Review | How to Disappear by Ann Redisch Stampler

Title | How to Disappear
Author | Ann Redisch Stampler
Pages | 416 pages
Publisher | Simon Pulse
Series | None
Release Date | July 2016
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

b o r d e r

Mystery, murder and thriller are quickly becoming my favourite words, and this book was no different. A crime book which had me guessing at every turn, How to Disappear was brilliant.

One problem with the story – how do you disappear. This is something that the book fails to highlight which made me incredibly fru- no, I’m having a giggle! Don’t take every book at face value. How to Disappear is an eye-opening account that sometimes the things Weser, hear and told cannot always be the true portrayal.

Nicolette is a pretty strong character. She’s cautious, she’s watched one too many CSI shows and she wants to protect her best friend. She is also dealing with a lot of bad things. While she was a likeable character, you do have to question her moral compass – which isbquite similar to Jack, the second protagonist of the story. All he wants is to save his family and not live up to the dasterdly family reputation. Yet he still chooses to pursue Nicolette. *inserted eye-roll here’. I did like Jack as a character, as he was clever, cute and had quite a believable story. But at the same time, you have to question his naivety and ultimately, stupidity. The romance of the novel is incredibly idiotic however. Now I’m all for characters falling in love, but making them loose all sense from the minute they see each other was foolish. That was a part that felt a tad unrealistic.

In terms of plot, the story was pretty solid. Although it dragged at times, and you did have to question some of the actions that the two main characters did, you do find the book quite an enjoyable story. There are a lot of revelations and in terms of a thriller, it leaves you guessing until the last minute. While the book was targeted at the YA range, certain aspects in the story did feel quite tween-y and childish. There was also not as much action as I would have perhaps incorporated myself.

I want to keep this review short and sweet. This book was selected at random, and probably not something I would have selected of my shelves through choice. While the cover was quite pretty, I don’t feel it gives the book the necessary feel the writing gives off. Pacing issues which pushed me to want to prematurely shelve the book also don’t give this book the highest of ratings. In ratings, I feel a three out of five is necessary. The book was good, that is something I don’t deny. It just honestly wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Yet I will not deny that I did enjoy it.

A strong story such as this deserves the higher rankings. Yet my personal opinion limits this book to a four. But I will admit that I do have high hopes for this writer.

4 stars

Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Cindy @ Charting by the Stars says “I will admit that right up until the last few pages, I was still coming up with more questions than answers.”

Carrie @ Carrie’s Book Reviews says “An OK read but would’ve enjoyed more intensity.”

Estefani @ Fiction Jungle says “Truly exceptional writing.”

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