How to Disappear – Ann Redisch Stampler

How to Disappear – Ann Redisch StamplerTitle: How to Disappear by Ann Redisch Stampler
Publishing Info: June 14, 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 14, 2016

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed? —and the boy who's sent to kill her.
Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she's pretty sure she can get away with anything...until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette's house. Which is why she has to disappear.
Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A's and athletic trophies can't make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.
As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

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HOW TO DISAPPEAR was definitely the kind of book to get me hooked! It started off just a bit slow for me —  partially because I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for — but a little after halfway through, I couldn’t tear myself away! The book feels more like a thriller with a dash of mystery thrown in and the dual POV made for a really interesting take on the whole story as well!

The book is structured with alternating POVs from the two main characters: Nicolette (the girl on the run) and Jack (the boy who’s sent to find her). One of the things I loved about this was the anticipation of when these two POVs would finally collide. It was incredibly interesting to see things from both perspectives and as with any mystery/thriller, I was left wondering if one was an unreliable narrator or if both were to be trusted. Then once the two characters did meet, it was that anticipation of who was going to spill the beans or how one found out about the other. I’ll admit that I did hope for a run-in earlier than it happened but I also loved the interactions between characters once they did finally cross paths!

I say that HOW TO DISAPPEAR was more thriller for me because of the main action with Nicolette being on the run. The first portion of her narratives are hiding out and the paranoia that someone will figure out how to get to her. I actually felt like this dragged just a bit for me and I think that was because without Jack actually on the scene, there’s not as much opportunity for details to come out with why she needs to be in hiding in the first place. I wished there were just a few more hints dropped and questions for the reader to ponder earlier on in the story because those would have really pulled me in even more!

The mystery came a bit later in the story for me although it was set up since the beginning, the main idea of which is did Nicolette really commit this murder? My mind was racing through the many possible scenarios and I really just didn’t know what was the right one. The questions and investigation really came into play in the second half of the book and there was a whirlwind of reveals towards the end! It was a satisfying ending and yet I found myself wishing there were more twists. I just love a good, twisty book and my brain tends to jump to incredible conclusions so there were a few twists that I hypothesized about that were purely my imagination.

I actually really liked Jack’s character throughout the book. At first I’ll admit that I was incredibly confused but he really started to grow on me. Jack is the more anti-social type and he may not be a good guy but at least he’s trying to stay out of the family business: crime. He keeps trying to fend off his brother’s threats, even when his brother is in prison. He actually really cares about his mom though and that’s a big motivating factor for why he even agrees to go after Nicolette. There was an interesting gray area there and I was so curious to see what choices Jack would end up making!

HOW TO DISAPPEAR was definitely thrilling but at the same time I don’t feel like it made a lasting impression on me. It was a fun read and I finished it in only two days because I just couldn’t put it down! It didn’t quite make the list of my favorite mysteries or thrillers but it was quite a fun and quick ride!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Kept Me Hooked On: YA thrillers. I am seeing a TON coming out in 2016 and I intend to gobble all of them up!!
Left Me Wanting More: Twistiness. I am such a sucker for twists. I love books that can make me gasp and keep me on the edge of my seat. This one was exciting but I could have used just a bit more oomph.

Addiction Rating
Try it!

Although this one didn’t quite stick with me, it was a fast and fun read while I was submerged in the story!

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THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING    GONE GIRL