Friday, March 16, 2012

review: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry
March 13, 2012
Henry Holt and Co BFYR
Young Adult | Mystery
Pages: 240
Source/Format: NetGalley/eGalley
Rating: ★ 1/2
Author's Website | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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.


So, I didn’t like The Night She Disappeared. Which is such a shame because I was REALLY excited about it and I know some bloggers raved about it. To which I want to say: did we read the same book?

I am so sad about this. This book was, lightly put, annoying. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a thriller, because there was literally zero thrilling points, and a mystery, which fizzled down from page one until the very end.

There are SEVEN (7!) points of views for this book. SEVEN. You have Gabie and Drew, who have large parts of narrating, then you have Kayla and her kidnapper, who too, have more than a handful of chapters. All four of those people make a reappearance narrating chapter. Then there’s Gavin, who has one chapter, and he’s a diver, and that chapter has no significance of plot to me, and Todd and… some other kid. SEE. I can’t even remember his name, because a) he doesn’t come up again and b) he has no SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PLOT! Todd and the other kid were lumped together in a chapter, and they find the car and abandoned pizzas on the road. Le sigh. The latter three’s chapters are told in third person present tense which if you know, I hate. I hate it so much.

But let’s get back to the POVs—SEVEN. DUDE. Seven! That is five too many. Maybe even six. God, I can’t even wrap my freaking head around it. The more people you have narrating, the less mystery and secrets you can have floating around the book. AND IT DOESN’T WORK TO HAVE SEVEN NARRATORS IN A MYSTERY. IT JUST DOESN’T. Not to mention, Gabie, Drew, and Kayla all sound the same; their chapters are written in first person present. I didn’t know who the frack was talking half of the time. It just doesn’t freaking work and I wanted to break my iPad.

Gabie and Drew have. No. freaking. Chemistry. Between them, and yet, AND YET, they kiss. The kiss multiple times. Gabie gets drunk and takes off Drew’s shirt, and then takes off her own. And still there is no chemistry. NONE. NONE! I hated Drew, honestly. He was annoying as a character, always kicking himself when he was down. And Gabie. Oh Lord, Gabie. On page 18, re: Kayla being kidnapped and that it wasn’t her
I'm suddenly glad for my dirty blond hair and my face that still breaks out even though I'm seventeen.
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING. One, you are beautiful no matter what your hair color is! (because Gabie is commenting on Kayla’s gorgeous black hair) and two, THAT IS SO FREAKING INSULTING TO ME. *picks up blond hair* Plus, you’re seventeen. You’re a teenager who works in a pizza place. You’re going to freaking breakout. Uh, I break out and I’m way older than you. You breakout no matter how freaking old you are. It happens. It’s a way of life, get over yourself, Gabie. I don’t like you.

The plot… oh man, the plot. Do you know that April Henry based this book on a true story? Yup. It says so right here. The plot was fascinating—but I hated that a certain somebody killed themselves because everybody thought he kidnapped Kayla and killed her. I hated the cops. I hated the stupid psychic who was WRONG. I HATED HER. She babbles on and on about how she was right about this case, and in the end, she isn’t, she’s a liar, she needs to go to hell. But back to the actual plot; the kidnapper has no real motivation to take Kayla/Gabie. Just that Gabie is… perfect? The one for him? I don’t even.

The only thing that kept me reading was the hook—it sunk its claws into me and didn’t let go until I was finished. I read it in a day, all while snarking about it on Goodreads. I would advise skipping this one, but if you want a really good mystery, try Lisa and Laura Roecker’s The Liar Society or if you love science fiction, Beth Revis’ Across the Universe (and A Million Suns, book two). 


  1. I received an ARC for this, and from reading just a few pages, I could tell I wasn't going to be a fan of the way the book was written. :( I loaned it out to some friends, but when it comes back, I will have to flip through the book to see some of this stuff you were talking about. I tend to doubt I'll like it either, though.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. I was a little sad because it has such an interesting premise... just poor execution.

  2. Seven POVs?! Seven? Okay, that is ridiculous. I know I'd hate reading a book like this because that is just too many people's thoughts to handle in one book. And, what is up with 3rd-person present tense? Never even seen it done before....

    Very good and informative review. I won't read this one.

    1. I thought it was really ridiculous when THREE of them never showed up again. Sigh. I hate third person present POV. It's just so annoying--and I've read like a ton of books who are written that way. I just don't understand.

  3. OMG your review is SO funny, I love it. Urgh, we share the view on 3rd person present tense...I wont even mention THAT abomination. Instead I shall focus on the SEVEN POINTS OF VIEW. That's insane. How many people, professional people, read this and thought SEVEN POINTS OF VIEW was a good idea??? To me, that says the author doesn't have the skill to write a novel from one perspective. This just sounds....awful. I'm sorry you had to read it :P

    The Cait Files

    1. ha, thanks! and I am SO glad I'm not the only one!! Yeah... I have no idea. It's just so freaking annoying, especially since some of them sounded the same. I really thought she could have cut the third person present tense POVs (ESPECIALLY SINCE THEY NEVER SHOWED UP AGAIN!) and maybe Drew's POV. I just... ugh.

  4. Aww, that sucks you didn't like it. ;/ I really enjoyed it just because it was so unique for a mystery and I liked the random POVs even if they didn't come back again, because to me, they brought the same thing to the story as the articles, pictures and 911 phone calls etc. In fact I barley remembered them until you mentioned it, cause they were one of those extra part for me. And I love when a mystery/thriller shows the POV from the kidnapper etc as well, so I thought it real interesting!

    I didn't like the psychic either, but then again there are those who fake it so I guess it's kind of realistic... I also didn't like the police officer... ._. And I'm definitely with you on hating that he killed himself. That was just awful it came to that... I think that's why I didn't like the police either.

    I had no idea it was based on a real story though. o: I'll have to follow that link. That's cool. ;o And sad? Again, it really sucks you didn't enjoy it as much as I did, but not all books are for everyone! I can definitely see your points though, even if I never thought about it until you mentioned it. :)

    1. **anybody reading this comment and hasn't read the book, DON'T! there be spoilers below!!!**

      reading is such a strange thing, isn't it? some people love books that others hate! Also, I totally get what you mean by making it real. I liked the phone calls and such, it's just I wish there wasn't so many POVs.

      I hated that she went on and on that Kayla was dead, and even on the TV show. I wish that at the end, we would have seen the physic after Kayla is rescued and is alive. Because she HAD to feel embarrassed, right? She went on national TV saying Kayla was dead and how it felt nice to give the family closure!

    2. It really is! It's kind of interesting to see just how different everyone see a book. :)

      Oh, me too! And I wish we'd gotten to see her as well. She said she couldn't be very specific in the beginning, yet she kept going on quite hard on her truly being dead, very sure about it... ._. I'd have wanted to see if the cops ever felt anything for pushing the guy to suicide as well...

    3. It is! :D Definitely.

      Oh, that's interesting. I wonder if they did? I know I would have felt really guilt--and I felt really bad for him, too. :( He was just so paranoid. I wanted to hug him.

  5. Seriously. Your review was great. You DEFINETLY know how to tell the truth!! I really loved this book though. I had to read it for school and everyone I know that is reading it loves the book. It is a great mystery.


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