The Vanishing Season

The Vanishing Season

3.1 6
by Jodi Lynn Anderson

View All Available Formats & Editions

From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes The Vanishing Season, at once haunting and lovely, with a gut-wrenching final twist that will keep readers on their toes. It's perfect for fans of Gayle Forman, Lauren Myracle, and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Girls started vanishing in the fall.

For Maggie Larsen, the town of


From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes The Vanishing Season, at once haunting and lovely, with a gut-wrenching final twist that will keep readers on their toes. It's perfect for fans of Gayle Forman, Lauren Myracle, and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Girls started vanishing in the fall.

For Maggie Larsen, the town of Gill Creek is only a stopgap before college and freedom. Until she meets Pauline and Liam. What starts as an uneventful year suddenly changes. Someone is killing teenage girls, and the town reels from the tragedy. As Maggie's and Pauline's worlds collide and change around them, they will both experience love and loss. And by the end of the book, only one of them will survive.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
★ 05/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Maggie Larsen is uprooted by her parents from the busy city of Chicago to the remote and quaint town of Gill Creek. She is immediately befriended by her neighbor, the beautiful but eccentric Pauline, and her childhood BFF, the gentle Liam. The three become inseparable—although beneath the surface a simmering romantic tension is clearly brewing. Things come to a head when girls begin to mysteriously disappear and Pauline is sent away. With the dynamic of Maggie and Liam's relationship now intensifying, the bonds of friendship and loyalty are in question. The journey of self-discovery taken by each character tests their true nature and forces decisions that will change their lives forever. Anderson crafts a heartbreaking story full of mystery, love, redemption, and betrayal. The subtle writing draws readers in from the beginning, while the complex and intriguing characters beautifully drive the measured pacing of the plot. The interspersed first-person ghostly narrative adds an eerie sense of dread and foreboding. Yet it is the stark and realistic portrayal of events coupled with a startling conclusion that make this such a powerful read.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Publishers Weekly
★ 04/28/2014
Anderson (Tiger Lily) once again works her magic to conjure evocative settings and soulful protagonists in this modern gothic romance featuring a displaced adolescent and the ghost who is mysteriously drawn to her. The story begins shortly after homeschooled Maggie reluctantly bids goodbye to Chicago city life to move with her parents to a remote Victorian house on Lake Michigan in Door County, Wis. The tranquility of the community is disturbed by news of a serial killer in the area. Despite widespread fear and distrust in the area, Maggie enjoys moments of contentment with new friends Pauline and Liam, neighbors with a deep childhood bond. But when Maggie’s presence threatens to put a wedge between Pauline and Liam, all three must rethink their relationships with each other. No one (except, perhaps, the invisible ghost who traces their every movement) knows where their decisions will lead. Interspersed with the confused memories and profound revelations expressed by the ghost, this tantalizing novel offers a singular perspective on a complicated love triangle and a tragedy. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (July)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“This unique retelling of PETER PAN by J. M. Barrie has a literary feel, lush descriptions, and a mysterious but sympathetic main character…A sophisticated fantasy, a new spin on a classic tale.”
Ann Brashares
Praise for PEACHES: “Funny, free, and utterly imaginative, Jodi Lynn Anderson’s writing is packed with loveliness.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
Praise for TIGER LILY: “Serious and moving.”
Praise for TIGER LILY: “In expressive, graceful language, Anderson tells the story of the fierce Tiger Lily and her thorny romance with the legendary Peter Pan. Its sensitive, passionate portrayal of familiar characters…is captivating.”
Praise for TIGER LILY: “With this quiet and bittersweet story, readers will never again think of Peter Pan as simple animation.”
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Donna L Phillips
The themes and problems in The Vanishing Season will feel familiar to those acquainted with Anderson’s other work, Tiger Lily (HarperTeen, 2012/Voya February 2012). Though Door County, Wisconsin, in winter is far from the tropics of Neverland, Wendy, Tiger Lily, and Peter share similar dilemmas with The Vanishing Season’s teen love triangle—Pauline the perfect; Maggie the mundane; and Liam, the complicated male love interest. There is even a Tinker Bell narrator, who floats between the chapters like an omnipresent moth in italicized pages framed in hatch-marked rectangles. The identity of this narrative voice provides the most engaging piece of the mystery, and one that suggests an audience of more sophisticated readers willing to solve the puzzle. The teens’ personal dramas unwind amid the unexplained disappearance and drowning of several young women, likely at the hands of a serial killer. Several male characters are possible suspects, including Liam, Liam’s atheist father, weird Gerald from the antique emporium where Maggie works, and hunky James Falks, the backup boyfriend in Pauline’s life when her family whisks her away from the killer and off to safety with an aunt in Minneapolis. Some of the characters’ decisions are inordinately foolish, given the circumstances of the teens’ murders, and twists in the plot are occasionally too pat, but for readers who savor the ambiguities of unrequited love and the greys of the here and hereafter, The Vanishing Season will end well. For those who require the solid solution of a true mystery—not so much. Reviewer: Donna L Phillips; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
In this moody thriller set on an isolated Wisconsin peninsula, the tourists are gone, a serial killer's at large, and incendiary passions ignite in winter's deepening bitter cold.Smart, responsible Maggie is every parent's dream. She hasn't complained about leaving her Chicago life and friends behind for the shabby house in Door County, where she knows no one; aware that her parents are doing their best in difficult times, she wants to spare them knowledge of her unhappiness. Her new friend—beautiful, impulsive Pauline from the mansion next door, who takes abundance for granted—draws Maggie into her world, which includes Liam, who's been in love with Pauline for years. Though Pauline insists she doesn't reciprocate, Maggie notices their interdependence. She observes Pauline's beauty, wealth and freedom with wry detachment, but she needs all her self-control to tamp down her growing attraction to Liam. A series of unsolved murders whose victims are local young women provides narrative counterpoint. Community benefits are held for the survivors, but parents guard their daughters fearfully. Trust's in short supply. After Pauline's sent to Milwaukee for her protection, Liam and Maggie draw closer, and Maggie's swept away. As she did in Tiger Lily (2012), Anderson provides an observer's voice, a sort of pared-down Greek chorus, that foreshadows and warns of what is coming while remaining helpless to prevent it.An intensely gripping tale with a surprise ending that's fully earned. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Jodi Lynn Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches, Tiger Lily, and the popular May Bird trilogy. She lives in Asheville, N.C., with her husband, her son, and an endless parade of stray pets.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Vanishing Season 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson Publisher: HarperTeen Publication Date: July 1, 2014 Rating: 1 star Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell. The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town. I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both. All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried. From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind. What I Liked: The writing style is excellent, probably the redeeming quality of this book. Not enough for me to bump up the rating though. Oh no no no, this book was just AWFUL. What I Did Not Like: I don't even know where to start. Maybe if I narrate what I did not like, it'll make it easier for me explain everything that I hated/disliked. I feel like I'll miss something or things. But, let's see. Nothing happens. There was no plot. I was bored the entire time. I was close to not finishing this book. There is a love triangle. There is a random narration point-of-view that was unnecessary. The protagonist is spineless. The ending was horrible. The premise - about missing girls - was so anticlimactic and barely present in the story. THERE WAS NOTHING TO THIS BOOK. Nothing happens in this book. I was so disappointed by the lack of plot, it's unreal. The premise was so interesting and promising, about missing girls and whatnot. It sounded creepy and haunting, a combination that I don't read often, but I generally enjoy. But NOTHING HAPPENS. Maggie and her parents move to somewhere remote in Wisconsin (I think it's Wisconsin?), she becomes friends with Pauline, who is totally not in love with Liam. But Liam is in love with Pauline. Then he is in love with Maggie, and Maggie is in love with him. But then Pauline comes back from her vacation in Florida (or whatever), and gets jealous, and decides that she loves Liam. Of course he dumps Maggie for her. You must be thinking, oh, so this book is a contemporary romance type of book? That's not necessarily a bad thing, right? WRONG. I just made it sound like things happen in this book, in terms of the romance, but UGH, it takes forever for any ONE THING to happen. This book moves at a snail's pace, and even still, it feels like nothing happens.  ESPECIALLY in terms of the missing girls premise.A total of four girls disappear, then an arrest is made, but of course it's not the right guy, but no one knows that. No one except the weird narrator, who is a dead ghost, mind you. We don't know who that ghost is until the end of the story. But anyway. The missing girls thing is NOT well-explored, or brought to the forefront of the story, like I thought it would/should be. No, everything is about Pauline. Dang, I hate Pauline so much. She is so flighty and stuck-up and snobby and self-centered. I hate people that are so privileged, they never have to make up their mind for anything, they never have to want for anything, they always get what they want, even if that means stealing and crushing someone else's desires. Pauline takes away so much from Maggie, and yet, Maggie is still friends with Pauline. Which leads me to my next point: I HATE THE PROTAGONIST. I hate Maggie so much. She is SPINELESS, with no backbone, whatever. It's like she doesn't feel, from beginning to end. At first, I thought she was a little like me, hardworking, with her school and future career in mind. But no, she's a doormat. She lets Pauline back into her life, time after time, no matter what Pauline does to her. Pauline and Liam get together as a couple, after Liam and Maggie get together, and yet, Maggie stills forgives them and hangs out with them. Forgive them? Maybeeee. Continue being friends with them? Both of them? Either of them? Hell to the no.  That narration that I mentioned? It's a dead person, a ghost, who lives in the house that Maggie lives in, so it can see what is going on in the house and around the town. The rest of the book is told in third-person past tense, limited to Maggie's perspective. So the narrator is supposed to give us holistic perspective, I think. Whatever. I thought it was pointless and unnecessary, and I didn't really understand its purpose. Even in the end, when everything was revealed, I didn't understand.  So, yeah, I was confused while reading, and after reading. Why was the missing girls plot not fleshed out? It didn't exist! Things didn't seem eerie and haunted in this book - no, the mood was flat. Everything seemed dry and boring, and I could care less. Usually I could fly through a less-than-three-hundred-page-book in less than two hours. It took me FOREVER to read and finish this book. I was so close to not finishing, you all. I really wanted to read something more interesting.  LOVE TRIANGLE. Oh my gosh. Why why why. You already know my thoughts on love triangles in general, and you already can gauge how I feel about this one. I hate Pauline in general, but I especially hate her when she takes Liam for herself. Liam always loved Pauline, so I can't fault him as much, but he broke Maggie's heart. And Maggie - seriously?! I totally understand not fighting for him, but don't torture yourself by hanging out with the two of them, forgiving them so easily. She didn't even yell at them or show them her anger or frustration. She never talked to them. That's so stupid! The ending is so horrible. It's like the disgusting icing on a nasty cake, or something. What's the point?! What's the point of going through this entire "story" (or lack of), to end it like that!? Ughhhh. Would I Recommend It: No. No no no no. I know a ton of readers are really excited about this book, because the author's debut novel, Tiger Lily, was epic and amazing and writing was beautiful and blah blah blah. I didn't read that one, but I have read this one, and it is just AWFUL. Don't hurt yourselves. Rating: 1 star. Basically, there was nothing to this book. I'm really disappointed - I was hoping for something epic, like I've heard about Tiger Lily. Too bad!
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"This is my work. This is the one thing I have to do. "I am looking for the things are are buried." Maggie Larsen doesn't know what to expect when she and her parents move from Chicago to Door County. But then, it's not like there is another choice with her mother having been laid off and money being tight. Although Maggie is sorry to leave Chicago behind, it is surprisingly easy to find a new place for herself in the small town of Gill Creek. As the days turn into weeks their ramshackle house on Water Street starts to look like a home. As the weeks turn into months, Maggie realizes she has found friends here in carefree, beautiful Pauline and Liam who is as kind as he is introspective. While Maggie lives her new life, girls in Gill Creek are disappearing. No one knows who the killer is. No one knows who might be next. No one knows if it will stop. All the while, a ghost is tethered to the house on Water Street. She can see the danger circling. She can even see some of the pieces of the story--a scorched key, a love letter, a bracelet with a cherry charm. But even the ghost isn't sure why she is still here watching the season unfold to its final, disastrous conclusion in The Vanishing Season (2014) by Jodi Lynn Anderson. The Vanishing Season is a quiet, aching read that builds slowly to a conclusion that is both shocking and inevitable. Anderson expertly weaves together Maggie's story with the first-person narration of the ghost to create a haunting puzzle of a story. Even readers who think they have predicted every plot point may well be surprised by the way everything fits together by the end. This story has romance and suspense. There is a foolish girl who breaks things sometimes by accident and sometimes because she can. Vignettes of small town life are interspersed with thoughtful commentary on privilege and ownership. Anderson's pacing is spot-on as the story builds to the denouement which is handled both eloquently and cleverly. The Vanishing Season is a beautifully written and subtle story about friendship and love and even heartbreak as well as a meditation on what living a life, and living it well, really means. Highly recommended. Possible Pairings: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Frost by Marianna Baer, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Falling Through Darkness by Carolyn MacCullough, Fracture by Megan Miranda, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
kirstyviz More than 1 year ago
