Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

Title: The Night She Disappeared
Author: April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Release date: April 10th 2012
Pages: 240
Genre: YA; mystery
Source: NetGalley
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.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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!


  1. Wow, another mystery book! The blurb of this one is really intriguing. It had me asking as to why Gabie is supposed to be the one kidnapped? 

    I like the idea of the POV's. Though it has different POV's, the author really pulled it off well? That's nice since some authors only have two POV's but can't get the story interesting that much. I'm glad to know that this author had it nicely done! I also love that the bad guy's POV is here. It adds to the scary part, right? Especially not knowing his/her name. I agree that pinning up some parts of the investigation can stir up the reader's mind as well. It helps you feel that this is a real mystery. And you having to guess who the kidnapper is!

    Maybe Gabie feels bad because Kayla's the one who's in danger when she shall be the one there? So maybe that's why she keeps on saying that Kayla's alive? To at least make her feel calm and make her feel less guilty? I don't know, I'm guessing! Haven't read it though. ;)

    You really had me thinking as to who the kidnapper is! This is the part where you get all disappointed because the kidnapper is not that kidnapper you thought it would be. Sometimes, that's really really really irritating. But I guess some authors want to have the kidnapper as the one who you least think would be the bad guy. You know, to disappoint all your guesses!

    I think this is a good mystery book except for the ending. But I'm sure to keep that in mind before reading. Nice review, Hannah! :)

  2. This one sounds really good:) Especially since the characters are also engaging and not one-dimensional. How cool that the narrator is the one who was supposed to be the victim! She's got a real stake at finding the kidnapper because she might be the next one abducted. Is there something in her history that turned her into a target? And why would the kidnapper abduct the wrong girl, especially since he knew about the car - and a Mini Cooper is easily identifiable! Did that mistake on the kidnapper's part make sense? Was it plausible that he got the wrong girl? Or was the fact that he asked about the girl with the Mini Cooper an indirect warning to the narrator?

    If you like mysteries with great characters, try Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder series. There's a separate mystery in each book, the main character is really likable and well-rounded, and you also get a look at the killer's POV. 

    If you also like a little romance in mysteries, you'll love the one in this one. It's not insta-love, their love grows slowly and meaningfully as well.

  3. On a totally different note, there's a new YA contemporary coming out, and I really love the blurb on Goodreads. It's called My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend

  4. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil anything, but yes, it makes sense why the kidnapper wanted Gabie and why he "accidently" kidnapped Kayla instead.

    I've heard really good things about the Body Finder series - it's on my wishlist :)

    And I'm really excited My Life in Black and White, too - already pre-ordered it :p

  5. Yeah, reading from the kidnapper's POV makes it even more scary and creepy, and it made me want to gather the clues and figure out who it is even more. And I'm just going to assume you don't want me to answer any of the other questions because that would ruin the book :p

  6. It'll be really interesting to see her change all her values, her expectations and relationships after such a traumatic event in My Life in Black and White. I like that there's a quirky musician sister and a guy who sees past the surfacey looks:)

  7. Oh no. Now, I really have to get a copy of this. You're making me really CURIOUS! Of course, haha! If you tell, there won't be a surprise for me anymore. I wonder if I'd be disappointed too!

  8. I recently picked up April Henry's first book - Girl, Stolen! I'm so excited about The Night She Disappeared, to say the least - I LOVE mysteries! Shame about the ending but that's not going to stop me from reading it!

  9. Bummer about the ending.  In my opinion, that can make or break whether I loved the book and want to read it again.  And I absolutely hate it when the book is really engaging and good up until the very end.


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