Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love. Kalah knew better than to fall for Beth Taylor...but that didn’t stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart-first into a sea of complications. Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth’s best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn’t even tell Kalah good-bye. One of the rumors links Beth to Britney’s boyfriend, and Kalah doesn’t want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it—and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead. When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit’s suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she’s swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah’s caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth. Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in this fast-paced psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns.
Vanished (Vanished #1)Featured
#WeNeedDiverseBooks has been going strong for over a year now and Vanished is the kind of novel that fits in perfectly with what they want: novels with intersectional diversity across the board. Kalah, our bisexual Indian narrator with OCD and anxiety, has a well-written voice has a habit of saying things that make you wonder how much we should trust her at all. As such, she makes for an excellent unreliable narrator as she tries to figure out where Beth is and what really happened the night she disappeared.
Vanished is intensely readable and fast-paced too. Some books can be easily picked up and put down when life gets in the way. Others are life-ruiners because you will neglect all but eating and sleeping so you can keep reading. Vanished is absolutely a case of the latter. It will have you scribbling theories in your notebooks and trying to sneak in a few pages when you should be doing something else.
What Left Me Wanting More:
For all it does right, there are a lot of missed opportunities. It prepared me for a mind-bending ending a la Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas but didn't deliver on its promise. Even for the first novel in a series, it leaves a few too many questions unanswered and doesn't go deeply enough into certain character facets.Readers will hear a lot about the toxic dynamic between Britney and Beth but won't see it in action even in flashbacks. It may not push far enough, but Vanished a boundary-pusher and is certainly a good start for the first book in a trilogy.
All in all, Vanished is a quick read that will cure you of your reading slump and keep you in your seat even if you have to attend to important life things like eating, sleeping, and going to school. You may just find yourself trying to sneak a few pages in during class when you're supposed to be taking notes and scribbling theories in your notebook! As long as you're aware this is a series and it will be a long time before some of the questions raised in this novel are answered, go for it.