First in a trilogy
By Laura Thalassa
Available now from Skyscape (Amazon)
I'll admit that I wanted to read THE VANISHING GIRL entirely because I thought the cover was gorgeous. I like the colors and the abstract strangeness, like a bit of classic sci-fi sneaking into a modern YA cover.
The eponymous girl is Ember Pierce, who teleports for ten minutes every night just after she falls asleep. She thinks she used to it until she wakes up in a club and flirts with a man named Adrian, only to find a gun in her purse and a note telling her to kill him. Rather sensibly, she panics more over someone knowing what she can do and trying to use her instead of attempting to assassinate a complete stranger.
Then she finds out that her parents could only have a child through an experimental program, and she now owes two years of service to the military. It's very obviously illegal and preposterous, even in a world where people can teleport, so you just have to go with it. At the school she's taken to she's paired with Caden Hawthorne, who is infuriatingly good at keeping her from escaping. Ember falls for him in a rather rote manner, although I did appreciate that there wasn't a forced love triangle with Adrian. The scenes between Ember and Caden are written with lots of tension, its just hard to believe she falls for him after how terribly he treats her at first.
Ember, unsurprisingly, starts to find more and more evidence that the school is sinister. Because secret experiments on babies and being kidnapped weren't enough evidence that everything was bad new. I sound cranky, I know. I enjoyed reading THE VANISHING GIRL, and thought it was a a fun ride. But after I finished, it was hard to seize on anything as a standout moment. Also, it was one of those books without a real ending, which drives me nuts.
I am, however, eager to read the second book. THE VANISHING GIRL ends with a cliffhanger, and I'm not sure how Ember will survive or how she'll react to what happened in the next book. I also hope the next book has more Adrian, who is conducting his own investigation into the school and experiment outside its walls.