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About the book
The Night She Disappeared is a young adult thriller novel by April Henry. The book was published by Walker on 4th April and it is 240 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.
When Kayla swaps a shift with workmate Gabie, her whole life changes. During a regular night at Pete's Pizza, Kayla goes out to make a delivery, only she doesn't return.
Gabie cannot get over the idea that it should have been her. She should have been working that night. She should have been the one he took. Obsessed with the idea that Kayla is still alive, Gabie teams up with Drew who was working the night Kayla went missing. Although others believe Kayla is dead, Gabie has to figure out how to save her before the rumours become the truth.
What I thought
The young adult books on my shelves are filled with contemporary and paranormal novels. Thrillers aren't something I come by very often but I loved the sound of this one. I get sick of reading the same thing over and over again and I was looking forward to a change.
The Night She Disappeared starts off really quickly, with Kayla and Drew at work at the pizza place. After Drew takes a phone order, no different than any other, Kayla heads out to make the delivery as she is the one with the car. After a while, long after Kayla should have been back, Drew realises that something is really wrong. Kayla goes missing and the whole plot revolves around this.
This is a book with a very different way of telling the story, but one I liked very much. Narrating are Drew, Gabie and Kayla herself. However, there are also transcripts of police interviews, notes left by people, evidence reports etc. I loved how there was pieces all the way through the book which gave the situation more importance. The interviews and police reports were especially interesting and I really enjoyed seeing all of these things fit together within the narrative. I also liked each of the narrators. However, I would maybe have liked less from Kayla as it did take away a bit of the suspense and mystery concerning what happened to her.
The plot is a pretty exciting one. As the story begins quickly, jumping right into the excitement, there is a lot going on. While I didn't always like Kayla's chapters, there was still the suspense of finding out what would happen to her. This is never given away until the very last moment and some of the descriptions of her ordeal were extremely creepy and disgusting at the same time. This is a big contrast compared to what is going on elsewhere.
There is also a lot more to this book though than the kidnapping plot. Gabie and Drew are strong characters, each with great personalities. They're likeable characters and ones which I enjoyed getting to know. Although both are equally as concerned about Kayla, they still have their own lives and problems. Drew and Gabie worked with Kayla but were never really friends. After the kidnapping, they are only really able to talk to each other about what happened, making a somewhat strange friendship.
The one thing that did really bug me about this book was the detective working on Kayla's case. Far too quickly he assumes she is dead, points the finger at others without any tiny bit of evidence and pretty much gives up on her case completely at one point. Also, the way that he spoke to certain characters was extremely unbelievable in my eyes. Although I am no expert, I doubt detectives are allowed to point the finger at people without something to back up the nasty things he says.
Even with there being something that bugged me, I did really enjoy this book. It was different and exciting and just what I needed as a break from my normal reads.