Tuesday, July 12, 2016

All the Missing Girls Book Review

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

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Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda's novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women - a decade apart - told in reverse.

It's been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne's case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne's boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic's younger neighbor and the group's alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic's return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards - Day 15 to Day 1 - from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor's disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Review by Brittany:

I was invited to view this book on NetGalley based on feedback for a book that was similar. I was intrigued by the idea of this story being told backwards to solve the two missing person cases.

From the beginning of the book, I was hooked. The backwards storytelling required that I pay attention to every detail, and it gave the author an opportunity to foreshadow events that had already happened and would soon be revealed to the reader. Miranda did a great job of building the story backwards, still leaving plenty of reveals for the reader all the way through.

The story of what happened to Corinne and how it would tie into what happened to Annaleise was explored all the way through. Nic served as a bit of an unreliable narrator, holding onto the pieces of the story that she didn't want to come to terms with. As she was finally able to come to terms with what happened 10 years ago, the pieces of Annaleise's story finally came together.

I also loved the way this book examined relationships. It went deep into friendships and romantic relationships and picked at the painful parts, forcing the reader to come to terms with the ways in which relationships aren't so beautiful and aren't so candy-coated. I loved that. There were no characters in this book who were innocent or who didn't have a secret that could have changed everything.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a fantastic job of keeping the reader in suspense, particularly in the way she handled telling the story in reverse. I also thought the author created really in-depth characters who were so human and real in their flaws. Fantastic book that I'd definitely recommend!

Notable quotes:

I was more generous with people's flaws. Everyone had his or her own demons, including me.

That a story is the most simplified version of events - something to file away into a sound bite, dulled and sharpened at the same time.

But she was just a kid, eighteen, and bursting out of her skin. Believing the world would bend to her will.

People were like Russian nesting dolls - versions stacked inside the latest edition. But they all still lived inside, unchanged, just out of sight.

Then they would've seen that perhaps there is nothing more passionate than loving someone in spite of yourself.

The facts were fluid, and changed, depending on the point of view.

But maybe there was nothing more intimate than someone knowing all your secrets, every one of them, and sitting beside you anyway, buying your favorite food, running his fingers absently through your hair so you can sleep.

There is nothing more dangerous, nothing more powerful, nothing more necessary and essential for survival than the lies we tell ourselves.

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