ALL THE MISSING GIRLS
Written by Megan Miranda
Published by Simon and Shuster, June 28, 2016
My star rating – 3.5 stars
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago. Find it on Goodreads
Well this was an interesting one! And honestly, way better than I was expecting! I’ve always struggled to enjoy mystery novels. I find that they’re similar in layout, all the characters are similar in personalty and experience, and I’m almost never caught off guard by the plot twists. This one wasn’t perfect, but it was really unique!
Like I just mentioned, I struggle most of all with the characters in mystery novels. And I don’t know why! I find that they’re either too broken, too quiet, too strong, etc. But all of the characters in this book I absolutely adored! They were so well written and had so much depth. This book takes place 10 years after the disappearance of a young girl they all knew as they reflect on that time when another girl goes missing. I loved how they recalled their past! Their loves, mistakes, fears, passions, adventures, and so much more. It compared how the events from 10 years ago shaped their lives into what they were in the present and how it can all come crashing back at any time.
This also takes place in a very small town. As i’ve lived in a small town my whole life, I related to this aspect 100%. When something happens there is always gossip and your judge, jury, and executioner becomes the people within your community. It’s not always that way though. Instead of always being judged, there is an entire community to protect and support you along the way. You’re never alone – and that can either be good or bad.
Another thing that I struggle with in mysteries is the suspense. I hate books that are constantly providing you with plot twists that only cause more questions but never answer them. This was all about secrets. The secrets that friends and family hold with an iron fist to protect those they love. But, instead of piling up all of these secrets and events, the author dropped information bit by bit that had you constantly pondering if you really knew the characters at all. At the end of every chapter I would always suspect someone new!
I really did love all the tiny plot twists, but, at the same time, I found that the ending was very anticlimactic. I was really hoping for an explosive ending but it didn’t happen. There were a few small things that made my jaw drop but it wasn’t the spectacle I was hoping for.
When I said that this book was unique, it’s told in reverse. We’re given an introductory chapter where we gain ground and find out what’s happening. The next thing we read is many days later where there is a possible murder and suspect. Before we learn anything else about that night, we are thrust into the previous days events that lead to that moment. Instead of going back to the big reveal, we continue going in reverse until we’re back at the beginning when a second girl goes missing. I really don’t think that I liked that AT ALL! It was written in a way that we still pieced together new information but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Some of the things that happened in the beginning of the book were contradictory. I almost want to go back and read it again to see if it really does make sense or if I’m just imagining things! Either way, I think I would have appreciated it being told in chronological order.
No one is more surprised than me that I enjoyed this! I think that I’ll be looking for more from this author in the future!
Until next time, happy reading!