. Darn. :[ It started out so promising, haha. It makes me so sad when characters (especially the main one!) give you nothing to root for!

  2. Exactly! I don't know what the point is if I'm not even invested in the main character. So disappointing.