Title: The Night She Disappeared
Author: April Henry
Publication date: March 13th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)
Genre(s): Young Adult (mystery)
Format: Digital ARC
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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