So here is a book for all of my Middle Grade mystery fans who like a bit of magic in their stories.
The Disappearance of Emily H. Barrie Summy
May 12 2015
This is a Netgalley review, eBook free in exchange for an honest review.
So this is a book I am very conflicted about. On the one hand it is a great middle grade slice of life, girl at new school story. On the other it is a quasi fantasy where our main character has a secret power. The conflict is how she deals with her power and the mean girls in her life. Raine is our thirteen year old main character with the hopeless mother who flits from one man to another leaving Raine to pretty much raise herself. Picking up roots and moving every time the relationship falls apart. The central mystery is about a girl named Emily who went missing from the house Raine and her mother have just moved into. This is a fast paced fun read that stalls in the middle and has a few perplexing logic leaps that require a hearty dose of suspended disbelief. And that is probably my biggest problem. I don’t like bully books where the solution is more bullying. I find it highly suspicious that the solution to the missing girl is what it is. And without spoiling the story, the climatic ending was a bit of a “that’s it?”. If you have a young girl or a boy who is into mysteries with a hint of magic and a heaping helping of danger, this is a great summer read.
Parental note. There is some pretty horrific bullying by the mean girls, and the solution Raine and her friend come up with is downright illegal. It is worth having a discussion with your child since the adults are largely absent in this story. The kids in this story hid the abuse by classmates that tread the line between cruel and criminal, never telling a parent or trusted adult. Raine’ Mom is in need of serious mental health help. The bad guy is just evil. And the story can swing from sparkly light hearted, sometimes funny to soul crushing in an instant.