Vanished, admittedly wasn't on my radar until I had grabbed a copy of it at this year's OLA Super Conference. It sounded interesting, but I didn't entirely know if it would be something I enjoy. Having finished it, I can say with all certainty, how pleasantly surprised I was by this story.
First off, I need to praise the story itself. The mystery that Cooper takes the reader on completely will mess with your head, and even when you get to the end, there's something to be said about what actually happened. Brit's dead, Beth's missing, and yet Kalah, our heroine, finds herself trapped in a unique mind game. There's so much appeal from the way in which the story is told, and while it's not Dangerous Girls scary or messed up, the level of intrigue is there and I found myself constantly flipping pages trying to piece together what actually happened.
Kalah is a wonderful heroine. She's a bisexual Indian girl, and her FAMILY ACCEPTS HER. I was so stoked for that, and the scene where Kalah comes up is so wonderfully done and powerful, it just made me love the story that much more. Kalah spends a lot of the novel uncovering the mystery surrounding Beth and Brit, but she's unravelling her own personal mystery as well. She constantly grows throughout the story (and considering how short the novel is, it's impressive), and she's someone who actually accepts blame, knows when she has done wrong, and she's open about it. She's also someone so perspective to others flaws, but also her own.
I really loved the way Cooper tackled Kalah's relationships. This novel is about friendship, obsession, and love, but it looks at all three themes from such varying angles. If I have any criticism of the story, it's that admittedly, I wanted more Nadir. He was such an amusing foil for Kalah at times, and I thought their relationship as siblings was done quite well. Even her relationships with Zach and Beth, there's a lot of depth to how Cooper presents these relationships in connection to Kalah, and it's really well thought out. Admittedly, I didn't like Beth or Brit, but I found myself still needing to know more, and I needed to see Kalah persevere. It was all I wanted!
Vanished kept me on the edge of my seat, and I am amazingly glad I picked this book up at OLA and gave it a shot. It was an unexpected, if fun and messed up ride that I didn't want to get off of. I am eager to see what E.E Cooper writes next, because if it is as fun and trippy as Vanished? I am totes in.
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