The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers

You guys, reading The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers is like going on a thrill ride. You never know what is around the corner – and it always manages to surprise you! Still, that being said: I was a little disappointed in this one.

Basically, Jocelyn’s brother, Jack, is missing (after he supposedly dies in a car accident) and she enlists their childhood friend Noah to help her search for him. Jack leaves clues for them all over the place, similar to games they played when they were kids. Things get blown up, set on fire, stolen, shot, bitten…you name it folks, it probably happens in The Vanishing Game.

The only thing that bugs me about this kinda plot with clue trails (whether it be in books, TV or movies) is the believable factor (or lack of). I mean, what exactly is Jack’s frame of mind supposed to be? “Hmm, okay. Now that I’ve faked my own death I’ll lead those I trust most into the mess I’m in via a trail of clues just like we used when playing childhood games!” Yeah. right. Things towards the end of the book supposedly explain this, but I’m still not convinced.

Okay I lied. Something else bugs me, but I almost feel like a jerk for bringing it up because I’m not sure if it is something that should actually bother me…but, still. The language Kate Kae Myers used was sometimes really off  (old-fashioned in a way). Things like “This wound smarts” and “I feel really rotten about this” and “Lying to her stunk” and “I wanted to give you these tricky puzzles” and “playing a wacky game of kickball.” Kinda rang a sour note there as far as reality goes for me, no one talks like that anymore. Especially not a couple of teenagers.

So, little things like that all added together made me not get as invested in the characters as I could have been – but I’m telling you, the story was still really really entertaining. Every time you start to realize something isn’t making sense…some huge twist/major reveal will jump out at you changing the way the game is being played.

I also have to say – and I’m only touching on this briefly because I don’t want to spoil anything – that the ending that was supposed to be a huge shock was not. It  has been done before and I was expecting it. Sigh. Still, the rest of the twists and turns throughout The Vanishing Game kept me on my toes.

So if you like a good mind twister, The Vanishing Game is most likely going to be worth your time! I just wish I could have cared about the characters so the book would have been more memorable.

Check out The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers on Goodreads / Amazon

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase February 9, 2012, 9:43 am

    I’m looking forward to reading this one, but that’s disappointing about the old-fashioned language. It bothers me A LOT if the language is different than its time period. Authors need to remember that just because they may speak a certain way, the characters probably won’t speak that way. I don’t know if that’s the case here – it almost sounds to me like they were trying really hard to make the characters not use curse words, and instead used old-fashioned alternatives. Hmmm, I think I’m still going to check this one out, hopefully the plot will overshadow the old-fashioned dialogue. Great review!
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  • Andrea February 9, 2012, 10:42 am

    I like the idea that there are some great twists like you’re on a ride. But I think I’ll hold off, I don’t like when books have an ending that you can see coming from miles away. And also I completely understand the problem you have with the language, it just makes it hard to read when it’s like that (I understand that some authors do that purposely, but still it can get in the way.) Thanks for the great review!
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  • Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) February 9, 2012, 8:54 pm

    I totally agree about the twists everywhere. And I thought the story had a bit of a creep-factor to it. For some reason, when I started reading it I thought it was middle grade but then I realized it was actually YA, which made me feel much better as I got further into the book. I enjoyed it, it was a fun read for sure, but I see what you say about being invested into the characters. Oh yeah, I liked the way it ended.

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