Today I am back to review another new release – The Vanishing Place by Theresa Emminizer – which was published on April 1st 2020. I was permitted to read an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) thanks to NetGalley. This young adult novel (which is written in verse) follows four teenagers who decide to take a boat ride one evening. When they are thrown off course along the coast of Florida, they find themselves on a deserted island, unable to get home. Faced with loss, trauma, and the harsh reality of day-to-day survival, will they find the strength to confront their inner demons and escape the Vanishing Place? Or are mysterious forces at work to keep them stranded for all time? As always, I am going to provide my honest thoughts and let you know whether I think it’s worth checking out or not. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
WHAT THIS BOOK DOES RIGHT
I never wish to be harsh or insult an author, but if I’m being honest, the only thing I liked about this story was that it was written in verse. It made the language poetic and very easy to get through. One of my favourite books of 2019 – The Poet X – was written in verse, so I really wanted to read more books in this format. It was a pleasant surprise!
WHAT THIS BOOK DOES WRONG
I had a few issues with this book:
1.) Nothing was fleshed out. The characters were one-dimensional, the plot went nowhere and the dialogue was basic. We cannot use the excuse that because the book was written in verse, it wouldn’t be as ‘meaty’ as a regular book. The Poet X is the perfect example of a brilliantly developed verse novel.
2.) A character dies and nobody seems to care? I won’t say who because of spoilers, but I felt like the other three characters grieved for a second and then were over it. It did not sit well with me.
3.) The description of the story doesn’t really match the actual plot. The Vanishing Place sounds super ominous and mysterious, but it doesn’t actually touch on any magical elements. Only one character eludes to the fact that the island may represent The Bermuda Triangle but it isn’t explored much further. It didn’t feel like an original story at all.
4.) The ending! This was by far my biggest issue. Theresa Emminizer has not announced a sequel to this story, so if this is a stand-alone, I have to say the ending was extremely unsatisfying. It was so abrupt. I had to check my Kindle several times to ensure there wasn’t a download error, because I couldn’t believe a book would just end that way.
5.) The female representation was uninspiring. One of the main characters laments that she’s a bigger girl and is unsure why the boys would like her. One of the male characters refers to her as a stupid girl. I was not here for that kind of language. I would hope by now females are not body shaming themselves and being put down by males in young adult fiction.
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave this book 1/5 stars. I really didn’t enjoy it!
If you are interested, you can order a copy here.
I hope you enjoyed this honest review. Let me know your thoughts down below. I appreciate all feedback. Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
Disclaimer: This post contains a link to my Book Depository Affiliate. I am not being paid or sponsored for this post/products – all my thoughts/opinions are my own