Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: The Night She Disappeared


The Night She DisappearedAuthor: April Henry
Release date: April 4th 2013
Publisher: Walker
Paperback, 240 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Walker UK
        The Book Depository

Gaby works part-time as a delivery girl at Pete's Pizza. She also drives a Mini Cooper. One night Kayla, who also works at Pete's, goes missing. A customer who had placed an order had asked whether the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gaby is horrified that Kayla's fate was really meant for her and she is determined to find the missing girl. She teams up with another co-worker, Drew, and together they set out to prove that Kayla isn't dead – and to find her before she is.

“A genuine thriller.” Those are the words written on the cover of The Night She Disappeared and they’re words with which I wholeheartedly agree. With its 230 pages, April Henry’s YA crime novel is a quick and exciting read. It is clear from every page that Henry is an experienced author with more than ten novels behind her. Her control over the characters, plot and pacing is absolute.

When a pizza delivery girl named Kayla goes missing, her two co-workers know that she wasn’t the intended target, but no one else thinks it’s important that the kidnapper asked for Gabie specifically, and that Gabie was supposed to be working that night. While everyone else is out looking for Kayla, Drew and Gabie struggle with guilt and fear. Gabie especially can’t forgive herself for being home safe while Kayla was being kidnapped in her place.

The Night She Disappeared is told from multiple perspectives, and while it’s not my favorite narrative mode, each narrator contributed to the story. The kidnapper’s perspective would normally bother me, but Henry skillfully offered his POV without giving us insight into his motives, which made him all the more interesting and kept me on edge. I am still unclear as to why he wanted those girls, but that too suited me just fine in this case. Psychopaths like him rarely make sense. Gabie herself wasn’t much of a heroine, but Henry used her well to show how ordinary, weak-willed people can sometimes gather the courage to do something extraordinary.

The guilt and responsibility they both feel bring Drew and Gabie closer together. Their budding relationship is a bit awkward because of the differences in their social status. Gabie is a daughter of two respected surgeons, a quiet and hardworking girl, already accepted to Stanford. Drew is a troublemaker and a small-time drug dealer with a tweaker mom. Ideally, things like money, clothes and cars wouldn’t matter at all, but since it mattered to the both of them, it was a constant source of misunderstanding.

What made this book stand out even more were the newspaper clippings, police interrogation transcripts, coroner’s reports, evidence forms etc. that were inserted between the chapters. They gave the story a more realistic feel and I found myself racing through each chapter just to discover what’s next.

April Henry has a new project coming up on June 11th called The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die. I think I might just pre-order it.


27 comments:

  1. I've seen this book around a lot but it hasn't caught my attention until now! I'm always up for a thrilling read and this one sounds fantastic. I'm not sure how I'll feel about Drew and Gabie's relationship, but the mystery seems to good to pass up. And the extra clippings and reports seem like it added a nice touch to the novel! Brilliant review, Maja! :)

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  2. I honestly prefer the crime stories on TV. I like to see them cause imagining them can me scary. I haven't heard of this one but right now I'm really curious about it. It sounds really mysterious and creepy. Maybe one day I'll read it. Great review :)

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  3. I won a copy of this from Wendy, though I haven't had a chance to read it yet. So glad you liked it! I'm normally not a fan of getting the villain's perspective either, but I'm glad to hear it worked well in this book. Also really pleased to hear that it's short! That will make it easier to slip into my schedule somewhere. ;) Great review as always, Maja!

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  4. This sounds fantastic, Maja! I really love mysteries and thrillers and have been on the look out for more of them.

    It's interesting that the kidnapper gets a PoV and it's great that it worked!

    Have added this to my to-read list :)

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  5. A genuine thriller, wow, I really want this one now. I enjoy multiple pov's in a thriller as it keeps everything moving along nicely. And newspaper clippings, etc - great touch.

