The Vanishing Game

The Vanishing Game

4.4 47
by Kate Kae Myers
     
 

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Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was everything she had growing
up in a world of foster homes - and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason
December" - the code name her brother used to use when he made up elaborate
puzzles to fill the unhappy hours at Seale House, a terrifying foster home from their childhood. Only one

Overview

Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was everything she had growing
up in a world of foster homes - and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason
December" - the code name her brother used to use when he made up elaborate
puzzles to fill the unhappy hours at Seale House, a terrifying foster home from their childhood. Only one other person
knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush, and their only
real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.

But when Jocelyn sneaks off to return to Seale House and the
city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out Seale House's dark powers weren't
just the figment of a childish information. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he
is, what kind of trouble is he in - and how can Jocelyn and Noah help him?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Vanishing Game will drive you along a shocking path fraught with hints of the paranomrla and the sadistic. . . . The perfect example of a YA fiction that makes the cross over into adult fiction.” —A Bookish Libraria

“A gripping mystery . . . impossible to put down. The reader races to keep up with the plot only to get walloped by a mind-blowing twist ending that turns the entire story upside down.” —VOYA

“This book has twists and turns galore. Part corporate espionage thriller, part paranormal horror story, there are also elements of mystery and romance.” —Library Media Connection

VOYA - Amy Fiske
Abandoned by their unbalanced, abusive mother, twins Jocelyn and Jack relied on each other through a series of foster homes. Jack's sudden death in a car accident leaves Jocelyn reeling and rudderless. Then, a letter bearing a cryptic clue arrives from "Jason December," Jack's alter ego from childhood riddles and treasure hunts. The letter sends Jocelyn back in time to age twelve at a foster home called Seale House, a sinister place that holds dark memories. Believing Jack to be alive, Jocelyn reunites with Noah, an old friend and former resident of Seale House. Together, they face their troubled pasts and follow the trail of obscure clues in hopes that they will lead to Jack. But someone is trying to stop them. Jocelyn's voice rings true as a resilient yet damaged survivor of abuse and neglect. The memories of Seale House are painful for Jocelyn and she frequently turns away before all the details are revealed, which raises the suspicion that she may be an unreliable narrator. The narrative cuts back and forth between a dangerous present and nightmarish flashbacks to the past, the puzzle pieces never quite fitting into place. A gripping mystery with strong but flawed characters, the book is impossible to put down. The reader races to keep up with the plot only to get walloped by a mind-blowing twist ending that turns the entire story upside down. Recommend this to teens who like intrigue, mystery, and suspense. Reviewer: Amy Fiske
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Jocelyn is a few weeks from graduating high school when her twin, Jack, is killed in a car wreck. Still struggling to regain her sense of self and purpose, she receives a letter signed by Jason December, a code name known only to her, Jack, and their former friend Noah, who shared the same abusive foster home for several years. Jocelyn heads out to find Noah and determine if he is behind the letter or if Jack is still alive. Eventually Noah joins her to follow the convoluted trail of clues Jack seems to be leaving them. They have to find Jack and the secret he is hiding—one that is apparently worth killing for. Along the way, they revisit the now burned-out foster home, Seale House—still the stuff of nightmares for Jocelyn—and track down several of the children who lived there with them. At the same time, they are rekindling the strong feelings they had for one another but never spoke of when they were young. There is a definite twist of the supernatural but the source of these eerie events comes as a complete surprise. Betrayals surface at every level right up to the concluding plot twist. Intriguing characters, a relentless pace, touches of romance, and a bit of creepiness make this an engaging read. Caution should be used in recommending this book to those who might be sensitized to the abuses of parents and the foster care system. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 9–11—Noah and twins Jack and Jocey, along with Angry Beth, Dixon, and others, met when they lived in a creepy and abusive foster home in upstate New York. A deadly incident (revealed toward the end of the story) caused Jack and Jocey to run away, and Noah to threaten Jocey's life. Now 17, Jocey is receiving letters and clues from her brother, presumed to have died three weeks earlier in a car accident, and she enlists Noah's help to figure things out. However, as she hides in the back of his Jeep, she wonders if she's made a mistake. As they work together, parts of their past are put to rest and a romance begins. This story tries to do a lot, but not all of it works well because of the sometimes-trite writing. There is a hint of fantasy, with pulsating walls and an evil force like the house in Poltergeist. Someone is causing mysterious burns, as in Stephen King's Carrie. And surprising parentage is revealed, as in Star Wars. Jack and Noah, friends since childhood, devised a computer security program and made serious money working part-time for the company that bought them out. An ex-boss wants to retrieve material Jack is thought to have hidden. Jack's elaborate logic puzzles, codes, and origami-based clues may challenge some readers; Noah's martial-arts abilities will draw others in; and a bomb adds more action. Those who stick with the original story line—whether Jack is dead or alive—will find out. If Myers chooses to write a sequel, perhaps one or two of these story lines, more fully explored, would leave readers just as satisfied with the rest of the book.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599907482
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
02/14/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
380,903
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Kate Kae Myers is a sign language interpreter for deaf
main-streamed high school students. She also runs her high school's creative
writing club. This is her first novel.
Kate Kae Myers is a sign language interpreter for deaf main streamed high school students. She also runs her high school's creative writing club. This is her first novel.

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The Vanishing Game 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is just amazing. I really don't like reading but this book just hooked me in. I wish there was a second book to this or something VERY CLOSE related to this. LOVED this book (coming from someone who doesn't like reading, i am going to read it again. <3 (:
Openbooksociety_dot_com More than 1 year ago
UNEXPECTED Review brought to you by OBS staff member Autumn I didn’t know what to expect when starting this book. I knew that this would take me on an unexpected journey and The Vanishing Game does not disappoint. Jocelyn and her twin, Jack, grew up going from foster home to foster home. Seale House looms large in their memory as the place where they were the most frightened, but also the place where they met Noah, another orphan who becomes their one true friend. They create their own games and puzzles as a way of coping with the stress of living amongst the other disturbed children. After leaving Seale House, Jack is the victim of a horrible accident and everyone believes that he is dead. Until Jocelyn receives a letter from his secret alias “Jason December” and that begins a string of clues that cause Jocelyn to seek out Noah once again. He alone can help her solve the disappearance of her brother and come to terms with her past and her future. I was so sure of the direction this book would take while I was reading it. I soon found out that it was nothing like I expected. The twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat and at the same time the emotional subject matter hold your heart in a vice-like grip. I really enjoyed reading this story and would recommend it to lovers of suspense and mystery everywhere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've ever read. It drew me in from the start, and every page was suspensful. I've read a lot of books, but this is one of my new favorites. I never saw the end coming, and I can usually tell you how the story is going to end after I read the first couple chapters. Amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one day I couldnt put it down. I was blown away by the end. At the end of each chapter was a cliff hanger where I just had to read one more and promise myself it would be the last one but I had to keep reading. I havent read any other book liks this one. Its a creepy book with a twist of a girl falling in love. I wish I could say more about this book and everything that happens but you will just have to get it and fine out for yourself on how great of a book this is!!
cubicleblindnessKM More than 1 year ago
Puzzling! I thought this book had interesting appeal because of the way that Jocelyn has to follow clues left behind by her brother. The clues each leading her to a different place from her past, a past that she'd rather not remember. Each clue is different, some are riddles, some are paper folding to show certain words and others are purely clues based off her memories of the games they played as they were children. What I honestly did not expect from the book was how dark it got. The twins ended up having to go into foster care at a young age. Unfortunately they ended up in a really bad home until they could get a family to move in with or adopt them. As Jocelyn solves each clue her life gets put in danger several times. She is a very strong female lead, even though when she meets up with Noah, a boy from her past she realizes that she needs help. Although not at first, it really takes her to go through alot before she accepts his help. They travel a lot figuring out the clues and it seems that every step they take, danger is always a couple steps ahead. The author really puts her main character through a lot. I had no clue how the story was going to end and some points you could see the direction, but I enjoyed the twist at the end and it did take me off guard. The story is told from a present day perspective and flashbacks of when the children were young and the experiences that they had while living in that home. It gets pretty dark and sad in places. I really enjoyed this story.
BookStacksOnDeck More than 1 year ago
I was at the edge of my seat reading this book! There was adventure, mystery, suspense, spookiness, and a little romance as well. Jocelyn has a twin brother who had recently died, but one day she gets a letter from him - Jason December (Jack). Jack used to always leave cryptic puzzles and clues for Jocelyn and their friend Noah to figure out when they were kids living in a foster home together. Jack signed those letters with the name Jason December. Jack, Jocelyn, and Noah were the only people who knew about who Jason December was. So when Jocelyn gets the letter, she has hope that her brother is still alive out there somewhere. She goes back to the town they grew up in and finds Noah so that they can figure out the letter together. The letter leads them toward more clues and Jocelyn is hoping that they will eventually find Jack. Some of the clues refer to the foster home they grew up in and other foster kids they lived with. The foster home was called the Seale House and had since been burned down. They visit the house a few times and Jocelyn has some flashbacks of the old place. This house creeped me out! I couldn't stop reading! Most chapters would end in a totally surprising cliffhanger, so I HAD to keep going to find out more. There was a shocking twist at the end and like it says in the book synopsis, I really did want to go "straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light". I'm so glad I got a chance to read it - one of my faves so far this year!
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
When I read what The Vanishing Game was about, I immediately felt drawn in (and I hadn’t even read the first page yet *shocked face*). To me, it sounded like some sort of psychological mind game mystery novel where the reader would be guessing and guessing until BOOM! You face the dark truth of what is really supposed to be happening in the novel. However I will tell you later on in the review if this novel was as mind tricky as I believed it to be. So first off, I absolutely fell in love with the beginning of the novel. It starts with a prologue that is just haunting and begins to explain the relationship between the main character Jocey and Jack. Jocelyn being the tomgeek main character (look up the word seeing as how I learned it from the novel itself; cool word by the way) and Jack being her deceased brother. But from the start of the novel, we are also lead to believe that maybe, just maybe, Jack might still be alive. That caught my attention completely. That and the fact that we also get thrown into watching Jocey stalk Noah and end up being choked by him before uttering the words “Third Freak”. Strange? A little bit. Engaging? Completely. What I did loved about Myers writing style was the way we really got to see the way the main character thought more than most novels, meaning that instead of constantly being drowned in setting details (Ex: Look how blue that wall is, it’s so blue that I was thinking of the sky or the color of some flower I smelled when I was six.) Instead we got to see so much thinking and I found that so exciting! I could really feel the emotions that Jocey felt when she thought of her brother Jack or the way she felt when she began to fall for Noah. I couldn’t resist the mystery that came with the plot...what is Seale House really? A now burned down haunted house? Is there a monster in the cellar? While I won’t give you the answers to those questions (you can find them when you read the novel) I can say that the mystery that came with the plot was just great. All of the Jason December clues and letters that Noah and Jocey came across had me going into my complete Riddler mode (Yay for Batman references!) hoping that I could find out the clues before the characters did. Of course, I was incapable of doing so *sad face*. Let’s also add in the fact that I loved that how to understand the plot and Jason December letters, you get to see flashbacks of the hell that Noah, Jack and Jocey had to endure when they lived in Seale House. With each flashback I could feel by heart get wrenched or I would end up scowling when I saw how cruel Hazel ended up being. The only major issue I had was that occasionally I would end up losing interest in the plot when I would feel like it was starting to lose pace but (yes a big but) right when I would begin to notice that I was losing interest, Meyers would drop a new twist or cliff-hanger on me, leaving me begging for more to read. You won’t believe the ending that had me both gasping and frozen from being so shocked, that you’ll end up finishing the novel with complete satisfaction. All in all, a great read especially for fans of mystery and thrillers. I personally hope for a movie…
Buried-in-Books More than 1 year ago
This is the only book I've ever read that actually terrified me and sent chills up my spine. It happens in Seale House, the foster home that Jocelyn grew up in when she was younger. But it's been burnt down partially. It' not known by whom, but it's still accessible because Jocelyn is in the cellar of this creepy house when this part happens. Personally after the descriptions of what went on in that house and the cellar and how afraid she still is of it, I wouldn't set foot anywhere near there, but she's looking for a message from her brother and she's desperate to find it. So desperate, that she goes in there at dusk when some goth kids are in the house lighting a fire on the floor and sitting on some of the ancient furniture that wasn't totally burnt down. Jocelyn and Jack were twins and sent to live at Seale House when they ran away from home. Their mother was a lousy excuse for a human being much less a mother. From the outside Seale House looks like salvation. From the inside, it's pure hell. But Jocelyn and Jack learn how to navigate it with Noah's help. All of the foster kids look out for one another, except for one, Corner Kid. That's all I'll say about him, but Myers has a way of writing, creepy, broken characters like no one I've read before and I have read about a lot of broken characters. These kids are messed up from families that have abandoned or abused them and Seale house is not going to heal them. So, Noah, taking charge of everything, kind of runs the house and Jack and Jocelyn help, Jocelyn mothering when needed, the three standing up to and straightening out those kids that don't know the rules of foster kids. The story is told through Jocelyn's sense of desperation about finding her brother. She's only 17 and has been told 2 weeks ago that her brother died. She's gotten a letter from "Jason December" and only three people knew that name. Her brother, her and Noah. So she goes back to where Seale house is and finds Noah. There are flashbacks to the time the three were at Seale House together and then it goes back to present day. The present day telling of the story is laced with danger as someone is out to kill either Noah or Jocelyn or both of them. And they are searching all over the town for clues to what Jack, Jocelyn's brother is trying to tell them.
becx More than 1 year ago
WOW The publishers were kind enough to send me a copy of “The Vanishing Game” for review. HOLY WOW!!! This book was a trip. It hooked me from the start and never let go. I’m pretty good at figuring out what’s going to happen in books but I had no idea where this story was going. I was shocked at every twist. I loved the riddles and clues in the book. Despite trying to figure them out, my mind does not work that way. The characters were well thought out and their stories were chilling. It was incredibly sad to read this fiction book knowing that children face the same situations in reality. This story freaked me out but I couldn’t stop reading. I was constantly trying to find a reasonable explanation for the creepy events, only to be wrong. The ending was nothing like I would have predicted but it worked in an odd way. I give “The Vanishing Game” 5/5 stars. It’s a MUST read for sure. I give kudos to anyone who is able to predict the course of this book from the beginning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I have read so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If i could....i would rate this 10 out of 5 stars! It was sooooo good. Attention:spoiler ahead. The relationship between jocelyn and noah is soooo sweet and the ending shocked me so much I wanted to read it over!
FuzzyCoffeeBooks More than 1 year ago
For those of you who like creepy stories, I would definitely recommend checking out The Vanishing Game. It's got some interesting characters, its full of puzzles to solve, and has an ending that will completely throw you for a loop. It's well written and has a great pace, and while it wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, I'd say that this book would be enjoyed by many readers!
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
The Vanishing Game is the debut novel of Kate Kae Myers. It is a young-adult paranormal fiction that was thoroughly entertaining. Complete with an evil house, creepy characters and a slew of clues that kept me guessing. The synopsis promises an ending that will shock you and shock me it did. This was an intense, action packed, spooky thriller that kept me enthralled. We are introduced to protagonist seventeen year old Jocelyn. We learn that her twin brother, Jack, died in an auto accident and she has been having trouble dealing with it. She lives with her foster parents and is planning a camping trip with friends, when she receives a letter in the mail that changes everything. It is a letter written from her dead brother. The letter has her heading back to Seale House, a horrible foster home that she and Jack lived in. When her car and clothes are stolen, she reaches out to their childhood friend Noah. Together the two of them begin a scavenger hunt to collect clues and unravel the messages that Jack is sending them. It has them visiting historical sites, solving riddles and hiding from danger. It turns out that Jack’s former employer and a very dangerous man are both searching for something Jack had. This places Jocelyn and Noah in danger as they become the prime targets. The tale that unfolds is fast paced. Fans of suspense and intrigue will love the chase to uncover clues. The ending was a complete shock and totally brilliant. The characters Myers created are all unique and well fleshed out. I liked Jocelyn and despite the flaws created by her history, she is smart and at times fearless. Noah was a little mysterious and I wasn’t sure of him, but thankfully Myers sets me straight. The foster kids from Seale House were terrifying, especially Corner Boy. The men pursuing them definitely added to the tales creepiness. The romance while a side story was cute and seeing these two flawed characters interact was fun. Myers does a fantastic job with world-building and flashbacks. She brings Seale House to life and the horror that occurred and occurs when Jocelyn returns kept me on the edge of my seat. Myers feed us clues as she delivered suspenseful moment after suspenseful moment. All of which kept me turning the pages waiting to catch my breath. The tale was believable and had my mind racing with questions. Is Jack alive, if not who is sending clues? What did he uncover? Who are the good guys and what dark entity is in Seale House? It’s been a week since I finished this and I still get chills thinking about the house.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
