The Vanishing Season

The Vanishing Season

3.1 6
by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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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

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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.

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)

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HarperCollins Publishers
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1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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