Release Date: Feb 14th, 2012 by Bloomsbury
Details: 353 pages, hardcover
Genre: Young Adult > Paranormal // Mystery Thriller
Seventeen-year-old Jocelyn follows clues apparently from her dead twin, Jack, in and around Seale House, the terrifying foster home where they once lived. With help from childhood friend Noah she begins to uncover the truth about Jack's death and the company that employed him and Noah.
Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.
But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.
I've literally been thinking about how to word this review for weeks. I don't really like posting reviews on this blog of books I didn't really enjoy. I at least try to mention any redeeming quality the book had... but with The Vanishing Game, it seems to be a challenge to do that.
The Vanishing Game looks like a delicious creepy read about a girl named Jocelyn who loses her twin brother and is forced to revisit the old foster home where weird things (and people) were. Jocelyn believes her twin brother Jack is dead, but when a letter from "Jason December" ends up on her desk one day, she's determined to find out the truth and to find her brother. Along the journey, she's forced to team up with Noah, their childhood best friend and Jocelyn's childhood crush and they both end up with more than they bargained for.
I'll admit, the first half of the book hooked me. The clues that Jack left for Jocelyn and Noah were so complex, if I was a child at the age that they were in while they played Jack's clue game, I would never had the smarts to figure them out! The clues and the hunt were interesting and I was curious to know where it was all going, where was Jack? What happened? What's up with the Seale House? It was nice running into the people of their past and seeing how well they turned out. And I love the cover! But sadly, that's as far as my interest went.
The fact that Jocelyn is 17 and up and left to go on this dangerous journey seemed a little... unrealistic. I admired her will to find her brother but I don't know, the whole thing just had me like this the whole time >> o_O. Noah was so flip flop. One minute he wanted to help, the next he wanted to be rid of Jocelyn. The next minute he cared, and the next he could easily pretend he didn't know she even existed. I didn't really trust him, even until the end. The romance felt empty. I didn't really understand why they were attracted to each other and every make out session would "finish". We finished making out... I don't know about you guys, but I don't "finish" making out, I "stop" but never "finish" ;) just saying. Another thing that bothered me was there was a lot of... Noah said, "*insert what he said here*" dialogue. I know it's not a big deal, but it sort of just bothered me.
The ending didn't have me turning back to the first page like the blub said it would. At that point, the book made even less sense than it did while I was reading it. According to M, the plot has been used many times before (I wouldn't really know, I don't watch suspense/thriller movies) but it did remind me of an older famous Brad Pitt movie... and that's all I'm saying about that!
The Vanishing Game didn't really work out for me, but that's not to say it won't work out for you. It just wasn't my cup of root beer.