ARC Review: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

a title here(77)description

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.

review

**** Big thank you to HMH Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review****

I’m not normally a big fan of historical fiction or magical realism but with this book I found myself really enjoying both genres. Overall the word that comes to mind with “The Disappearances” would be delightful (the finishing word, if you will *book inside joke*)!

PLOT

First of all one of the downsides to this story is that it’s a little on the slower side with not a whole lot going on or a whole lot of action. However, the mystery of the Disappearances is definitely interesting enough to keep reading until the end. There are also quite a few little twists that I definitely didn’t figure out and while they weren’t mind blowing they were still exciting and tied things together.

The overall plot, as I said already, was very intriguing and well developed. I really enjoyed all of the Shakespeare themed tie ins and they get even better right at the end! Although speaking of the ending while I did like it I also felt it was pretty rushed, I mean here we were taking our sweet time for 400 pages and then all of a sudden it’s all resolved? It all made perfect sense fortunately but it just felt a little too soon.

The premise and the execution were well done and I really liked how unique the whole story was. A town being plagued by things such as colors, smells, and reflections disappearing is a really interesting concept! The way the townspeople deal with these things are also neat and this is where the “magical realism” aspect of the stories come into play but that’s all I will say!

I liked the writing style as well it was simple, easy to follow, and flowed nicely. It’s hard to believe that this is only Emily Bain Murphy’s debut novel, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for her future books!

characters

I liked the characters they were all so…..adorable and sweet. Although everyone was pretty plain but definitely not in a bad way they just felt a little tedious at times.

Aila was a decent protagonist and I liked how she was pretty feisty at times. It was nice to see a YA heroine who had her head on straight!

As for all of the secondary characters: I really liked them. Dr. and Mrs. Cliffton were amazing and so were Will, Beas, George, and even Eliza. Everyone was developed well enough but not so much that they felt very complex.

romance

I actually really enjoyed the romance in “The Disappearances” which is really saying something! It was very much a slow-burn romance and I adore the friends to lovers trope. It also helps that I loved both Aila and Will separately and I thought they were really cute together.

Seriously though the key words here are: slow burn.

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • The premise and overall execution
  • The “world building” or magic aspects
  • The writing
  • Shakespeare tie-ins
  • The characters were all great
  • The romance was fantastic and slow burn

What I Didn’t Love:

  • The slow pacing
  • The ending felt kind of rushed

RECOMMEND

I really recommend checking this book out if you’re a fan of historical fiction, magical realism, and books that have very unique plots!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

June TBR

Top Ten Tuesday(61)

Well I think it’s safe to say that I’m getting better about sticking to my TBRs but also I always seem to be a little too ambitious! I still have 2 books left over from May (The Hundredth Queen and In Real Life) I’m currently working to finish too, not to mention I’m getting further behind in my Goodreads reading challenge. However, I do have a couple ARCs that I’m going to read this month as well as some books I feel are more summery-y.

my page divider

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

The Disappearances

After Aila and Miles’ mother dies they return to live in her old hometown of Sterling where every seven years something disappears such as reflections, the scent of flowers, or even the ability to dream. The people of Sterling always suspected Aila’s mother, Juliet, and now Aila must bear the blame as she follows her mother’s clues to find out why the Disappearances really occur.

I actually received an ARC of this book and I’m very excited to get into it! It sounds like a very mysterious and magical story that might have some slower pacing but will probably still be interesting. Sometimes Magical Realism gets boring for me but I’m hoping this one will be good!


Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

This is, obviously, a retelling of Peter Pan from Captain Hook’s POV and also sort of an origin story for Hook too. It’s also a very dark, horror retelling about how Hook went from being Peter’s favorite Lost Boy to his greatest enemy.

First of all I am 100% down to read ANY Peter Pan retelling ESPECIALLY a dark, horror-y one, ESPECIALLY if it’s by Christina Henry. This book is basically everything I have ever wanted! I really loved Henry’s retelling of Alice in Wonderland so I’m expecting to love this one too. I will be receiving an ARC here sometime at the beginning of the month and I’m pumped!


Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Girls

A senior spring break trip to Aruba with friends, one ends up being murdered and the other is being accused for it. Anna must now try and find her friend’s real killer.

Your typical YA thriller but maybe with a great twist? Who knows, all I know is everybody seems to love this one! Plus it definitely has a very summer-y vibe going on which makes this the perfect time to finally read it!


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Queens of Geek

Three friends attend SupaCon where they expect to have fun but don’t expect their lives to change forever. The tagline on the cover here pretty much says it all.

Everybody was ranting and raving about this book so I just had to grab a copy especially since it’s only 288 pages! I also feel like this being a more “geeky” book I’ll be able to relate a lot to the characters too!


Bonus Book! (If I’m actually ambitious and get to it!)

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

What We Saw

Kate remembers most of the things that happened at John Doone’s part: pictures with Stacey and Ben getting her home early and maybe becoming more than just a childhood friend….However, a picture appears the next day online of Stacey passed out at the party and presses charges against four classmates, Kate questions if she really had all the details that night especially where Ben was when the crime occurred.

It actually took me a long time to decide I could stomach this book, everyone really loves this one and I wanted to give it a try. The reason I wasn’t too sure about this one is because the central story revolves around a gang-rape and I honestly get really squirmy and squeamish with anything dealing with sexual abuse, but I think it will be a very worth while story regardless.

my page divider

Are any of these books on your TBR?

Have you read any of these, what did you think?

What are you planning on reading this month?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy