Monday, June 23, 2014

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Publication Date: July 1st, 2014

Series: Standalone

Genera(s): Contemporary Romance/Mystery/Paranormal Horror

Subjects: murder, death, ghosts, supernatural, winter, love

Setting: Gill Creek (a made up town based of real towns) in Door County, Wisconsin

POV/Tense: 3rd person POV, past tense: Maggie, with interludes of a ghost’s 1st person POV

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 259 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind

My Review: This book wasn’t your typical paranormal mystery. I don’t think I can even consider is a ghost story. It takes place in a small town called Gill Creek, Wisconsin. This is not a real town, but it’s supposed to be in Door County. Maggie and her parents move there from Chicago and fix up this old house. She meets a girl named Pauline, who becomes her best friend there, and Pauline’s friend, Liam, who’s not the boyfriend, but Maggie and Liam do end up liking each other. There’s some romance. All the while girl are getting murdered in other town through fall and winter.

My favorite this about this book is definitely the setting, and that Maggie is from Chicagoland, like me. For those of you who have never been to or even heard of Door County, it’s most of the peninsula, or “Wisconsin’s Thumb” that juts out into Lake Michigan. It’s about 70 Miles long and has bunch of state and county parks, beaches and rocky outcroppings and all kinds of natural beauty.When I went there in August 2011, I took tons of photos of nature and buildings while my dad drove. We drove through every town there, but not Washington Island. Gill Creek is probably based off of multiple towns in the county. There’s Gills Rock, Fish Creek, New Port, Sister Bay and Ephraim (which have a Water Street).

There are chalets and cottages that have very a Scandinavian look to them: 

This is in Whitefish Dunes State Park, and Cave Point County Park, near Jacksonport:

This is Death's Door Bluff, Door Bluff County Park between Ellison Bay and Gills Rock:

This is in Peninsula State Park, near Fisk Creek, you can see Adventure Island: 

This is the draw bridge in Sturgeon Bay:

We camped in Potawatomi State Park near Sturgeon Bay. 

I also took lots of photos of moths. They flew into our lanterns, our campfire. They sat on the walls of the shower houses and I took photos of they and posted them to this website that identifies them.  

There’s a lot of magical realism and eeriness to the story. It’s creepy at times and you don’t really know what’s going to happy. I like the story, but was a bit disappointed with how it ended. I ended up crying a bit. This book was kind of like Lies Beneath by Anna Greenwood Brown, but without the mermaids. If you love books with realistic settings based off of real lakeside/seaside towns, then you’ll love this. This book has great atmosphere and is well written. I usually have issues with books in the 3rd person, but this book had good story telling. It made ordinary seem extraordinary. I have not read anything by Jodi Lynn Anderson, but I might check out Tiger Lily after reading this.

Cover Art Review: I love the illustrations of the moths and snow and swirls. Awesome pen work. The tree photo doesn’t say “This is Door County” to me. No rocky or sandy Lake Michigan shoreline.

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