Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Review: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

April Henry and I seem to share an interest in kidnapping stories.  I reviewed her first book, Girl Stolen, on here a year and a half ago, and, while I wasn't blown away, I was interested in seeing what the author would write next and thrilled to get a review copy of this one.  It's about a teen girl, Gabie, who works at a pizza shop.  She switches shifts with another girl, Kayla, who is abducted while delivering pizzas.  It turns out that the man who abducted Kayla had called earlier to ask if Gabie was working - she was the one he wanted all along.  The police refuse to follow the lead, so it's up to Gabie and a fellow co-worker, Drew, to find out what happened to Kayla and if the kidnapper is still looking for Gabie.

I think the writing in this one was marginally better than Girl, Stolen.  My main beef with Girl, Stolen was that I didn't think it was believable as contemporary fiction.  And honestly I had the same issue with this one.  There's nothing specifically wrong with the writing, but it's got a very Scooby-Doo, kids solving crimes while adult experts bumble around feeling to it.  I liked the characters more in this one and felt a little bit more invested in the romance aspect, although I still found it to be somewhat less than authentic. 

Entertainment Value
The Night She Disappeared definitely kept my interest, despite the fact that I found it fairly improbable and I'm glad I read it.  It's pretty short and a very fast read.  I probably spent two hours on it tops.  I think as far as suspense goes, it will be more appealing to younger readers.  I was interested in the story, but I wasn't on the edge of my seat or concerned about how the book would end.  I probably would have been as a younger reader though. 

It's a decent book, but it reads young.  I wouldn't expect older teens, or those used to reading more serious thrillers to be impressed by it.  I don't regret the time I spended on it, but it's also not one I'd miss having read.  So, basically, straight up middle of the road for me. 


  1. LOL on the Scooby-Doo reference :) I didn't really like GIRL, STOLEN all that much, so I'm not sure what I'd think of this one. Might give it a try, anyway, but I'm not sure ... Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I must say, I think I'd like this book! Already I'm wondering ok was the abduction really for the girl who is solving the mystery?? Thanks!