Book Review: The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson


The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Published: July 1st by Harper Teen


Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter’s come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I’ve watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I’m the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I’m tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I’m tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don’t know why. I think it’s because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.


Initially I was very intrigued, this story held so many components that would make it brilliant: a ghost story, creepy, murder-mystery.

While reading the book, I realized it wasn’t what I had expected. Not necessarily in a negative way, it was simply just very different from what I expected.

I am always intrigued by ghost stories, and mysteries. I have always been the one to flock to the ‘spooky’ stories. Whilst reading the first few chapters, fear was the farthest thing from my mind, instead I kept thinking, wow, the author must have had a fantastic playlist going while writing this story.

The characters were very intriguing. Certainly kept the reader on edge, never knowing what characters are actually the good-guys, and bad-guys. Not knowing their true intentions kept the interest piqued.

The constant switch in narration, the ‘ever-seeing eyes’ of the spirit is just as compelling as the protagonist engaging in the world of the living. Seeing the world from someone no longer part of it, was very interesting. In my opinion, it was the strongest part of the story. I kept wanting to know more and see more from this perspective.

Mystery does play a huge role in the development of the story, but the main focus is on the relationships between the main characters. The murder mystery plot is sort of switched off to the side-lines and meets a very blasé conclusion.

This book had moments of greatness and in others, it fell short of expectation. It definitely tugs at your emotions. It encompasses Winter perfectly—a cold, and lonely book. Many chapters read as though they were poetry. While the story may have not been what I expected, it was certainly an enjoyable and beautiful read. It definitely stirred questions and emotions for me.

Another selling point–this was a very short read, and it is definitely worth picking up!

Thank you, Harper Collins Canada for providing a review copy.



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