Book Review: The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

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TitleThe Vanishing Girl

AuthorLaura Thalassa

Publication Date: January 27th 2015

Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: 

Every night after Ember Pierce falls asleep, she disappears. She can teleport anywhere in the world—London, Paris, her crush’s bedroom—wherever her dreams lead her. Ten minutes is all she gets, and once time’s up, she returns to her bed. It’s a secret she’s successfully kept for the last five years. But now someone knows.
A week after her eighteenth birthday, when frustratingly handsome Caden Hawthorne captures her, delivers her to the government, and then disappears before her eyes, Ember realizes two things: One, she is not alone. And two, people like her—teleporters—are being used as weapons.
Dragged off to a remote facility where others like her live, Ember’s forced to pair up with her former captor, Caden, to learn how to survive inside until she can escape. Only Caden’s making escape seem less and less appealing.
But even as Ember falls for the boy who got her into this mess, she knows that she is running out of time. Because the government has plans for those like her, and those plans might just cost Ember her life.

Note: I was provided an eARC copy of this book by Amazon Children’s Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

My Review

The premise of this book initially intrigued me and I wasn’t too disappointed when I kept reading. This book is paced well with enough suspense to keep you reading. The plot twist at the end also had me considering putting down the sequel on my TBR. BUT there are multiple concepts in this book which did not seem very well thought out. The premise seemed okay but when I looked closer, I noticed many flaws.

The main character, Ember Pierce, has the ability to teleport in her sleep. After the 10 minutes are up, she will teleport back to the location she fell asleep at. Nobody knows about this ability and Ember does her best to cover her tracks. But then the day after her 18th birthday, her parents tell her the truth about her conception and the government program which helped conceive her, finds and enlists her. Then, Ember is taken to a training facility which basically seemed like a boarding school where other “genetically engineered (to teleport)” teens go…Soon after arriving at this facility, Ember is also forced to go on numerous (pointless) missions for the government.

Firstly, the fact that Ember couldn’t control her ability to teleport but the government could seemed plausible despite the lack of concrete explanations addressing just how the government was achieving this. But then, we discover that the government can also determine her outfit but her clothes never teleport back with her so she wakes up naked. Now, this had me confused. Where did the clothes she was initially wearing end up and where did the “teleporting outfit” come from? Another discovery I made was that the government alters her DNA so she has all these (extra) advantages apart from teleporting. These advantages may be useful but the idea that the government can make such heavy alterations to an embryo’s DNA isn’t very realistic.

Considering the circumstances, Ember’s top priority should have been survival but instead she’s easily distracted by Caden. She decides to runaway but then quickly changes her mind when she falls in love with him. Then if it isn’t bad enough that she didn’t have a decent escape plan in the first place, she doesn’t even try to fit in.

Caden, was pretty clichéd with his sexy looks and cocky attitude. He was also a douche but despite all that, Ember just has to fall for him. The romance between Caden and Ember was all insta-love. They had no chemistry other than their attraction because naturally they are both super-gorgeous…and therefore super into each other. In fact, they barely knew each other and yet after spending some time, they both decide that they are in love. Meanwhile, Ember is supposed to be plotting and planning but instead gets caught up in her whirlwind romance with Caden.

The minor characters (especially) weren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked them to. And I was really disappointed to see the girl-on-girl hate – mainly over a guy (Caden)! Honestly, I felt like Desiree was in this case a lot like the cliché evil ex-girlfriend but instead of being an ex, she was this clingy bitch who objected to having her only friend “taken” from her. In actuality, I felt like Desiree was being portrayed unfairly considering Caden (even if he is just a friend) just dumped/ditched her for a girl he barely knows. I would have been pretty pissed if I were her. And then of-course Desiree just lashes out at poor Ember and Caden doesn’t even really care why (she’s behaving this way) even though they’ve been friends for so long.

Would I Recommend It? Yes because in truth I did enjoy this book but when I really began to analyze it, I began noticing more of its flaws.

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