This Book Destroyed Me | The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson


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The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson is not what I expected. At first, I thought it was going to be a mystery/thriller because teenage girls are vanishing in Door County in Wisconsin and then turning up days later, dead in the water. Then I thought it was going to be a ghost story, and maybe in a really abstract way it is. But really, it was the most haunting and devastating YA contemporary I have ever read.

The Vanishing SeasonThe Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Released: July 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
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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.

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson is an atmospheric novel. It is a cold, quiet, and introspective novel. It’s a slow but intentional novel. It’s not something that will appeal to everyone. You need patience to read it, but at the same time, I read it in a single sitting. I couldn’t put the book down because it was one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read.

The Vanishing Season is a character-driven novel. It is a novel about friendship. It is a novel about betrayal. It is a novel about isolation and death and lost memories. It is a novel about unrequited love. It’s always the stories about unrequited love that make me cry. I knew it was coming, but I cried anyway.

The Vanishing Season has one of the most upsetting endings I have ever read. I didn’t expect it, and it feels like the suffocating weight of melancholy. I wanted to love Maggie’s new friends, Pauline and Liam. But, I knew…I knew they were going to be toxic. I get so angry just thinking about them because it’s not fair. It’s not fair!

The Vanishing Season is one of the best books I have read this year. It’s probably one of the best books I’ve read since launching Books & Tea five years ago. It’s so rare that a book moves me to tears or emotionally destroys me to the point where I’m fumbling to find words for a review. I need to read this book again. I think maybe that’s a bit masochistic, but I really do need to read this book again. I’ll wait for wintertime though. I think that’s when this book is meant to be read.

8 responses to “This Book Destroyed Me | The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson”

  1. agnesmack Avatar

    Damn. That is some high praise. Just went to request it from my library and saw a single review there that said, in its entirety, “Too slow,” haha! We’ll see about that.


    1. Jackie G. Avatar
      Jackie G.

      I’m crossing my fingers that you enjoy this novel, but I’m also entirely aware that it’s not a book that will appeal to everyone. If you’re looking for a fast-paced novel, the Vanishing Season is not it. But, I didn’t feel that it was “too slow”. It was…slower, but I thought it just added to the atmosphere of the novel.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. joyousreads Avatar

    I love the new look, Jackie! Did you do it yourself? I’ve been trying my best to change my blog but I can’t because I know nothing. Bah. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to read this book myself but I just haven’t been able to find the time. I’m surprised it was that heart wrenching, though!


    1. Jackie G. Avatar
      Jackie G.

      Aw shucks, thank you! It’s definitely still a wordpress template, but I ended up shelling out some dollars for it. I debated doing that for about a month because I’m so stingy, but I couldn’t resist because it was kind of what I’ve been looking for this past year.

      I actually noticed this weekend that you had changed your layout as well! (Am I behind the times?) It was shocking to see the green and black gone.


  3. Paul @ The Galaxial Word Avatar
    Paul @ The Galaxial Word

    This sounds so, so, so very good. I’m going to reserve it at my local library now. (It sounds familiar, for some reason, too)


  4. DoingDewey Avatar

    “The Vanishing Season has one of the most upsetting endings I have ever read”<- I don't think I can make myself pick this up, knowing that. Some of my favorite books are ones that make me cry, but I have to fight to overcome my reluctance to pick up sad books anyway!


  5. Do I Have a New Favorite Author? | Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson – Books & Tea

    […] Yet, I recently devoured Peaches (in one day) by Jodi Lynn Anderson less than 30 days of  reading The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson (in one […]


  6. A Modern Adaptation of a Gothic Classic | The Turning by Francine Prose – Books & Tea

    […] and in five years, I could count the number of books I’ve read in a single day on one hand (The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson, the Wrap-up List by Steven Arnston, Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern, Ghouls, Ghouls, […]


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Hello, my name is Jackie. I’m a thirty-something mother of a rambunctious toddler from a small town in Michigan. When I’m not toddler-wrangling, I’m often seeking refuge from life’s most chaotic moments in a cup of hot tea. I also love getting lost in stories—both in books and virtually. I enjoy speculative fiction the most, and I am especially eager to read fantasy novels and horror novels. When I’m feeling especially indulgent (usually after everyone in the house has gone to sleep), I like to dive into video games and explore the sprawling worlds in Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect.

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