Description of the book:
This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.
Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything...until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.
Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.
As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.
Carolyn's thoughts on the book:
Those of you familiar with my blogging experience know that the majority of books I review are fantasy and historical fiction, so it was a treat to get to review a thriller for once. How To Disappear is a tense and suspenseful thriller centering around two characters, Jack and Nicolette, and their fraught pursuit of their individual goals. For Jack, catching and killing Nicolette is his only chance to protect his mother and the closest way to avenge his friend's death. For Nicolette, running is her only chance at safety. But when the two of them meet, each hiding their own secrets, they find themselves drawn toward one another - with deadly consequences.
At the beginning, as both characters make their separate ways across the country, each are deeply developed to gain the reader's trust (not an easy task, seeing as one is a hit man, but one that Stampler deftly achieves). Sympathy is further garnered with each character's equally tragic backstory: Nicolette's mother died at a young age, leaving her in the hands of a stepfather embroiled in underground crime; Jack's crime-boss father was killed by a rival, leaving him to take care of a criminal brother and a mother all-too-vulnerable to threats. Parents also provide each character with their motives: Nicolette flees from her stepfather after she witnesses him bury a body, and Jack is ordered to kill Nicolette (or his mother will be killed). Their fraught family lives serve to further complicate their already-troubled consciences, which each wrestle with throughout the book.
When Jack and Nicolette finally meet in Los Angeles, each is living under an assumed name and has their own agenda. But when they become romantically entangled, the stakes are only further raised. Together, they have a shot at preventing any more bloodshed...as long as they aren't hiding any more ulterior motives. Twists and turns abound, and nothing is what you think - while I can't give anything away, I will say that Stampler is a master of the coup de théâtre.
How to Disappear is perfect for fans of mysteries and thrillers, with twists right to the end.
About the author:
Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. How to Disappear (Simon Pulse, 2016), her first young adult thriller, will be released on June 14, 2016. Ann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Rick. You can find Ann on Facebook | Twitter
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Carolyn is a teen blogger who shares her favorite YA reads and favorite book related finds with readers on Fridays.