All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda is a mystery/thriller turned backwards.
First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher, and of course, the author, for providing me a copy of this book for an honest review.
This was different. The author uses the main character to tell the story of two girls who have disappeared. One 10 years ago, and one that has disappeared just now. However, the story is told backwards.
The story starts out with Nic being called home by her brother Daniel when it becomes apparent that they will have to sell the family home. Their father is in a nursing home with dementia, and the money is running out. Her father refuses to sign the papers. Nic sub-leases her apartment in Philadelphia, says a temporary good-bye to her fiance Everett, and drives 9 hours to Cooley Ridge, the last place on earth she wants to be. When she left home, she had a good reason, and that reason hasn’t changed.
Then the book takes a weird turn. It is suddenly Day 15 of her visit to Cooley Ridge. From here on, the story counts backwards to Day 1, the day she arrived in Cooley Ridge. To complicate things, the story goes back to Nic’s memories of a friend that disappeared 10 years ago, and also to the recent events of the disappearance of another girl.
Ten years ago, when Nic’s best friend Corinne disappeared, the investigation centered around Nic, Daniel, Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson, and Nic’s boyfriend Tyler. Things have changed. Nic moved away and is engaged, Daniel and his wife Laura are expecting a baby, and Tyler is dating Annaleise. But when Annaleise disappears, it looks like the past is coming back to haunt them. All the lies they told, all the covering up that was done, and all the years that have passed, may result in nothing. How much has really changed? Do things that happened in your teenage years really influence your later years? Can you ever go back home? Nic may find out.
Overall, I found the storyline, the suspense, the pace, the twists, and the characters all very good. I am still unsure of the method used to tell the tale. In one way, telling the story backwards really made me (the reader) pay attention. However, it also gave me the feeling that I may be missing something, and that made me uncomfortable. For some reason the ending didn’t quite get the build-up it deserved, and I think it would have if it had been told in a more conventional manner. I almost want to re-read it, starting at the last chapter, and working my way to the first. Someday….
However, all that being said, I still really enjoyed the book!
Read: April 2017
Favorite Quotes from All the Missing Girls:
“The darkness lives in everyone. She knew this better than anyone. Everyone had two faces, and she looked deep into us each until she found it.”
“When I got angry, I couldn’t stop the tears. As if the two emotions were all tangled up in each other. And that made me angrier, since I seemed weak when I wanted to seem confident and demanding”
“People were like Russian nesting dolls—versions stacked inside the latest edition. But they all still lived inside, unchanged, just out of sight.”
About the Author: Megan Miranda grew up in New Jersey, attended MIT, and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. All the Missing Girls is her first novel for adults, although she has previously published several books aimed at the YA crowd.