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The Disappearances
ISBN: 9780544879362
Author: Murphy, Emily Bain
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: July 2017
Retail: $17.99    OUR PRICE: $2.99
     You Save 83%
Binding Type: Hardcover
Annotation: Sent to live in a faraway rural community after their secretive mother's death, Aila and her younger brother are targeted by locals who blame their mother for a mysterious phenomenon that triggers the disappearances of sensory and mental experiences every seven years. A first novel. Simultaneous eBook. 20,000 first printing.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Supernatural; Fiction.
Blessing and cursing; Fiction.
Brothers and sisters; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2016028100
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Target Grade: 7-9
Grade level: 7-9
Physical Information: 1.50" H x 150.00" L x 5.50" W
Bargain Category: Mystery, Middle School, High School, Fantasy
Grade level(s): 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall)
Every seven years, something unexpected disappears from Sterling--scents, residents' reflections, the stars. Sixteen-year-old Aila suspects her recently deceased mother was connected to these "Disappearances." With only her mother's annotations in a volume of Shakespeare's works as clues, Aila vows to solve the mystery. Literary mystery, magical realism, romance, and historical fiction merge in this novel with strong world-building and engaging storytelling. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 May #2)

Set in New England in 1942, Murphy's debut novel opens with 16-year-old Aila Quinn and her younger brother, Miles, saying farewell to their father, who has been drafted. Their mother, Juliet, died recently, so Aila and Miles must move to Sterling to live with Juliet's childhood friends, the Clifftons. Malcolm, Matilda, and their son are gracious hosts, but other residents of Juliet's hometown prove less than welcoming, and it's not long before the siblings find out why. Every seven years, the townspeople lose something, such as the ability to see reflections or smell. Nobody knows why the "Disappearances" happen, but they started the year Juliet was born, and she's the only one to have shed their effects upon leaving Sterling, so many believe that she's somehow responsible. With the next Disappearance Day rapidly approaching, Aila vows to discover the curse's cause, vindicate her family, and end the Disappearances for good. Sumptuous worldbuilding, richly developed characters, and a swoon-worthy romance elevate this delightful, fantasy-tinged mystery. Ages 12–up. Agent: Peter Knapp, Park Literary & Media. (July)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 April)

Gr 8 Up—Fifteen-year-old Aila Quinn's mother just passed away, and to make matters worse, her father is being shipped off to fight in World War II. As a result, Aila and her brother are forced to move to the small town of Sterling, where their mother grew up. It's there, living with their mother's best friend and her teenage son, Will, that they learn startling town secrets. Every seven years, something new vanishes for the inhabitants of Sterling and two nearby towns. So far, the "Disappearances" have included stars, smells, reflections, colors, and dreams, but soon after Aila arrives, music also disappears and people in love can no longer hear each other speak. This becomes particularly problematic for Aila when she falls in love with Will and realizes that her secret will soon be revealed. The town has discovered a number of variants that will temporarily bring back some of the Disappearances, but everyone is more anxious than ever to figure out what's going on and put things right once and for all. This mystery fits neatly within the lines of a young adult novel chock-full of bland characters. The Disappearances are supposed to be a huge deal to the towns' residents and are cited as the main reason for avoiding out-of-towners, but they end up feeling more like minor inconveniences that fail to offer much in the way of world-building. VERDICT While the plot is somewhat intriguing, there is little to set this book apart from others in the genre.—Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.