Book review: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Permalink

Other than the opening and closing pages, All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda is told in reverse. Memento-style. It’s an interesting approach and works in this instance because the big reveal would otherwise come ‘early’ in the novel.

Book review: All the Missing Girls by Megan MirandaAll the Missing Girls
by Megan Miranda
Published by Simon & Schuster
on June 28th 2016
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 1501107968, 9781501107962
Pages: 384

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.

Most people I know have LOVED this book, so I feel a little guilty I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as other readers.

I found myself trying to remember specific elements later… sure that there were some lapses in continuity. We learn of Corrine’s fate quite early in the book. I wasn’t sure how much Nic knew or had forgotten… at the time, but there’s a point at which she knows. And yet – later (in time), earlier (in the book) – it felt as if she was still suspicious of others and fearful of certain secrets.

It’s hard to say too much without giving anything away, but I did wonder – if the plot was re-sorted chronologically – there’d be some time-related editing issues.

The plot-in-reverse idea is probably what sets it apart from similar books. It works but isn’t entirely necessary – other than to hide the ‘whodunnit’ element from us as long as possible. Could it have been written in a less-perplexing and disjointed way I wonder?

Nic’s a likeable character but because we’re learning about her in reverse and it’s difficult to follow her movements I probably didn’t engage with her as much as I’d have liked. I have to admit I didn’t really like many of the other characters – other than Nic’s fiance, Everett, which is kinda ironic in retrospect.

The plot itself was quite complex. I did guess who killed Corinne but was at a loss as to the disappearance of Annaleise.

So other than the continuity and character engagement issues, I enjoyed this novel and would most definitely read more from Miranda.

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda is published by Simon & Schuster and was released on 28 June 2016.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

  • Stormi D Johnson
    June 29, 2016

    I hate when a lot of people love a book and you just don’t like it like they do. It sounds like an interesting read though so I might put it on my wishlist for later.

    • Debbish
      June 29, 2016

      Good idea Stormi. I think I’m in the minority and it’s really only the disjointedness I struggled with. In my ‘amazon’ heading I commented that (for me) its strength was also its weakness.

  • Rita @ View From My Books
    June 30, 2016

    I read this and enjoyed it, but I had some moments of confusion, and wondered if it was just me. The ending was decent but I was left wanting more. Good review, Deb!

    • Debbish
      June 30, 2016

      Thanks Rita. I kept trying to remember what Nic was saying to Daniel early in the book and her suspicions… which didn’t entirely make sense given the earlier events (later in the book).

      I love the idea of the reverse chapters but it didn’t entirely flow for me.

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    June 30, 2016

    This sounds good from the blurb but I’ve seen some mixed feelings about and the timeline issues would drive me crazy. I hate when things don’t make sense or don’t quite work time wise or consistency wise. I might get this on audio but I don’t think I’m going to be rushing out to get it anytime soon.

    • Debbish
      June 30, 2016

      Most of the reviews I’ve read have been positive Katherine and I was worried I was alone in finding it a bit disjointed. And as I said I also struggled to engage with some of the characters (other than Everett who seemed consistent) as I didn’t get a good feel for them and wasn’t sure IF I should like them.

  • Heather Duff (@hross42)
    July 3, 2016

    I am not sure how I would feel about the going backwards thing but it is certainly something different!

    • Debbish
      July 3, 2016

      It is Heather. Most people enjoyed the approach I think!

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