Review ~ ALL THE MISSING GIRLS by Sarah Pinborough
ALL THE MISSING GIRLS
(All the Missing Girls, #1)
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.
…Just about *3 stars*
All the Missing girls?
Because I’m always down for a healthy dose of originality, I was pretty intrigued when I learned this story was told in a reverse format: starting in the present then moving backwards in time, pretty much a single day each chapter. As cool as this sounds in theory, it unfortunately ended up being more of a distraction than anything else. I often found myself backpedalling, convinced I’d somehow missed vital details of the plot.
I gave this book 3 stars because I wanted to know more at every turn of the page; I craved it. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about reading…wondering who did it and why…if another disappearance would strike…when the scattered pieces would all come together.
There were moments in this story that came alive and gave me chills, and the tone was steady: eery and suspenseful—exactly what I long for in thrillers.
But, while the premise of this story was strong and contagious, its execution felt half-hearted and seemed to lack some follow-through. In fact, certain *details* felt as though they were forgotten altogether, leaving me to question their presence entirely. The author does a lot of “telling” and although it’s necessary in some cases, there’s much more power in showing readers how ideas unfold.
The characters: young, unhinged, bold, deceitful—good framework, but never exactly felt three-dimensional.
And finally, the highly anticipated outcome…what all this intense buildup was for. Not only did it not surprise, but I was ultimately left feeling unmoved. I felt the story had so much potential to “wow”, but didn’t fully commit to its direction. It still feels slightly “unfinished” and yet the story is in fact complete.
All of that said, many readers seemed to have LOVED this, which is understandable; The plot certainly keeps you on your toes, wanting to learn more.