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April 06, 2012

Review: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry - Juhina

The Night She Disappeared

Title: The Night She Disappeared
Author: April Henry
Publication date: March 13th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)
Genre(s): Young Adult (mystery)
Challenges: Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Format: Digital ARC
Pages: 240
Add to Goodreads
Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.
It seems that there is an emerging trend in young adult novels, and that is murder/kidnapping mysteries, and let me tell you, I'm ALL for this new sub-genre! I love watching shows like The Mentalist and Criminal Minds, basically shows that keep you on the edge of your seat while you're trying to solve the mystery and then being able to get your "AHA!" moment when you're right. This is why I was excited to get The Night She Disappeared and picked it up right away when I saw it up on NetGalley. A kidnapping? where the kidnapper somehow kidnaps the WRONG GIRL? sloppy planning or what? I just found the premise enticing and VERY interesting. I was hooked for the first 50 pages or so, but then it somehow plummeted for me. 
First off, this novel interchanges in POVs, some of them are suspects, some are witnesses, and even the kidnapper and kidnapped girl, Kayla, themselves. See, I had a problem right there with the kidnapper being revealed so early in the book through his POV. The FUN part in mysteries is being able to make your own guesses and conclusions about the killer/kidnaper, and that was taken away from me. There was also no real "investigating" going on, there was somehow a romantic plot thrown in there and just a lot of emotional mumbo jumbo from Kayla's co-workers, who saw her last. 
I wanted suspense, clues, discoveries and basically a plot that kept me hooked, but unfortunately this book didn't deliver. The first 50 pages were good since we get to find out some clues, discover the place where she was kidnapped and possible killed, and the rounding up of suspects, however in the middle, the book reached a lull, and then FINALLY picked up in the last 30 pages or so. The book was entertaining and the idea of the book was great and the writing was good, but the sequence of events and how the story unfolded is what didn't work for me. I'm sure many people will enjoy it if they are not expecting a "mystery" but just a contemporary with a sprinkle of suspense, because that is really all you get.  
2.5 musical notes


  1. ok/thnx for reviewing
    maybe for me

  2. Hmmmmm sounds like I was right. I DNFed this book at page 30ish because I could NOT get into the characters and felt it was building weak. Thanks for the review...I'm glad I didn't waste my time!

  3. Thanks for the helpful review! I do like the sound of this book but I've noticed quite a few mixed reviews. I should be reading it soon so I can't wait to see what I make of it. :)

  4. I've seen a lot of positive reviews for this. This is actually the first negative review I've read. I'm sorry you didn't like it. I like the different styles that the book does and changing POV's.

    1. Yea I know, the book started off to be very promising but like I explained, the synopsis was a bit misleading for me =\

      - juhina

  5. I have this one in the TBR pile. I really had high hopes for it. It really sounds like a thrilling read but now I'm not so sure. I'll give it a try anyway. Sorry you didn't enjoy it.