Before I Disappear

Feiwel & Friends. Jul. 2019. 384p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250303196.
Gr 9 Up–Rose Montgomery has always wanted a place to call home, but when she and her family move to Fort Glory, OR, her hopes that this town will be the one vanish—along with the rest of the town, and her family. When Rose goes searching for them, she gets trapped in The Fold, the space between the real world and the missing town. Unable to trust anyone, even herself, Rose must learn to put her faith in others to unravel the clues that her brother sends her from inside Fort Glory. Stinson’s debut is a science fiction story with a spooky premise. Told in alternating chapters from Rose’s point of view in The Fold and Rose’s brother, Charlie, in Fort Glory, this novel features moments of beautiful language. Stinson also effectively sets up tension, and the mystery begins on the first page before the town even disappears. However, some plot points are telegraphed while others strain credulity and are never really resolved. Much like the string theory it discusses, some strands are stronger than others.
VERDICT There aren’t many YA science fiction novels about string theory out there, and while this debut has its flaws, readers will still be drawn into Rose’s story.

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