Title: The Night She Disappeared
Author: April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Release date: April 10th 2012
Genre: YA; mystery
Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, 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, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. 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 don't usually read a lot of mysteries, but for some reason, I've been really into them lately. So I was really excited when I saw that The Night She Disappeared was on NetGalley. It's the classic kidnapping-mystery with a twist - it's narrated by a girl who knows she was supposed to be kidnapped, but instead her coworker was taken. Such an intriguing idea!
I loved the mystery in The Night She Disappeared. There's nothing quite like the thrill you get from reading a good mystery. The suspense in this book is really well done - kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved trying to figure out who the kidnapper was, and it was nearly impossible to stop reading when I had other stuff to do.
I like how we got lots of different POVs - there's Gabie, but we also read from Drew's perspective, as well as from Kayla's and from the kidnapper's. I really like the idea of having chapters from the bad guy's POV - finding out little things about him without his identity being revealed made it that much more suspenseful. I also like that there are little parts of the investigation in between the chapters - newspaper articles about the kidnapping, descriptions of evidence, transcripts of police interrogations, etc. That made the whole story seem even more real - and even more frightening.
The characters are good. Often, in mysteries, I find that the novel focuses too much on the mystery but doesn't properly develop the characters, but that's not the case in The Night She Disappeared. Gabie and Drew have very different backgrounds, but both of them are interesting as characters. The romance between the two is predictable, but I didn't really mind, since it's just a small part of the novel. The only thing I found somewhat strange about the characters is Gabbie's insistance that Kayla is alive - I thought it was kind of weird how she's portrayed as almost psychic, and I don't think that aspect was necessary - her being the girl the kidnapper actually wanted and Drew being the one who took the kidnapper's order would have been enough motivation for the two of them to, as the description says, become obsessed with finding Kayla.
The only thing I didn't like is the ending. I can't say too much about it without spoiling anything, but I was pretty disappointed. I couldn't help myself thinking that, after all that suspense and trying to figure out who the kidnapper is, that was it? I found the revelation of the bad guy to be too boring, not the surprising, heart-stopping plot twist I had hoped for. I also would have liked to know some more about the kidnapper's motivations.
Other than the ending, I really liked The Night She Disappeared. It's great, suspense-filled mystery. If you're looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, check this one out!