The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy is one of my favorite novels of the year. It is full of magic and mystery, and I was absolutely captivated by it! This is one debut novel that is simply not to be missed, so I’m posting my first ever GIF review to show you just why you NEED to pick this one up if you haven’t already!
About the Book
Title: THE DISAPPEARANCES
Author: Emily Bain Murphy
Pub. Date: July 4, 2017
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?
Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.
Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.
No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.
As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.
With it’s wonderful characters, intriguing mystery, and expertly-crafted plot, The Disappearances had me completely under its spell from the very first page.
After her mother’s untimely death and her father’s deployment in WWII, Aila and her brother go to live with her mother’s childhood friend in the seemingly quiet town of Sterling, but it quickly becomes apparent to Aila that the people of Sterling have a dark secret, one that revisits them every seven years. One that just might have been caused by mother all those years ago.
It’s difficult to discuss the incredible magic that underlies the mystery of this novel without including spoilers, especially since I want to gush over the sheer brilliance of it. But I will say that it expertly maintains the reader’s suspension of disbelief while being absolutely awe-inspiring at the same time.
The mystery itself is enough to keep you turning those pages late into the night, but what makes it the ideal mystery for us voracious readers is that on her search toward uncovering the mysteries of Sterling, Aila has to follow a series of literary clues left behind by her mother. That’s right. LITERARY clues! Have you hit that order button yet?!
I loved that this book was set in the 1940s. That was absolutely the perfect setting for this story. I don’t think the plot would have worked nearly as well if set during any other era. The tone of the story is so filled with hope, yet includes this undercurrent of melancholy, which rang true with what I imagine that decade would have actually felt like to live through. The way that Emily has written the dialogue of the story also really brought the time period and and characters to life for me.
The characters are wonderfully crafted. I was absolutely charmed by Aila and so many of the other characters in this story, while also being equally suspicious of them and the role that they played in the Disappearances. In any kind of mystery novel, having a cast brimming with unreliable characters is so much fun, and Emily certainly nailed that element here.
This book was enthralling, heartbreaking, and so much fun to read all at the same time. This is one that I know I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come, and I certainly can’t wait to see more novels from Emily in the future!
About the Emily
Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Indiana, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and has also called Massachusetts and Connecticut home.
She loves books, Japanese karaoke, exploring new cities, and anything with Nutella. Her debut YA fantasy, THE DISAPPEARANCES, will be published by HMH Books for Young Readers and Pushkin Press in 2017.
Murphy is represented by Peter Knapp at Park Literary & Media.
She currently lives in San Francisco with her family and is at work on her second novel.
Enter the Giveaway
3 winners will receive a hardcover of THE DISAPPEARANCES! US Only.
Follow the BLog Tour
Thanks so much to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this tour! Be sure to check out their site as well as all the amazing posts on this tour!
7/3/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview
7/4/2017- Book Princess Reviews– Review
7/5/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Guest Post
7/6/2017- Brooke Reports– Review
7/7/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland– Interview
7/10/2017- PaperTrailYA– Review
7/11/2017- Literary Meanderings– Guest Post
7/12/2017- YA and Wine– Review
7/13/2017- A Gingerly Review– Excerpt
7/14/2017- Whatever You Can Still Betray– Review
Have you read The Disappearances yet? What is your favorite historical YA novel? What is your favorite YA mystery novel?i