Last month an author contacted us if we would live to read and review her book on the blog. A YA Contemporary Romance and it sounded really good! Vanishing Romance releases today and I accepte the opportunity to read and review. A big thank you to the author for providing an ARC! Today I want to tell you what I thought of this story.
He disappeared four years ago, and I’m to blame. Now he’s back.
I call it the vanishing summer. Everett, my best friend and the first boy I ever kissed, was kidnapped; taken from right beside me. Three months later my mom died. They were both just gone. The bright, fearless spark inside me was gone, too—blown clean out.
I’d learned that the worst could happen at any moment and with no warning. I didn’t want to go outside anymore. I avoided the woods where Everett and I had played. I hated to let my brother and my dad out of my sight. For four years, I lived with a pounding heart and shaking hands.
But I’m sixteen now, and ready to find my way back to myself, to somehow move forward. Therapy is helping. I let one new friend into my life, and she’s helping, too. I’m trying this new thing where I act like the old me—unafraid and confident and bold. I’m doing scary things and trying not to let them scare me. It’s sort of working.
Then one night as I challenge my fear by sitting outside in the dark reading a horror story, Everett walks through the trees and back into my life.
Vanishing Summer is the first YA book in a long time that felt so real to me! Lora Richardson isn’t afraid of really making you feel something while reading Vanishing Summer. I ended up really loving the characters and that’s one of my favorite parts of reading.
Greta is trying to find the way back to being herself, but that isn’t easy. After her best friend Everett was kidnapped four years ago (which she blames herself for), her mother also passed away. She’s afraid of losing the people she loves and has a hard time trusting. I loved Greta’s character. Dealing with so much grief and pain hasn’t been easy for her. It’s caused anxiety and she’s not the risk-taking girl she once was.
Greta’s character felt so realistic and I’m happy the author didn’t create a character who was functioning perfectly fine after so much has happened.Yes, she’s been able to find a new friend in Meredith, she loves to read and she’s slowly finding her way in trying new things. But she’s far from being okay. Some days are worse than others, but she’s trying! I loved that Vanishing Summer shows us that grief and anxiety over events doesn’t disappear after a couple of months or when a new friend comes along.
Kidnapping isn’t a subject I’ve come across a lot in YA books, especially when it’s your own father who kidnaps you. Everett was taken by his father and thought they were only going on a fun trip. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true! After four years he realized things were getting worse and ran. His father told him a lot of things that weren’t true and it’s hard for Everett to grasp all of this. It wasn’t true that his mother was drinking and didn’t want him anymore.
Once again, Everett also felt really real. Things weren’t okay as soon as he got back to his mother. He was scared, confused and not sure how to feel. Everett had to deal with not seeing a doctor for years or being able to go to school. Once again, I was really glad that this author showed us that there will be struggles after such a horrific event.
Vanishing Summer is also a book that shows us how important friends are. Even after everything that had happened and being gone for four years, Greta and her brother Joe were still there for Everett. They wanted the good and the bad! Even Meredith who didn’t know Everett before everything happened. It’s hard to put into words how amazing all of these characters were and how they fit together.
There was also a tad of romance in Vanishing Summer, but it fit this story perfectly. It was like a rainbow after a thunderstorm. These were special moments both Everett and Greta really needed. Not only do they have the chance to find their way back to each other, but to start finding themselves again as well.
If you’re looking for an emotional, but a beautiful book of dealing with tragedy and anxiety, but also the amazing moments with friends and family, this book is for you!
I was so happy to see that Meredith will be getting a story of her own and I can’t wait to get my hands on that back. It will be exciting to read her story!