Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review 23. The Vanishing Girl

The Vanishing Girl (The Vanishing Girl, #1)
Book: The Vanishing Girl
Series: The Vanishing Girl (#1)
Author: Laura Thalassa
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction
Pages: 338
Published: March 15th, 2014

This ebook was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Synopsis: Every night after Ember Pierce falls asleep, she disappears. She can teleport anywhere in the world—London, Paris, her crush’s bedroom—wherever her dreams lead her. Ten minutes is all she gets, and once time’s up, she returns to her bed. It's a secret she’s successfully kept for the last five years. But now someone knows.
A week after her eighteenth birthday, when frustratingly handsome Caden Hawthorne captures her, delivers her to the government, and then disappears before her eyes, Ember realizes two things: One, she is not alone. And two, people like her—teleporters—are being used as weapons.
Dragged off to a remote facility where others like her live, Ember’s forced to pair up with her former captor, Caden, to learn how to survive inside until she can escape. Only Caden’s making escape seem less and less appealing.
But even as Ember falls for the boy who got her into this mess, she knows that she is running out of time. Because the government has plans for those like her, and those plans might just cost Ember her life.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

“Because you are just a pawn. And a pawn can’t help but get played.” 

The Vanishing Girl, published last year by Laura Thalassa, was a definite 2.5 stars (rounded up to 3). I liked it alright, just not all of it.

Shortly after Ember Pierce’s eighteenth birthday, she realizes that her freakish power to teleport during the first 10 minutes of sleep every night isn’t as big of a secret as she may of thought. Within twenty-four hours she goes from being a normal girl with a weird secret to finding out she’s a government experiment that’s about to be worth the investment. When’s she’s brought by force to a remote facility, she learns that her power to teleport for short times might be perfect for the government to exploit as a weapon. But even they don’t realize exactly how strange, even among other teleporters, she is.

May I just say, 10/10 for world-building. Mutant teens who can TELEPORT!?!?! Who are forced to work for the government, but at the same time are thinking of ways to take down the corrupted people who think they own them? Amazing! And in some ways, the Vanishing Girl delivered. I loved how the teleporting worked. I loved the missions they went on (by far my favorite scenes) and how they used their powers in the field.

My issue was that for every scene that they were in the field, fighting to survive to the end of their 10 minutes, there were two scenes that focused on Caden, Ember’s love interest.

First thing that annoyed me about him; Ember went into the story pretty much saying “I won’t get attached. No friends. My only goal is to get my freedom. Oh wait, is that a hot boy? Better get super attached!” It just didn’t seem like her character (or maybe it was exactly her character, in which case her character’s an idiot). After making such a statement of swearing off any companions on her road to freedom, she gives up after 2 days of a cute boy teasing her. Then, an undetermined (but certainly not very long) time later they’re swearing their love!

Also, there were way too many awkward romance scenes that were supposed to come off sexy between two beautiful and powerful people desperate for love, but that kind of spark felt out of place in the story for two reasons; 1) The characters seem to set on their goals to really have so much relationship drama, and 2) This is supposed to be a YA book. It got way too R-rated. Far more New Adult than Young Adult.

I could go on in either direction, but I think I’ve made my point. To sum up: great idea, too much romance. If I could ask Thalassa to rewrite this, I would ask either more development for Caden and Ember’s romantic affairs, or to just write less.


Some Other Versions of "The Vanishing Girl" (may contain spoilers):
On Books and Movies
Little Paper Rose
Talk Books to Me

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