Thursday, July 6, 2017

Book Review: The Disappearances

Title: The Disappearances 
Author: Emily Bain Murphy
Genre: Young Adult | Magical Realism | Historical Fiction
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?
Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home--and the place where Juliet grew up.
Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together--scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream--vanish every seven years.
No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible--and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 
As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone's secrets for long before it starts giving them up (goodreads).

The Disappearances was an unexpected whimsical tale. 
Plot: When I first requested this novel, I was under the assumption that this would be a thriller/mystery. Those assumptions were thrown out of the window by chapter one. Aila and her family just lost their mother to an unexpected illness and their father was just summoned to serve in World War II. The two children were sent to their mother's childhood home to continue their education and learn more about their mother's mysterious past. I loved the overall town of this book. If you were a fan of the Unspoken series, I think you would enjoy this one immensely. The mystery was very smart and I loved how Murphy unraveled everything. The Disappearances was told through two perspectives, Aila's and another man's and it's very confusing how those two would come together. I thoroughly enjoyed how it all worked out and how Murphy wrapped up her mystery. 

Characters: I loved everything about these characters. Aila had an air of innocence that I clicked with immediately, but she also had an air of adventure and a stubborn streak. Her relationship with her brother was often rocky as two siblings who lost everything that they loved; it was interesting to see how their moods flipped but how they kept coming back to each other for support. Aila also had a great support system in her new community and I fell in love with each inhabitant. I worried about Aila's friends just as much as I worried about Aila and swooned over her hot new housemate. 

Worldbuilding: I mentioned earlier that this book gave me major Unspoken feels and I was under the impression that the location was England for like 90% of the book. I knew in the back of my head that it was set in the United States, but the town was so small and whimsical that I had a hard time envisioning 1940s United States. Also, there was no mention of diversity in this novel which really disappointed me. 

Short N Sweet: The Disappearances was full of magic and "firsts", I highly recommend!


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