Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review: "All The Missing Girls" by Megan Miranda

"All The Missing Girls" by Megan Miranda will be published June 28,2016. This is Ms. Miranda's first adult novel and it's spectacular. It has been compared to "Gone Girl" and "Girl On The Train" and although I don't see the resemblance in actual storyline, I do see that I would be surprised if this book didn't end up THE book of 2016, just as the above mentioned books did in their brake out year.

In the beginning of "All The Missing Girls" we meet Nicolette Farrell who has been running from her small home town of Cooley Ridge and her past for the last ten years. Although now almost thirty, Nic was eighteen when her best friend Corinne disappeared after an afternoon spent at the fairgrounds. The investigation focused on Nic's group of friends and as we learn right away, all of them hold their own secrets. When Nic comes back to her hometown to help sell her family's house she finds herself once again in an investigation of a new missing girl. This time Annaleise Carter has disappeared. Annaleise was a young teen when Corinne originally went missing, she ended up actually being an alibi for Nic's brother. Now the rumor mill of a small town has started up again and this time there will have to be answers, everyone's secrets are going to be revealed. Living with the outcome will be the problem.

Megan Miranda employs a unique way of telling her story. We are first introduced to all the main characters and given the general outline of the mystery then the story jumps ahead fifteen days and is told backward by the day until the end is revealed. I actually would have hated this in a lesser author's hands, it could have been clumsy and ill conceived. But Miranda's excellent prose force the reader to work a little harder in trying to solve the mystery. It was so cool to have to reorder the events as they happened backwards. This literary device also helped make the entire situation feel very fractured, that added to the book's mystery.

Definition of 5+: Better than all the rest,
in other words, DON'T miss this BOOK!
I loved this book. I found that I related to the main character even though I've obviously never been in her kind of situation. I think most readers will relate to the people around Nic though. The character of Corinne was especially haunting and recognizable. I have had frenemies like this girl and didn't know what to do about her either. You love her and hate her at the same time. Teens usually don't have enough life experience to see people like Corinne as dangerous people when, in fact, they're more dangerous than any other friend. It's so easy to be swayed by a powerful personality. We all want to get along, be part of the group and not be shunned. Megan Miranda's novel allows us a glimpse into Nic's present and former world as the past comes crashing through her life. The characters are so well written you'll recognize them in your own life and you'll be thankful you never lived in Cooley Ridge. Oh, and did I not mention that you'll have a seriously tough time figuring out WHODUNNIT?? Ya, I didn't figure it out at all, I had to read it instead and that's a really rare happenstance for me. YAY for Megan Miranda's mystery, so spectacularly mysterious I couldn't figure it out.

As I said above, I would not be surprised to see this book become one of the standouts of 2016 so I would recommend pre-ordering it now before it's popularity doubles the Kindle price! I really regret waiting and being unsure about reading "Girl On The Train", now it's on my to read list and because I didn't read it when it came out, I'll have to fit it in somewhere in the future. On the other hand, I'm thankful I read "Gone Girl" when it was popular, it's ever so much nicer to be a part of that frenzy of a great new novel. Don't miss the frenzy of "All The Missing Girls", I can guarantee you'll regret it.

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