The Moment Collector, or The Vanishing Season as it is titled in alternative editions, is a chilling but spell-binding story about the lives of three teenagers in the small town of Gill Creek. Jodi Lynn Anderson's story- telling style is slow paced, concentrating upon the darkness of the environment, the fear of the citizens and the friendships between Maggie, Liam and Pauline. The third person narrative is interspersed with a ghostly voice, the identity of which is unknown until the conclusion of the novel, but whose knowledge about the characters and events is frighteningly accurate. It is Maggie whom the reader immediately relates to, a stranger to small town living but resilient, loyal and responsible. She is welcomed to the town by her neighbor, Pauline, who is spoiled and manipulative and undeserving of Maggie's friendship. In the middle of the two girls is Liam, who has been in love with Pauline since childhood, but finds comfort in his relationship with Maggie, changing the dynamic of this triangle and leading to lies and hurt. The Gill Creek Jodi Lynn Anderson imagines is an unhappy town, permeated with trepidation and suspicion, as the number of young girls who go missing increases. The town is quick to accuse anyone who is 'different' from their classified 'norm', generating prejudice and misjudgment. The Moment Collector totally absorbs its reader, as we share the apprehension, distress and fear of its characters. The novel is one which leaves a lasting impression, particularly when it's final revelations emerge. A beautiful story which is worth the time invested by the reader. I received this as a complimentary review copy, but this has had no influence on my opinion.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) 16-year-old Maggie moves with her family to a ramshackle house in a small village, and makes friends with the only other kids in the village – Pauline and Liam. When there are several murders in the area, Pauline is sent to stay with her auntie, while Maggie and Liam grow closer. Who is the killer? Who is the ghost in Maggie’s basement? And what will happen when Pauline comes home? This was an okay story, but there wasn’t enough on the mystery side of things, and the ending was tragic. Maggie was an okay character, but it seemed obvious to me that she was going to end up getting walked over by her new friends. Two girls and one boy as a friendship is not going to work. I can see heartbreak coming in that scenario a mile off. Especially when two of them have been together since they were four, and the whole darn village thinks that they’re soul-mates. The storyline in this was okay, but I expected more to be made of the murders. Sure people in the village got a little scared, but other than that, not a lot of attention was paid to the murders, and when the murderer was caught, it was all without fanfare. This really disappointed me as I expected a bit of a murder mystery, which wasn’t what we got at all. There was some romance, but as I said, it was doomed from the start, and it was pretty obvious who was going to end up being the spare wheel. The ending of this was pretty darn tragic, I have to say, and after the fact that I hadn’t found the rest of the book all that entertaining, the ending really put that final nail in the coffin. I really didn’t expect the ‘ghost’ who we had heard from during the story to turn out to be the person it was, and again it was tragic. There is definitely no ‘happily-ever-after’ in store for you at the end of this book. Overall; okay story, not enough mystery, and a tragic ending. 6 out of 10.
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
When Maggies mum loses her job they have to up sticks and move to Gill Creek. Maggie misses her friends and her life from before but soon makes friends with her neighbour, Pauline and Liam. Pauline is beautiful and rich but seems down to earth so her and Maggie soon become good friends. Liam is the quite guy who has always loved Pauling but never made a move on her. When murders start happening near their quite town Pauline is sent away to be safe. While she is away Maggie finds herself drawn to Liam and they become closer.  Now this book is hard for me to rate as I'm still unsure about the rating!! Im going to break this down to what I liked and what I didn't like, What I didn't like :  Pauline - I really didn't like Pauline. While at times she came across as nice and kind, she also came across as selfish, naive, annoying and totally consumed with herself.  The murderer - I so hated the way the author handled the revealing of the murderer. We found out at the end but in such an offhand way that it felt thrown in. All the build up and I was so disappointed!!  Ugh, The whole Liam thing. I mean seriously!!!! I cant say too much because it will spoil it but OMG, I hated that part of the book. With what happened and then NOTHING was said.  The plot for the most part was so so slow!! I was going to give up reading at 20% because nothing had happened. What I Liked :  Maggie - She was nice. She was mature, level headed, kind and an all round sweetheart. I loved her attitude to mostly everything, apart from the Liam thing!!  The authors style of writing - She has told a hauntingly beautiful yet frustrating story. The writing was beautiful and mesmerising.  So while I liked The Moment Collector it didn't wow me. I'm still torn on the rating but I think Ill stick to a 3 star because of the writing and the heartbreaking ending. Even though I knew what was going to happen it was still so sad!! While this wasn't one that I loved I still think a lot of people will love it. Its more a story of friendship and love than mystery and Ghost story. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I thought it would be more a serial killer mystery teen book. but instead on mainly  focusing on the missing dead girls, the story is more about the main girl and a love triangle between pretty outgoing next door girl and the next door neighbor boy. Then there is also  the weird chapters with the ghost narrative. The ending was blah. lol Basically this book got no jams.