The Vanishing Season

272p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Jul. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062003270; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062239174.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—Maggie Larsen is uprooted by her parents from the busy city of Chicago to the remote and quaint town of Gill Creek. She is immediately befriended by her neighbor, the beautiful but eccentric Pauline, and her childhood BFF, the gentle Liam. The three become inseparable—although beneath the surface a simmering romantic tension is clearly brewing. Things come to a head when girls begin to mysteriously disappear and Pauline is sent away. With the dynamic of Maggie and Liam's relationship now intensifying, the bonds of friendship and loyalty are in question. The journey of self-discovery taken by each character tests their true nature and forces decisions that will change their lives forever. Anderson crafts a heartbreaking story full of mystery, love, redemption, and betrayal. The subtle writing draws readers in from the beginning, while the complex and intriguing characters beautifully drive the measured pacing of the plot. The interspersed first-person ghostly narrative adds an eerie sense of dread and foreboding. Yet it is the stark and realistic portrayal of events coupled with a startling conclusion that make this such a powerful read.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Maggie moves from Chicago to rural Door County with her family and reluctantly befriends beautiful, magnetic Pauline and outsider Liam. The teens' world is rocked when local girls start vanishing in the fall, then turn up dead come winter. Anderson alternates a ghostly first-person narrator and more factual third-person narration centering on the three teens. A surreal, haunting story.

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