The Vanishing Girl - Laura Thalassa

This story is based around the awesome concept that these teens who were genetically engineered have the ability to teleport for ten minutes per every sleep cycle. This is a really cool idea; however, sometimes it was challenging for me to suspend my disbelief because of the explanation. I don't think it's in the human genome to be able to teleport just from a simple gene alteration. Maybe if there had been some green radiation involved I would've been a bit more open to the idea, but it felt very hand-of-God.

This book was pretty easy to read, and was interesting enough to keep me reading for a few hours without stopping.

 

The author did use a few details that in some aspects felt a little cliche, forced, or unreal. At one point, Ember read the same sentence for three hours, which as a teenager just isn't plausible--three hours is a long time, I can say honestly as a twenty-year-old very recent ex-teenager myself. Ember also made some dumb moves, such as performing a google search on a computer that was very obviously being monitored by the government, even though she was portrayed as being more intelligent than the typical eighteen-year-old.

 

There were a few sex scenes which were more graphic than my typical YA novel, which I didn't enjoy at all and I think could be alienating to younger readers, especially the mature younger readers who have the reading levels to enjoy fiction for an older audience. The story concept worked very well for YA, but I think those scenes detracted from the novel. I read YA to get away from the 'smut' Ember talked about and so this was very distracting for me. Also, the ease at which they were able to start having sex was alarming. They have no difficulty obtaining condoms or finding alone time. I understand that the facility these scenes took place in wasn't the typical high school, but I know that basically every adult in high school tries to stop people from having sex or at least would counsel them first.

 

Characters felt a little shallow. The pairing concept was strange and not fleshed out, and seems like something that Ember would have rebelled against once she realised most pairs were ending up emotionally involved. If Desiree really cared about Caden and had had her own pair, she'd want him to be happy and know how he felt. Caden himself was a total pushover. I don't know how the vivacious Ember didn't get sick of him. He talks about having a role to play, but never really shows that he's something different than the role he plays or gives me reason to believe he'd be suspicious enough to care about playing a different role than his character suggested. Their relationship moves way too fast, especially for Ember, who seems like someone who wouldn't let someone in very easily, and is very adult for a pair their age. He is also ready to devote his life to her at the toss of a hat, which seems unusual since even Ember thinks that the facility has become his family.

 

There was nothing terribly off-putting about this book. While I'm not invested, I'll probably read the sequel simply because this had a rather intriguing cliffhanger.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.