In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”


My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED by April Henry


copyright date: March 2012
primarily marketed for:  young adults (12 and up)

And it is every bit as good. 

The book opens with a pizza delivery receipt, then jumps to the point of view of Drew, who wrote out that very order slip.  Drew took the order, then sent Kayla to make the delivery.  Only Kayla never came back. 

The police end up finding Kayla’s car, purse, cell phone, and the pizzas, but no sign of where Kayla might have gone.  It turns out that Kayla switched delivery shifts with her co-worker Gabie, and the man who placed the order even asked if Gabie would be making the delivery.  Was Gabie actually the one being targeted?  

This is a classic mystery story told in a fresh way.  The story continues, just as it began, by switching points of view and peppering in writing in other formats, like the receipt.  At one point, readers even get a terrifying glimpse of Kayla’s point of view as well as creepy insight into the mind of her kidnapper. 

The story unfolds through chapters labeled in terms of the number of days since Kayla first disappeared.  Drew and his co-worker Gabie are left to try to figure things out and rescue Kayla since the police seem to be following all the wrong leads (this was the only irritating part of the book, but since it made for a better story than it would have if the police actually did their jobs, it was easy to overlook this one unbelievable piece of the story). 

I love April Henry’s ability to craft a perfectly terrifying mystery that seems just a bit too realistic to be settling without crossing the line into ooky creepiness (though she just edge right up to the line in the most satisfying of ways).  If you like a good creepy mystery, then you will know just what I mean when you read The Night She Disappeared!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you had spring break... you posted two new book reviews! Adding to my TBR shelf...

    ReplyDelete