The Vanishing Game, Kate Kae Myers

Warning! This Review contains spoilers!

vanishing game

Synopsis:

The bond between twins is unmistakable. For Jocelyn and Jack, that bond was all they had. But now Jack is dead. Then Jocelyn receives a letter from Jason December-the code name Jack used when they were children. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn’s childhood crush. But Noah isn’t the one contacting Jocelyn. Together they decide to return to Seale House, the frightening foster home where all three of them lived together. Seal House has more secrets than they could have ever imagined. And it suddenly seems possible that Jack faked his death, that the letter and the riddles that follow are cryptic clues leading to his real whereabouts. But someone else is looking for him-someone dangerous. Jocelyn and Noah must race to find Jason December. That is, if he’s alive.

Review:

I did not like this book. Don’t get me wrong, it had promise, and I’m sure there are people out there that will really enjoy it. But I had so many problems with it.
I don’t know where to start with this.
So…
In the start of the book, main character Jocelyn is grieving for her brother, her twin that died three weeks ago.
I have not lost a twin, but I have lost someone I adored, and in the grand scheme of things, three weeks is nothing. Especially for a teenager. Three weeks in, you will still be seeing them out the corner of your eye. You will be tempted to chase that stranger down the street because, god, they looked just like the one you will never see again. You will be convinced that you heard their voice outside, and stare at the door expecting them to walk in.
And when you remember, it breaks you even more.
Okay, I know everyone is different and people deal with things in different ways, but right from the start, I never got any of this off Jocelyn. There were lines about how much she missed Jack and how she could not cope without him, but to me, they didn’t feel real. Because then she would go off and and…be fine?
I think part of this problem, however, was that I could not connect with the characters. They felt flat, 2D, and no matter how much I did want to enjoy this and like this book, the characters never came to life.

Jocelyn just irritated me.
Take this as a reason why. Close your eyes (after finishing reading my instructions, of course) and imagine that you had been chased out of a building by someone wanting to kill you. Not once, but five or six times in a few days. You almost get blown up and no where is safe.
How does this make you feel? Are you scared? Do you feel like you should get, oh, I don’t know, the police involved? (okay, now you may close your eyes and imagine. Then carry on reading)
If that was me, I would be pretty scared. I would be going straight to the people that could keep me safe.
But Jocelyn? Oh no, even though someone breaks into her room and strangles her, she doesn’t do anything. And then she basically forgets it. None of it fazes her. Seriously, like no one would be that calm.

Then you have Noah. Jacks best friend from childhood and some sort of computer genius. Who kinda accepts all this strange stuff like its all normal (sidenote, that big twist at the end? He’s meant to be a computer whiz, how did he work out all the clues and not work out that?). The problem I have with him is that, although yeah, he helps Jocelyn a bit, he is there a) so there is more than one character in the whole book b)the ‘just add water’ romance c) so Jocelyn has someone to argue with.

And the ‘romance’ also felt flat. It’s like ‘oh look you liked this character as a child of course you can kiss him’. ‘Just add water’ Romance is the type of romance that authors stuff into books (mostly Young Adult books) because they think that every book should have this relationship even though sometimes, it does not work.

Despite all of this, I really REALLY wanted to enjoy this book. The idea was good, and actually most of the twist at the end was good- I was not expecting that.
But it just felt dragged out. There were so many clues they had to find and so many ‘dodgy’ characters and so many twists that by the end…it didn’t matter that finally, it was working.
Cut down on the ‘shock what’ type twists in the middle that we didn’t need, cut down on the clues that just got…repetitive, and this could have been more enjoyable to read.

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