Book Review: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

HMH Books for Young Readers
Published July 4, 2017
388 Pages

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up. -Goodreads

I’ve been sitting on this book for a while, unfortunately,  so when I actually began reading it, I was very pleased.

The Disappearances started off really well. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time for you to get to some big points in the novel. However, the first thing I noticed was how Aila acted. Although she is 17, her actions, the way she speaks and interacts with everyone makes it appear she is younger than what she is. It isn’t until she starts school… high school that you have a confirmation on her age. From there, how she interacts with others and what her own actions begin to shift. It was interesting to read because I thought she was 12 when I began the book.

Beyond that she was an alright character. I didn’t dislike her nor did I like her. I felt that she was one of those neutral characters that only saves the day because of how it affects her and her family and not necessarily because it may be the right thing to do or because she has that spark in her.

The love interest didn’t have enough chemistry for me to feel that it was truly genuine, which is unfortunate because it would have been nice. Half way through the book things staled a little as not a whole lot was really really going on. When some things did happen, it wasn’t the big explosion the book or even the summary made it seem it was going to be. It was disappointing the say the least.

But I kept reading the book even though my excited for it was dwindling. I couldn’t put it down because the author was very creative and it reminded me a bit of a movie I watch on Netflix called Perfect Sense (2011) featuring Eva Green and Ewan McGregor. It’s a decent watch with a lack luster ending, which surprisingly is exactly how I feel about the ending of this book.

Overall, I didn’t think it was a bad read and for the most part I enjoyed this book. But there were misses in the plot, backstory, romance and twists (the twist is not shocking at all). This book could have been amazing but for the most part, it was a nice between read.

3 Pickles

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