The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy. 256 p. Random House Children's Books, May, 2015. 9780385739436. (Arc courtesy of publisher rep.)
I am so pleased to be participating in the Blog Tour for this book! Let me tell you right off that mystery is not my genre. On top of it all, I find middle grade mystery particularly tricky. But I enjoyed the author's, I So Don't Do... series and I find the paranormal aspect appealing.
Raine is an eighth grader about to start yet another new school thanks to her single-mother's penchant for attracting the wrong sort of guys. She's pretty together, having basically raised herself. She's confident and athletic but she also has a "gift," which sometimes marks her as an outsider. She can see sparkles, which carry memories and sometimes she can't resist plucking them.
She meets another new girl, Shirlee, on the first day of school and signs up for the cross-country team. The team is headed by queen bee, Jennifer and her posse of mean girls. They quickly target Shirlee, but soon Raine becomes their target as well.
It turns out that the previous tenants of the house that Raine and her mom are renting, moved after the disappearance of one of their daughters, Emily. Raine suspects that the mean girls had something to do with her disappearance and searches for memories to prove it. It isn't long before her investigation leads her into real danger and the suspense ratchets up leading the reader to furiously turn pages and resist the impulse to read the ending.
Raine's an appealing character - not quite world-weary, just world-wary; hopeful and open with just the right amount of snark. She's smart and funny and self-aware. The middle school dialogue and mean girl dynamics ring true. Raine might not be thrilled to be stuck in Yielding, NY but readers will be sucked in by Raine and the intense mystery surrounding the disappearance of Emily H.
There are a few fans of the I So Don't Do... mystery series at my school and they will love this. I will also recommend it to mystery fans and Peg Kehret fans. I might also consider giving it to readers wanting story about friendships or mean girls or those tweens who want romance in their novels.
One sparkly winner will receive a copy of THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY H by Barrie Summy (U.S. addresses; allow 4-6 weeks for delivery; offer ends ). Leave a comment to enter.
Blog Tour stops:
Thursday, June 4
Ms. Yingling Reads
Fri, June 5
Once Upon a Story
Read Now, Sleep Later