Where do I start?  I finished this book last week and still don't know how to put in words what I feel about this book.  It was a total mind trip for me.   When Jocelyn gets a letter from her brother with his code name "Jason December" her world starts to fall apart.  She is determined to figure out the clues in his letter so she can find her brother.  In her search she seeks out her brother Jack's childhood friend Noah and asks for his help. Jocelyn, Jack and Noah grew up in a children's home called Seale House.  The woman there raising them was not the kindest person.  Some of the kids in the home had some real problems,  Weird thing were happening in the house, and Jocelyn was trying to keep kids safe. While Noah and Jocelyn follow the clues to find Jack other things come to lite.  I cannot even start.  This is where the story gets interesting.  Okay, so it was interesting from the very beginning, but this is when it gets really interesting. When the description says the book turns you on it's head, it is so so true.  I wanted to go back and read it all over again.  It was so fantastic. Fantastic.  I am still in awe.  I don't know how to even explain the mind trip.  It was FAN FREAKING TASTIC.   It was such a great read.  I think you will be happy if you decide to pick it up.  If you do I want to know your reaction.  Seriously!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read. I could not get enough of this story. The end had me in tears to the point where I had to read it again.
Grace_Margret More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing. Creates a whole bunch of feeling for the reader. Not just your basic mystery novel where the crime happens then a bunch of boring stuff and then you finally find out who killed the person. Its not like that at all. It will make you cry, laugh, and fear for the darkness. Defiantly happy that i bought this when i did. this book doesn't get enough attention.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leaped into the Clan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why do you listen to this excuse for a she-cat? She's the one who forced you to abandon your home. She's the one who set BloodClan against you. She does this all for attention. Following her is just ensuring that she has you completely under her control. I was once in StreamClan. It was not lead by this godmodding attention who<_>re, but by BrookStar.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looked around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An absolutely amazing book that has you gripped from start to finish. I read this entire book in one morning as I could not put it down. I would recommend this book 100%. Absolutely incredible writing and the plot will leave you guessing as you try to put the clues together on your own. The ending is remarkable and completely unexpected which sums up the entire novel perfectly. I am hoping to see more from the author for sure!
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eternalised More than 1 year ago
he Vanishing Game left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the premise of the story, and for most parts the writing and characterization were all right as well, but the book lost me halfway through. The pace was too slow, the writing a bit too erratic and the characters lacked depth and mystery. The mystery, which is the main part of this book, wasn&rsquo;t that mysterious to me at all. The author does an admirable job waving in mystery with the other elements of the book, but the clues left were a bit too straightforward for my liking, and sometimes I hit myself over the head when the main characters, Jocelyn and Noah, couldn&rsquo;t find it out. The book has a few twists and turns, and some supernatural elements, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I thought it was very clever how the author had waved together the action and the background story. It never felt like info dump, not even when the characters revisited their past and talked about it. Jocelyn was an interesting character, but the one who truly shone was Noah. I liked him a lot, and wished more of the story had been told from his POV as opposed to Jocelyn&rsquo;s. I thought The Vanishing Game would be creepier than it actually was. There were some scary scenes, but nothing bad enough to make me bite my nails and curl under my blanket to cry. I&rsquo;m normally all for supernatural/paranormal, but in this case, it just doesn&rsquo;t work. It had a good start at the beginning, but halfway through the book lost all its footings. I think this book would&rsquo;ve been better off without the supernatural elements, and without the creepiness that didn&rsquo;t deliver. The story of Jocey and Noah following Jack&rsquo;s clue was intriguing enough. Sometimes I also felt like explenations were thrown out at random, and they left me going &lsquo;whaaaaat&rsquo;. But I can forgive those. The story was decent enough, and the characters interesting enough. Recommended if you want a quick mystery read, but don&rsquo;t expect the next big thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago