Title: The Vanishing SeasonAuthor: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published: July 1st, 2014
Genre: YA contemporary/fantasy
POV: 1st person / 3rd person
Source: Edelweiss / HarperCollins
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf
Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.
The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.
I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.
All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.
From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.
Maggie's an outsider – homeschooled, intelligent, and maybe a bit too mature for her age. But after her family moves to Door County (just in time for a serial killer to be on the loose), she finds herself being pulled into the lives of Pauline – the gorgeous, bubbly, and somewhat childish girl next door – and Liam – Pauline's creative friend, who's considered to be one of the town's stranger inhabitants. As tensions rise in the town, the three of them connect and drift apart. But, unbeknownst to them, they are all observed by a spirit who is drawn to Maggie's home.
I started The Vanishing Season soon after finishing Anderson's Tiger Lily, so I was unsure what to expect. I knew, at the very least, that this was going to be a story with substance. This is a story that is both subtly haunting and unnerving. Sweet, sad, terrifying, romantic, and heartbreaking, The Vanishing Season cycles through these various emotions as Maggie's life unfolds and the spirit's reason for being there is revealed. Readers looking for a quiet, haunting tale about love and friendship will find The Vanishing Season to be well worth their time.
Highlights: The mixture of the spirit's first person POV and Maggie's third person POV proved fascinating together. This a wonderfully reflective story, and I loved the emphasis on friendship and family. I thought this story would be a murder mystery, but it's more about love and loss. Anderson's writing was lovely, and captivating from start to finish. And I can just say that the cover is brilliant? Because it truly is perfect for the story.
Lowlights: I figured out why the ghost was lingering early on (but the circumstances of how she became a ghost were a mystery to me, until the conclusion, and that was a heartbreaking surprise).
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf (4 out of 5). The Vanishing Season is fantastic, worth owning, and has earned a spot in the royal library. I enjoyed this story very much, despite a few small issues, and would recommend this book to other readers.