Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Vanished

Publish June 5, 2015

Charged with an undercurrent of untold truths and suspicion, E.E. Cooper’s debut novel, Vanished, sizzles with an uneasy sense of impending danger and the dramatic tension created by an unreliable narrator.

 

Kalah can’t understand why Beth and Britney befriended her. A conspicuously new junior, Kalah is still emotionally fragile after a hellish situation at her former school left her struggling with OCD. Beth and Britney are beautiful seniors, co-captains of the girls’ soccer team, and the sole members of an elite clique that every other girl in school longs to join. Yet they brought Kalah into their friendship, and though Kalah is never quite their equal – always a little too eager, a little too agreeable – she is happy to finally be wanted, included and popular.

 

Soon, Kalah and Beth’s relationship evolves beyond friendship, but the girls are unsure of Britney’s reaction and choose to keep their romance a secret. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Beth disappears, and a rumour begins to circulate about Beth’s involvement with Britney’s long-time boyfriend, Jason. Devastated and humiliated, Britney kills herself. In the wake of Britney’s suicide, Beth finally contacts Kalah, but it soon becomes obvious that things are not as they seem, and suddenly, Kalah doesn’t know who she can trust.

 

The first installment of what promises to be an exciting new series, Vanished is an attention grabber with a cliffhanger ending that is open to interpretation. Hints and red herrings abound, and readers will feel apprehension long before they understand its source. Suspenseful and intelligent, Cooper’s Vanished will keep readers guessing until the last paragraph.

Vanished

E.E. Cooper
Harper Collins Canada
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-229389-3

Karen Doerksen
Karen Doerksen Karen Doerksen lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta with her husband and four children. She works for the Edmonton Public Library, and holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta.  

The National Reading Campaign publishes children's book reviews under a Creative Commons License. This review is entirely free to reproduce and republish online and in print. Credit must be given to the reviewer and the National Reading Campaign. Reviews can be edited for brevity only. Contact Us for more information.