Author: E.E. Cooper
Series: Vanished #1
Publisher: Katherine Teen Books
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 3 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love.Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn’t stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.
Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth’s best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn’t even tell Kalah good-bye.
One of the rumors links Beth to Britney’s boyfriend, and Kalah doesn’t want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it–and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.
When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit’s suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she’s swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah’s caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth.
I had a lot of issues with this book to be honest. But it was most definitely entertaining. It almost felt like a guilty pleasure kind of book. The kind of book that’s so far-fetched and just doesn’t really seem believable, but that you’re completely obsessed and engrossed with. And honestly, I’ll probably read the next one because I have to know what’s going to happen.
My first issue was with the main character, Kalah. I didn’t like her at all. She was just very flat to me. She didn’t have much of a personality, she was whiny and her voice sounded a bit young. She came from a school where her friends were really mean to her and now, at her new school, she’s friends with the two most popular girls. And she becomes a bit obsessed with them both. There’s definitely an unhealthy quality, in my opinion, to her relationship with Brit and Beth. And there’s definitely an unhealthy relationship between Beth and Brit. Constant fighting and bickering between the two of them and they would often times exclude Kalah from things which just made me mad.
There’s cheating going on in this book and it’s never addressed. There are never any consequences to face over it. Why do authors do this? This isn’t the first book I’ve read where this has been the case. I think it’s okay to put cheating in a book because it’s real life and as terrible as it is, it happens. But so many times the character who is cheating faces zero consequences which is just crappy. It makes it seem like the cheating is just there for drama and that’s not okay.
My favorite characters were Kalah’s boyfriend Zach and her brother Nadir. Zach was super sweet and supportive of Kalah. He’s there for her through thick and thin and I hated the way he was treated. And her brother Nadir was amazing. We don’t see much of him because he’s away at college, but the snippets we do see just made my heart melt. Nadir is the kind of older brother I’ve always wished I had.
One aspect that I really enjoyed was the mental health component. Kalah has anxiety issues. I think the author handled this really well. I have a few friends who have anxiety and I could definitely see the same symptoms. It was real, the reactions were genuine and I appreciated that the author definitely did their research.
Like I said, even with all these negatives I was definitely still hooked. The plot is fast-paced and my mind was racing trying to solve the puzzle. It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would, but I think it still could so I’m definitely going to be continuing with the series.
Have you read this one yet? What did you think? Did you find the story believable?