"A key is buried under the front stairs of 208 Water Street. Scorched on one side, was it in a fire? Who lost it, and when?"
Am I the only one who finished The Vanishing Season, and is wondering if perhaps it would have been more enjoyable had I been smoking some major ganja while reading the book? Or, as I am just looking at things a bit too harshly and critical?
Would it be better NOT to read ANY reviews and just let my imagination wonder aimlessly around about what truly happened in the end? Curiosity is killing me!
Even though plenty of people have told me that I should have read Anderson's Tiger Lily first, I find myself struggling with real life, and a massive stack of review books that I really need to stop requesting! Perhaps I will give Tiger Lily a chance to see if Anderson's writing is as frustrating as it is interesting, as was my experience with The Vanishing Season.
The Vanishing Season is a story about love and relationships, and a mysterious killer who has wanders into the quiet setting of Gill Creek and shakes its citizens to the core for just a brief moment in time before vanishing into thin air. The story messes with your mind, and leaves you seriously considering going back and re-reading it so that you, even though you took copious notes while reading, didn't miss something important that might have hinted at the mysterious ending, the identity of the ghost, and the unknown killer.
The Vanishing Season has THREE distinctive characters; Maggie Larsen, Pauline Boden, and Liam Witter. There really isn't anything stellar to say about any of the above named characters because they are each written to have flaws and make plenty of their own bad choices, including allowing themselves to fall into a twisted romantic triangle. Perhaps that's a breath of fresh air in itself. We don't need to feel like we should fall all over ourselves to rant and rave about these characters. They live in a small town setting, where everyone knows everyone else. They do what they need to do to survive, even though clearly they aren't all made of money. They have dreams, desires, and life goals which are long shots at best.
If you tried to break down each character, we could write a psychology book that tells the story of three people who, although are far from the same social circles, somehow managed to tie themselves together through some rough, and enjoyable times. I could say that Maggie was the main character who was perhaps trying a little too hard to be perfect. She is the only one of the three who still has both of her supportive parents. She had her future laid out for her before her parents experienced a painful downsizing and were forced to move. Pauline is like a butterfly that floats into your life and all too quickly, tragedy strikes. She has her own unique story to tell, and even though she could probably afford to buy anything she wants, she still finds a way to appear grounded. Liam, as the love interest, is perhaps a bit on the too perfect side in that he's charming, quirky, and apparently, not necessarily a bad person even though his choice causes rifts.
Anderson links the ghost to the fates of both Pauline and Maggie but won't explain why, or whether or not the ghost actually has some sort of control over events that twist their way to an ending that left me with more questions than answers. Over the course of the story, the ghost is in the background trying to figure out ITS own reasoning for being attached to the house, and unable to have a conversation even with other ghosts. I really tried hard NOT to read any reviews for this book, hoping that I could figure out the puzzle on my own. Therefore, I choose not to spoil anything further by adding my commentary, or thoughts.
Author - Jodi Lynn Anderson
Title - The Vanishing Season
Published by HarperTeen
Released: July 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance
Format: E-Book 256 pages