Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review: The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy

The Disappearance of Emily H.

By Barrie Summy

Blurb: A girl who can see the past tries to save the future in this compelling tween mystery.
A girl is missing. Three girls are lying. One girl can get to the truth.
Emily Huvar vanished without a trace. And the clues are right beneath Raine’s fingertips. Literally. Raine isn’t like other eighth graders. One touch of a glittering sparkle that only Raine can see, and she’s swept into a memory from the past. If she touches enough sparkles, she can piece together what happened to Emily.
When Raine realizes that the cliquey group of girls making her life miserable know more than they’re letting on about Emily’s disappearance, she has to do something. She’ll use her supernatural gift for good . . . to fight evil.
But is it too late to save Emily?

Genres: Middle Grade Mystery

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Pages: 256

Series: N/A

My Rating: 4 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I went into this book thinking it would be a cute little story with maybe a bit of action; the cover sort of infers that, does it not? And the opening paragraphs made me think that perhaps I was right. But no, this book surprised me for the better. It was so good.

Raine surprised me. First, for a stupid reason; I’d forgotten that she had paranormal powers because it had been a month between reading the blurb and then actually reading the book. So, with that new nugget of information, I was honestly a bit unsure of how I would end up liking her, because paranormal stories tend to have MCs that don’t really resonate with me. Thankfully, Raine was different; I really liked her kind-heartedness, how she struggled with mean girls--especially how she struggled with mean girls, and her ability to figure out what was going on. She was really well-developed as a character. 

The mystery was not as cute and childish as I was expecting; it had a surprising amount of depth and intrigue. Emily H.’s disappearance was complicated and the question of what went on right before her disappearance was uncertain and hard to figure out. We get bits and pieces from the sparkles Raine collects that hold memories with clues to the disappearance.

Raine’s ability was actually really fun to read about, and I liked that the author took a paranormal ability that isn’t too uncommon and put an uncommon twist on it. The sparkles, which played an important role in the story, didn’t really overshadow the mystery, either, and I was very impressed with how well the two meshed together; I may even go as far as saying that the Disappearance of Emily H. is one of the best examples I’ve books I’ve read where the paranormal aspect goes perfectly with the plot. I’ve found that usually paranormal books DON’T do a good job of this, but this was perfect.

I also like how the author wove in the bullying with Shirlee (and to a lesser extent, Raine.) Jennifer, the bully was just so unlikeable and horrible; I thought Shirlee’s fear of her was pretty accurate. But she got what was coming to her in the end, and I was very happy. 

I would like to say that the ending was perfect—and it is, don’t get me wrong—but the place where the mystery ends and the actual book ends are two different places, and I would like to elaborate on the mystery more than the actual ending. I was kind of shocked, I won’t lie to you guys. It was just…you don’t see it coming. Now, it’s not a sucker punch kind of shock, but there is a large bit of surprise, and it’s not really a guessable storyline—completely, anyway. Some people amaze me with their ability to guess endings, so I guess I can’t really use universal statements, I suppose.

This book is really underrated. I was impressed with how well it balanced paranormal, mystery, and suspense; it was nearly impossible for me to put this book down. (In fact, I’m pretty sure I read it in one sitting, though I may have gotten up once to go eat something.) I’ll admit, I hope that this isn’t the last book that contains Raine’s supernatural mystery-solving abilities. Definitely one of my favorite mysteries of the year so far.


  1. I really like this cover and then your review definitely will put this on my tbr. So glad I caught this - so thanks for sharing! :)

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings


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