Book Review – The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

The Night She Disappeared Book Review Lisa Jewell

What is it about thrillers that make them go-to comfort reads for me? Is there something wrong with me that tragedies & disappearances are what I turn to when I’m in a reading slump & in need of something “safe”? Who else is with me on this, please, anyone? lmao

Okay, but for real. This one fell a bit below my expectations, not in terms of story or plot, but in writing. It was my first Lisa Jewell book and I’m not sure why, but there were several points where the style just didn’t do it for me – or maybe it was something about the way things were worded/phrased. A lot of the conversations and dialogue were odd to me, and I know that this isn’t written in an American setting/perspective – I’ve read other books, thrillers even, set in the UK and they weren’t so jarring to me. There were other times where bits of information were relayed very repetitively, or explained in a very circular way that could have been shortened. These aren’t huge detractions – I did give the book 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 on Goodreads, but they were negative enough to have me a little frustrated at times while I read.

That said, the story itself was interesting, and I found myself reading this in one sitting. The story of two young parents gone missing was completely absorbing – I wanted to know what happened, and that desire to know more in a thriller is always a good sign. The sadness and desperation from the mother of the girl missing – left with the grandson and no explanation – was heartbreaking; Kim and Tallulah were my favorite characters, and I spent most of the book frustrated with having to spend time with Sophie because I found her quite unbearable – which is pretty unfortunate, since her parts take place in the “now” of the story, and she’s one of the most central characters. Everything she did was annoying to me, and I’m usually not that hard on characters, haha, so it took me by surprise that I disliked her so much. I hated her boyfriend, too, who was an inattentive and selfish bowl of basic ass oatmeal – seriously hate reading stories where the men are these “only there at convenient times” whitebread dummos with all the personality of a black hole; seriously just not my jam, ugh. I started skimming the chapters from their perspective a little ’cause they were entitled and irritating.

I don’t want to spoil the end, or even mention a character that is integral to the story but not in the summary, because I think discovering that whole little ~situation~ was a big part of what kept me addicted to reading this & wanting to know what happened. I did not ultimately like the ending / the reasoning / the actual “what’s going on” explanation, BUT I don’t always have to like that to enjoy reading a thriller – sometimes the journey is fun enough. For the chapters where Tallulah’s POV was the main focus, that was true for this one – but for the ones with Sophie, ugh, haha. Sorry but no thanks.

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