Title: The Disappearance of Emily H
Author: Barrie Summy
Release date: 5/12//15
Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Summary from Goodreads:
A girl who can see the past tries to save the future in this compelling tween mystery.
A girl is missing. Three girls are lying. One girl can get to the truth.
Emily Huvar vanished without a trace. And the clues are right beneath Raine’s fingertips. Literally. Raine isn’t like other eighth graders. One touch of a glittering sparkle that only Raine can see, and she’s swept into a memory from the past. If she touches enough sparkles, she can piece together what happened to Emily.
When Raine realizes that the cliquey group of girls making her life miserable know more than they’re letting on about Emily’s disappearance, she has to do something. She’ll use her supernatural gift for good . . . to fight evil.
But is it too late to save Emily?
I'll admit it to you here, the reasons why I picked this book up are more personal than anything. My girlfriend's name is in fact Emily H. I took it as a sign to read this one. In short, it's a cute, quick read that I think younger audiences than me would appreciate more.
One of the big things that this book has going for it is the blending of realistic fiction and fantasy. It's really detailed and well-written as a realistic fiction. That is, there's a girl who is missing and a mystery to solve. Likewise, there's a clique-ish cast of girls who are mean bullies. It's a very real situation to believe, on the surface.
But then there's Raine. Raine has these "sparkles" or little touches that were passed on through her family that allow her to see pieces of the past. She wants to use her gift for the greater good in order to help find out for once and for all what happened to Emily. This gift is a cool touch, but is one that I feel isn't very well explained. I got the overall concept and it works on some level, but lacked a bit of information. Regardless, it was this gift that gave this story a nice fantastical pop.
There's also a little bit of romance, but I appreciated that it wasn't a main focus of the plot. It was sweet to read about though.
This book tackles a lot, sometimes more than enough at once. Despite that overload, the theme of bullying in this book is an important and a clear one. It's a little sad how many books on bullying have come my way lately, but I understand their importance in the world. I've been Raine's age and it can be a nightmare. I think while it's dealing with tough stuff, the author keeps a good balance of serious and less serious, both of which balance well to create a well-paced, fairly cohesive story.
I think that readers that are closer to Raine's age- that is, 8th grade- will really enjoy this one. It's got a well-written, well-paced story that deals with issues like bullying that are prominent throughout junior high. It has a nice blend of relatability and paranormal aspects, with a touch of romance and cuteness.
I was provided a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Get it Here:
Amazon | BN
"The Disappearance of Emily H. has everything--a quirky, believable heroine, a complex mystery that keeps you guessing, and even a touch of the paranormal. Readers won't put this one down until the final sparkle." ~Gordon Korman, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Magic exposes the extent of vicious school bullying in this arresting middle school mystery." ~Kirkus Reviews
"In this mild action-adventure, readers will value the captivating, emotional roller coaster young girls experience with friendships and new beginnings."
~School Library Journal
About the Author:
Barrie Summy grew up in Canada on a steady diet of books and tobogganing. She tries to read a book a week and always breaks for tea and cookies at three oclock.
Barrie lives in California with her husband, their four children, a veiled chameleon, and Dorothy the Dog.
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