FICTION

Disappeared

WordFire. Apr. 2020. 280p. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9781680571219; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781680571196.
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Gr 9 Up–Diver’s newest will set readers on a snappily paced journey of family drama, murder, and mystery. Emily, 14, and Jared, nearly 16, live alone with their ill-tempered father, ever since their mother fled his abuse. Each sibling copes differently, struggling between anger (Emily engages in self-harm) and a longing for their missing parent. The night before they are to spend a weekend with her at her new apartment, their parents meet for dinner. The next morning they learn that their mother has disappeared. Suspicious, Emily and Jared set out to find the truth, despite the dangers it will entail. Readers will be immediately drawn into the extremely dramatic family dynamic and the personalities of Emily and Jared. Anyone from a dysfunctional family will recognize and empathize with Emily’s need for perfection and Jared’s pent-up anger. Secondary characters prove instrumental in the development and growth of the protagonists and in the climax of the story. Readers will be hooked by the action-driven plot and blindsiding twist. Readers with an emotional investment in the characters and the story, despite a rushed ending and lack of complete closure, will find it difficult to put this one down.
VERDICT A fast-paced murder-mystery with relatable characters and a shocking twist; perfect for large collections where mysteries are popular.

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