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  6. Is it normal to be creeped out by this book? I like to avoid these sort of books but I'm getting tempted! Beautifully written review Maja! Keeping my eyes open for more reviews on this book :)

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  7. Oh wow! I didn't think this book was this good. This sounds like such a good book from your review. I actually like when a mystery book gives the POV of the criminal because it makes it more interesting.
    Gabie is the character that I like in my books, a weak girl who turns out to be very courageous in the face of danger.
    Lovely review, Maja. Definitely adding this to my to-read list.

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  8. I really liked the sound of this. I'm now so curious where Kayla is! I love books wherein suspense is present. It gives books their unique touch. Having you feel it more realistic gives me more reason to read it! Great review, Maja!

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  9. I have read a book (another mystery) by April way back when and really enjoyed it. I am a huge fan of mysteries but for whatever reason I haven't read one in awhile. I am going to keep this one in mind.

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  10. Now I want to find Kayla, wonderful review, and excited to hear this is tightly written and developed.

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  11. April Henry is a local author to me and I read Girl, Stolen but that's it. It's pathetic since I see her all the time and have seen her on several panels. One of my friends daughters LOVES her books. So I'm going to grab this one next time I'm at Powells cause your not the first person to say it's great.

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  12. Although this is typically the type of novel I usually avoid, as I am not a huge fan of kidnappings and what-not, you've made it sound SO GOOD. I'm burning with curiosity now, so I'll have to pick this up soon. Also, Henry's latest novel is on NG, I think. :)

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  13. ooh I love it when books creep me out! I'm definitely have to check this one out, because you have me really interested! And i love multiple perspectives! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  14. I loved those extra bits between chapters too! Really enjoyed this one and I was quite surprised at that considering it's page length. Fabulous review! Glad you enjoyed this one too. :)

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  15. I think I'll love the inserts in between the chapters! It would be interesting to find out how Gabie copes with the situation. Thanks for sharing :)

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  16. This sounds quite good. I don't read many thrillers and I didn't request this one when I seen it, even though I liked the sound of it. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I think I'd like getting the kidnapper's POV too. And Drew and Gabi seem like characters who'd be worth getting to know. Wonderful review Maja

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  17. I remember seeing great reviews for this book when it was released in the US last year, I'm so glad that our publishers have picked it over here too. It's a book a bit out of my comfort zone, but I think the realistic vibe of the book, will definitely keep me hooked! Lovely review Maja! :)

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  18. This book sounds so good. The newspaper clippings and other inserts between the chapters sound really interesting too. I love thrillers. I'm really going to have to get it soon. Great review!

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  19. I love reading books that are presented like a scrap book. While this book may not be my forte at the moment, I'm keeping it close for when I have the luxury of time.

    Fab review, Maja. :)

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  20. I'm not a big fan of thrillers but I may check this one out based on your review, Maja. I like that it's a quick read but I'm especially interested in the little extras in between chapters.

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  21. This is most definitely my kinda book and this is the first review I've read on it! The police reports and stuff are a really nice touch! I like a few different POV's as long as things don't get confusing! I really like how you get the killers POV & nothing gets given away!

    Awesome review Maja, I will definitely be getting my hands on this one up soon! :)

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  22. Great review, Maja. I don't often pick up thrillers but this sounds so well written.

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  23. I love a good thriller to spice up my reading. I am kicking myself because I should have grabbed this last year when I could have gotten the ARC. I read some great reviews for it. I like the idea of newspaper clippings and such it always makes the read more interesting.

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  24. This one didn't really grab my attention as it seems to have an overly used premise. I think I may have to reconsider and give this one a shot after reading your review.

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  25. I'm always up for a good thriller, and this one sounds wonderful! I've really not read many reviews for it, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I've had pretty good luck with books with multiple perspectives lately, and I think getting the kidnapper's POV could be a nice, creepy touch. I'll have to look out for The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die as well. Fabulous review!

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  26. Ooh, you know how much I like criminal thrillers and procedurals. I will definitely check this out, Maja. Great review.

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  27. It's been a while but I really enjoyed this one as well, Maja! It was frightening because it was something that could actually happen! Wonderful review. :)

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