Guest Book Review: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

Synopsis Gabie is working at Pete’s Pizza as a part time Pizza Delivery girl. The car she uses is her beloved Mini Cooper. On Wednesday night when she should have been working the girl {Kayla} that switched places with her goes out to deliver a pizza but never comes back. The man that placed the order had asked if “the girl with the Mini Cooper was working”. Making Gabie believe that she was meant to be kidnapped, not Kayla. Gabie struggles with realization that she could have been the one taken. Now she fights for Kayla and because obsessed with finding her. She teams up with Drew, who also works with both the girls and is the one that took the order from the mystery man. Together they set out to find Kayla and prove that she is not dead – and find her before she is.

Author – April Henry has always had a love for writing. When she was 12 years old she wrote a short story about a six-foot tall frog that loved Peanut Butter and sent it to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Who loved it so much he arranged for it to be published in an international Children’s magazine. Her dream of writing than went dormant until she was in her 30s, working at a corperate job, writing her books on the side. Now she is lucky to be making a living off of what she loves. She has written 13 novels for adults and teens, with more on the way. Her books have gotten starred reviews, translated into six languages, been picked for Booksense, been named to state reading lists, and short listed for Oregon Book Award.

Cover – The cover is what drew me to the book first. Theres a girl walking down the middle of the road, with a car driving behind her. The outcome of this can never be that good. It seems mysterious and scary. When seeing all this on the cover and staring at it for a few mintues, I turned the book over and read the back. I know they say you should never judge a book by its cover, but with this one. How can you not? It had better be as good as the cover! {Thankfully it was!}

Writing Style – This writing style was different. Unqiue. I liked it. It had a few points of views going. Each chapter was told by someone else, but the main two people who were talking throughout the book were Gabie and Drew. Occassionally Kayla would talk and the kidnapper would talk. Also, in between every few chaptes there were snippets of things. There was the order form from Pete’s Pizza, evidence listed, a note from Kayla to her family, and much more. The chapters weren’t even chapters; they were listed as “Days”, Example: “Day 1” etc. When Kayla, Drew, Gabie, or the Kidnapper talked, it was from their point of view. Even though so much was going on, the writing style really worked and gave the book that much more edge.

Pacing – This book did not drag at all. It kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I was rooting for the good guys. I was getting frustrated when the Kidnapper was in their mists and they didn’t know it. I was cheering on Kayla and telling her to remain strong. I was hoping Drew and Gabie would become a couple because they needed each other and would support each other. I was hoping the Detective would realize that he’s an idiot! The book was go go go! The plots, twists and behind stories worked out amazingly. I was not confused once. I loved how she gave the background stories of Drew & Gabie’s lives and it all tied nicely into the story. How she made Kayla’s parents/brother completely believable in their reactions to their daugher/sister being kidnapped.

Plot – The plot was great. I do like some mystery novels, but not much. This one book has changed my mind about that! The story is believeable. Anything can happen to anyone and this just proved that. No one would really think about being kidnapped while delivering pizza. I loved how everyone in the book had different reactions to the situation. I loved how Kayla was strong, even though she was kidnapped, she remained strong. Did what she had to do to survive. I loved how you see the struggle Gabie is having knowing she was the one the guy really wanted. How she slowly because obsessed with Kayla. How those two girls have that connection. How this guy equally makes them think the same thing: Gabie is glad she wasn’t taken, but is sickened by this thought. Kayla wishes Gabie was taken, and is sickened by this thought. Overall the plot worked, the story is believeable and great.

Character – If I had to choose one Character that really stood out, it would have been Kayla. She’s this gorgeous, athletic girl who is popular. Who works at Pete’s Pizza and everyone loves her. She’s talkative, sweet and funny. She always has fun no matter one. You don’t get to read from her point of view that much {maybe 4 or 5 times} but throught Drew and Gabie you learn a lot about Kayla. Through the brief moment Gabie and Drew meet up with Kayla’s parents, you learn alot about her. She is loved. She wasn’t meant to be kidnapped, she knows this and knows what she needs to do to survive. Figures it out quickly and does what she needs to do without losing herself. Without trying everything she can to get away from him. Her Character makes you question your own strength. It also makes you Thankful that you have never been in her situation and hopeful that you never will. Its funny how her and Gabie are so different. Gabie is slowly coming unhinged while Kayla is fighting for her life and remaining strong.

Character Development – Every character in this novel goes through a slight growth. Kayla is already strong, but she does the unthinkable and becomes that much more stronger. Gabie is quiet, a bit shy, smart and doesn’t speak her mind but fights tooth and nail to find Kayla, while slowly becoming more obsessed with it and breaking down but in the end finding her strength. Drew discovers himself a bit throughout the book and becomes someone worth fighting for. The Characters develope throughout the whole book. By the end the three of them are someone you are proud of. Someone you would love to be friends with.

The Verdict –    I had the pleasure of briefly emailing April on Goodreads. After I had read this book, I had wanted to let her know what I thought of it and that she was an excellent author. She told me a bit about her next project and, needless to say, I am REALLY looking forward to it. I plan on checking out more of her books and diving right in. Over all this book is worth reading! Maybe not at night though…

~Karo~

 Previous Reviews: Torn, Switched,  Personal DemonsHunting Lila

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Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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