The Vanishing Season
By Jodi Lynn Anderson
By Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published: July 1st, HarperTeen
The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.
I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.
All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.
My Thoughts:Oh, Jodi Lynn Anderson. You are my favorite. Like, my absolute favorite. Tiger Lily left me sobbing in my office at 2 AM while I finished the last 20 pages and kept me up all night FEELING ALL THE FEELS. So when The Vanishing Season left a fist-sized hole in my chest, I was like "damn, she's done it again."
Here's what I love about Jodi's work: she's not scared to play with narration. In Tiger Lily, the story is told through the eyes of Tink, the faerie that skims the surface of the main characters' lives. In The Vanishing Season, we're again told the story through the eyes of the ghost trailing after our main characters. I loved this because the reader isn't tethered to one POV or angle of the story.
While a lot of YA is written in first person, there's something incredibly important about being shown a story from multiple angles. There's always two or three--or hell, even four--sides of a story. A lot of readers tend to focus on "I don't agree with this character's decision or reaction" or "she was very unlikable because of X." Showing more angles, the multiples of factors that go into an action or a choice, means we're showing our readers to examine the POV deeper before they judge a character's action.
It also allows breathing room for a story to not just be one person's. Sometimes when we single out just one character and just their side, we leave out the range of moments and consequences and feelings that a wider cast could come together to tell. Since when is an event in someone's life isolated?
Pick this one up. Not just because Anderson knows how to tell a story, and write it well, but because it will leave you contemplating stronger story-telling narration.