Title: The Vanishing Season
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Won from publisher
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.
You guys know how much I looooved Tiger Lily. I was so excited to read this one, just because it was Jodi Lynn Anderson. (And this is a gorgeous cover.) But, it didn't really live up to my expectations. The summary makes it seem almost like a horror/paranormal ghost story, which isn't my thing, but I was willing to give it a shot because of the author. Then, as the reviews started trickling in, I was seeing a lot of it isn't really what it's marketed to be, not very paranormal, more contemporary. Which, okay. A contemporary romance, I could handle that. In fact, I would rather that. Except...no.
Basically, the only good thing in this novel was the writing style. Of course, I love Anderson's writing. However, it was bogged down by lack of plot, lack of meaningful characters, lack of anything that really made this worth reading. Harsh, maybe, but true. I almost put this down a couple times, I was that uninterested.
First off, nothing that happens really makes sense. The synopsis is all about the missing girls, and this narration from this ghost-like character, but that is not what this book was about. Like, at all. The missing girls are mentioned, sure, but that was not really an important part of this story at all. The story is really about Maggie, who moves to Door County from Chicago. Here, she meets Pauline--beautiful, rich, whimsical Pauline. She becomes friends with Pauline, as well as Liam, who is in love with Pauline. There's a love triangle, and not-very-exciting plot points, and a messy ending.
These characters...oh boy, the characters. There was no character growth at all. I felt like none of the characters had really any personality. For some attempt at coherency, it's probably better if I split this up:
- Maggie: At first, Maggie seems almost like your average nerd--smart, hardworking, more concerned with her future than with partying or making friends. But as you read on, there really is nothing to Maggie. She has almost zero personality. She is allows herself to be stepped on constantly by Pauline. Even after Pauline and Liam get together, she gives in to Pauline's pouty ritual and stays friends with her. Um, what? I would have liked to see so much more from our main narrator, but there really was just nothing to her.
- Pauline: Oh, Pauline. The naive, rich, beautiful, snobby one. Except, I don't think she was as naive as Maggie thought she was. There were many a time when Maggie stated that Pauline was not snobby or selfish or uppity like other incredibly beautiful girls. Except, she was. She didn't care who she stepped on, as long as she got her way, and I couldn't really stand her.
- Liam: I guess I'm not entirely sure what to think of Liam. He's your average, shy, yet sort of sweet guy. He was okay at first, almost like a puppy that followed after Pauline, starving for her attention. He seemed very sweet, and nice...and then just drops Maggie like a hot potato when Pauline comes back.
- The Ghost Narrator: I just don't understand. That is basically my mantra for this book, I think. Instead of making things more interesting, or adding a sense of mystery, these parts of the story just annoyed me. Then, at the end, when all is revealed...I still didn't understand. I mean, I understood what happened, but not the why. Like, I seriously don't even know what the point of the book was, with that ending.
The plot...if there was one. I couldn't really tell. I mean, you go in thinking it's about these missing girls, but except for being mentioned, it isn't. I really don't know what the plot of this book was. And then at the end, I will admit that she throws in a twist, but even that wasn't enough to renew interest. At this point, I just wanted to be done.
Like I said, I almost don't know what the point was, with the ending. As much as I hate to say it, this book had pretty much nothing going for it, which is super disappointing. Although I'm sure I'll pick up Jodi Lynn Anderson's next book in hopes that it is better, this book was not for me.
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