Spoiler alert: the title is misleading, only two girls disappear.
I did it, I’m reading again. Honestly, I give myself whiplash “on the reg” so I cannot imagine how my poor blog feels.
All the Missing Girls
A novel by Megan Miranda
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
All the Missing Girls was a page turner, but not necessarily for the right reasons. Honestly, the above review gives you all the information about the story line, so I’ll spare you the repeat. The suspense kept me reading for long periods of time but I found myself frequently losing my mind in the facts because of how the story is told. The story is told in reverse-chronological order, with her first night back in town being the last “entry” before a three month later recap. I feel like the Part 1 was completely overlooked and misunderstood due to the fact that I didn’t understand what she already knew and what had happened since her arrival. I constantly felt in the dark, like the last person to find out a huge secret. Part 3 opens with a quote that rings surprisingly true to the concept of the book:
“It is quite true what philosophy says; that life must be understood backwards. But then one forgets the other principal: that it must be lived forwards.” – Soren Kierkegaard
While I think that the concept (of reverse-chron order) is great and amazing, at times it was hard to remember small details that would normally be appreciated throughout the story. It took away the readers interaction with the story, building the story internally and visualizing characters because the whole time I was trying to make sense of it all.
My favorite quote from the book really hit my heart-strings but for an unexpected reason: it reminded me of camp.
“Maybe it was because of the humidity and the way we had to fight our way through it, like syrup sticking to the bottom of our feet, sweet and viscous. Maybe it was from living so close to the mountains – a thousand years in the making, the slow shift of plates under the earth, the trees that have been here since I was born and would be here when I was gone.
Maybe it’s the fact that you can’t see anything beyond here when you’re in it. Just the mountains and the forest and you. That’s it.”
The way Nic (the main female character) felt about her hometown is the way I’ve always felt about camp. Inescapable – like fate – but also a choice I’ve made, to love, adore, fear, regret, and obsess, over the place that made me, me. All in all, it was a good book. Would I say it was better than A, B, C, and D suspense/thrillers – no. If you like crime-related books, you’ll enjoy All the Missing Girls.