Author: Megan Miranda | Publisher: Simon and Schuster
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left Cooley Ridge. Ten years since she broke up with Tyler, the man she thought she’d marry. Ten years since her best friend Corinne disappeared, never to be heard from again.
When the call comes that her father is ailing, Nic is living in Philadelphia — light-years away from her younger self. She drops everything to care for her dad, but within days of her return, another girl goes missing and Nic experiences a terrifying sense of deja vu.
As Nic works to unravel what happened to the missing girl, shocking truths emerge about her neighbors, her family, and what really happened to Corrine that night ten years ago.
People were like Russian nesting dolls – versions stacked inside the latest edition. But they all still lived inside, unchanged, just out of sight.
One unique thing about All the Missing Girls is the format in which it is told: backward.
The first chapters of this book focus on setting up the present — of allowing the reader to glance into this rural, quiet town and getting the now.
But as soon as that ends, you’re lost. It ends with a reference to something that we haven’t quite latched onto yet — a forever reminder of the essence and the presence of time.
The second part of this book, then, is when things get much more interesting and equally as suspenseful. Told from Day 15 through Day 1 of Nic’s return, the story tries to keep the audience around until the end to get the full truth of what’s happened.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned about leaving—you can’t really go back.
Truthfully, I was somewhat annoyed with the format of the story. Every time the chapter would come to a close, I was left unsatisfied with what I read. And because of the format, you’re left with so many references to events that haven’t occurred yet — when you finally do read about them, you’ve lost the significance.
By Day 8, I was reading just to find out what happened to the girls.
And sure, their deaths were strange and enticing, but by the time I found out the truth, I was just underwhelmed. Nothing felt significantly surprising or attractive to me anymore.
All the Missing Girls is attractive, but that wouldn’t be the case if this book were written in chronological order. The author also failed to tie some loose ends, making some of the character’s actions questionable.
I would, however, recommend this book to friends, but only to gauge their reactions to this story. It is gripping, but only because of the reverse order. Maybe I’m too tough on the writing, but this whole “missing girl” trope doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore.
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