Review: Vanished by E. E. Cooper

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Vanished by E. E. CooperVanished by E. E. Cooper
Published by Katherine Tegen on May 12, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository

Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in this fast-paced psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns.

Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love.

Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn't stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.

Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth's best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn't even tell Kalah good-bye.

One of the rumors links Beth to Britney's boyfriend, and Kalah doesn't want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it--and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.

When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit's suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she's swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah's caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth.

Vanished came in a package along with a Harper book they’d requested. Often, I’m not interested in the tagalong books, but sometimes you strike gold. I hadn’t requested Vanished or downloaded the egalley, because I had a bad feeling about it. Let’s be real, though: my bad feeling was that the cover reminded me heavily of a cover for a book that wasn’t for me. I almost vainished this book out of my mind. When it showed up, though, I looked it up, saw that it was lgbt, and determined that I simply had to give it a chance. Vanished by E. E. Cooper came out of left field and proved to be nigh unputdownable.

gif lying was a crime pll

Here’s my pitch for Vanished: it’s Paper Towns meets Dangerous Girls. Neither of these books were actually huge hits with me, but the combination proved much more fascinating. To be clear, though, when I say Dangerous Girls, I’m not revealing the twisty bits, but the mystery and unreliable narrator aspects really brought that comparison to the forefront of my brain.

The opening of Vanished really brought John Green’s Paper Towns or Looking for Alaska to mind. Kalah has been accepted as a best friend by seniors Brit and Beth; they’re older, gorgeous, and popular. Being friends with Brit and Beth changes everything for Kalah. Beth and Kalah have a secret, though: they’ve been hooking up. Beth has a total mystery girl manic pixie vibe going, which, I have to admit, was probably my least favorite part. I find it a bit less annoying when she’s not just a vehicle to drive a boy’s development, but still.

gif you're a pixie pll

Obviously I enjoyed the girl kissing bits but Vanished isn’t a romance. Heck, Kalah’s actually cheating on an incredibly sweet, wonderful guy with Beth, so it’s not exactly a book of good life choices. There’s actually a lot of infidelity going on in this book, but it’s not romanticized so it works. Come for the girls kissing; stay for the mystery.

gif kiss pll

The mystery plot takes a bit of time to really get rolling, but, once it did, I did not put the book down. Admittedly, I called one of the major twists, even without the accidental spoiler in the ARC version: View Spoiler » However, I didn’t get the rest of the twists right, though I admit I like my version a bit better. To be fair, though, Cooper’s ending is darker, so I”m pretty happy with it, especially because View Spoiler »

gif unpredictable can be good pll

I love the way Cooper handles Kalah’s sexuality. There’s actually very little discussion of it in Vanished. She enjoys kissing her boyfriend and she enjoys kissing Beth, but she doesn’t know if she’s a lesbian, bisexual, or Bethsexual. So often books feel the need to slap a designation on sexuality, but Cooper leaves that open. Kalah, realistically, still needs to work out exactly who she is and what she wants. It’s not just Kalah but the other inclusions of LGBT relationships and tolerance that really made Vanished shine.

If you hear LGBT mystery and get excited, then you should very much be excited for Vanished. I’m very glad I fit it into my schedule despite mysteries not being my genre of choice.

Favorite Quote:

“Who knew when someone says ‘You hit like a girl’ they mean you give a ninja-like ass-kicking?”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif yay pll

4 responses to “Review: Vanished by E. E. Cooper”

  1. I hadn’t heard of this one yet, but it sounds really good and complicated! I loved everything about Dangerous Girls, especially the unreliable narrator part, so this sounds like it could be something I’d like. I also like that there’s a girl-girl relationship…. I haven’t read too many of those bc they’re sort of hard to come by. Great review… I’m glad something that came unexpectedly worked out for you!
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…Before I Fall by Lauren OliverMy Profile

  2. Savannah says:

    Aaagh, I have this ARC too! It’s sitting on my desk, and I’m staring at it now. Maybe I’ll have to pick it up this afternoon… Great review! 🙂
    Savannah recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Will (Most Likely) Never ReadMy Profile

  3. Bekka says:

    I’m reading this right now and I’m really enjoying it. I was going to pass on it too but then Ashleigh’s review told me the MC was an Indian bisexual girl so how am I going to pass that up? So far I really like Kalah and Brit, but Beth is less of an actual character and more of what Kalah has built her to be in her mind. And Zach is just… nothing. He’s so empty and void of personality, I feel like I don’t know him at all.

    I’m a bit disappointed to hear that the book doesn’t actually use the term bisexual for either Beth or Kalah. I know a lot of people think labels aren’t needed, but oftentimes, the “f labels” attitude is only applied to bisexual characters so that we can avoid the dreaded B word.

    I’ll definitely be back when I finish this to look under your spoiler tags. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for myself but I *think* I know what’s coming.
    Bekka recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ll Never ReadMy Profile

  4. Layla says:

    Oh! I would never have picked this up if I hadn’t read this review. But, um, while I’m not a huge fan of cheating in books, I do very much support ones where girls spend time kissing. So I’ll pick it up for the LGBT relationship (and openness to identity), and hope that it’s a good mystery, too. Thanks for the review!
    Layla recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (1): Ten Books I Will Probably Never ReadMy Profile

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