Release Date: March 13th 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Buy It: Book Depository
Gabie drives a Mini Cooper and works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.I'd been wanting to read April Henry's last novel, Girl, Stolen since it was released, but still haven't managed to, so when I got my hands on a (virtual) copy of her last YA mystery, I had to dive into it almost immediately. Unfortunately, there was quite a lot that didn't work for me in The Night She Disappeared, so that Girl, Stolen may disappear from my To Read list.
First, there were too many points of view for me, Gabie, Kayla, Drew, the killer, and the result was that I never really connected to any of them. In general, I don't like more than two perspectives, but especially in a book this short. The most authentic POV, for me, and the most interesting, was Gabie's, and maybe if it had been her voice for the full novel, I would have felt less disconnected from her.
I thought that the premise of this kind of survivor's guilt that Gabie feels was really interesting, but when it delved into a paranormal connection, The Night She Disappeared totally lost me. It didn't have the creepy feel that I look for in a genuine paranormal thriller, and it came across as a throwaway.
What Henry is great at is tension and excitement, this novel has a ton of action packed into its pages, and she doesn't mince words. But, my biggest disappointment for The Night She Disappeared as a mystery novel is a slight spoiler (so highlight to read): you can't actually figure out who the killer is, which seems ridiculous because that's my favourite part about mysteries is trying to find the clues, only in this book there aren't any. Unlike other novels where you constantly suspect everyone, here I suspected nobody. And to me, that was more annoying than cutting edge.
In addition to the various POVs, the novel also had transcripts and police records included, which I thought was a pretty neat way to give a fuller picture of the investigation. Overall, though the premise was intriguing and the storyline was fast-paced, The Night She Disappeared didn't have enough emotional connection for me, and I was disappointed by the book as a whole, but particularly the final reveal.