All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Published by Simon & Schuster
Published on June 28th 2016
Genres: Adult, Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
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Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.
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.
Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.
Missing girls had a way of working their way into someone’s head. You couldn’t help but see them in everyone – how temporary and fragile we might be. One moment here, and the next, nothing more than a photo staring from a storefront window.
Lately I have been really into adult mystery/psychological thriller type books. I also love YA versions of this, don’t get me wrong – but the adult ones are simply sometimes more mature, and feel more dreadful. So I was pretty excited to jump into this. I know the author has previously written YA books, but I haven’t read any, so this is my first experience with her. I am happy to say I think she did a fantastic job on her first adult novel!
So we follow Nic, who has to return home to her small town to take care of some family matters. Unfortunately, the disappearance of her best friend from high school, Corrine, still haunts her and the town. After she returns, another girl goes missing. The first people the police look too is everyone that was connected to Corrine’s disappearance, which includes not only Nic, but her brother, father, ex boyfriend, and old friends. Literally every single one of them had something to hide, and had lied during the old investigation. We really spend time solving two disappearances, as we gain pieces of the past and present.
ATMG also had that Pretty Little Liars thing going on – that thing where you don’t realize that your best friend was actually a terrible person until years later as you reflect on the past. A part of me hates this trope. But the other part of me feels like it just fits really well in this story. Everything fit really well in this story.
I think Corrine believed that life could break even somehow. That there was and underlying fairness to it all. That the years on earth were all a game. A risk for a payoff, a test for an answer, a tally of allies and enemies, and a score at the end.
I have to mention the guy. Tyler. I know that some may see her situation with him as bad. Or unhealthy. They were high school sweethearts, then go long periods of time without seeing each other, and then when they do see each other, they hook up. They basically drop everything for each other, no matter who they are with or what they are doing. I LOVED THIS. This is exactly how me and my now husband spend our teens through mid twenties, before finally getting married. I can exactly associate with this situation. They have much darker secrets than we did, of course…. but still. I loved his love for her. I loved that they couldn’t let each other go. But I also love that this book didn’t focus so heavily on the romantic relationships as it could have. It was all given just the right amount of attention.
You want to believe you’re not the saddest person on earth. That there’s someone worse, someone there with you. Someone suffering beside you through the unfathomable darkness.
The most unique thing about this book is that everything is basically revealed in reverse. I know that sounds a little crazy, but it is exactly what intrigued me most about this novel. This really could have gone either way – really awesome, or really terrible. I found it awesome. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading things told in such a way, and I loved it. Who knew? It was almost more exciting this way. THIS WOULD MAKE A FANTASTIC MOVIE! (Get on it, Reese Witherspoon.) I hope this book picks up a ton of attention. It is definitely on my favorites list this year! I sincerely hope that Miranda writes more adult novels, and that she continues to present them in such a clever way. I LOVED THIS!