Myers, K. K.
Things just haven’t been quite right for Jocelyn since her twin, Jack, died. Once she begins receiving messages from him she finds she must follow the trail to the truth, regardless of the outcome.
After everything that happened at Seale House Jocelyn and her twin Jack weren’t sure if they’d ever find a place to call home. After they were placed successfully with a nice home Jack died in a fatal car crash. Or did he? About a year after the car crash Jocelyn gets a mysterious letter signed only with the name, Jason December- exactly what Jack called himself at the Seale House. A name only known to Jocelyn and the twin’s close friend from Seale House, Noah.
As Jocelyn makes her way to Noah to ask his help unravelling the mystery of Jason December strange things begin to happen, she is certain someone is following her. When she sneaks into the Seale house to look for signs of her brother she discovers that the terror that the house held for her as a child hasn’t faded, indeed it seems as if the house remembers her and she struggles to get out in one piece.
One thing is clear, Jocelyn can’t go at this alone. With Noah’s reluctant help they follow the path that Jason December has laid out for them, fraught with intrigue and terrible dangers and horrors unimaginable. Jocelyn has no choice, she must find her twin before her past catches up with her.
Vanishing Game is a good horror novel for folks who also like a bit of mystery thrown in. The story is told along two time lines, present day and in a series of flash backs from Jocelyn, Jack and Noah’s childhood. You get a clear picture of the terrible abuse they suffered in their foster house, as a mother that part was particularly unpleasant to read, and Myers does a good job of hooking her reader so that you’re compelled to finish, even reading through some of the requisite cheesy-intense-teen-romance. To top it off this book is genuinely scary! You’re never sure exactly what is going on, if the Seale House is haunted with angry spirits, or if there are hallucinogenic spores in the walls or somethin; you dont know if Jack is alive or dead; or to what lengths the men following Jocelyn and Noah will go to to get the information they seek. Recommended to anyone who likes a bit of a fright!
By Myers own account her childhood was grueling and her teenager years were much the same. According to her bio she never wanted to be a writer as much as she has felt compelled to write, climbing inside her character’ s skin and creating their worlds. Vanishing Game is her first novel.
Horror, YA Fiction
Grades 9-10 goal 3.6: Analyze and trace an author’s development of time and sequence, including the use of complex literary devices (e.g., foreshadowing, flashbacks).
What do you think about the reality Jocelyn has created for herself? Has this reality been fool-proof? What are some of the weaknesses in her story?
Reading Level/Interest Age
This book discusses topics like death and mental illness, and some adults may object to their children’s exposure to those sensitive topics.
A collection policy that clearly states that the library strongly supports the ALA Bill of Rights and everyone’s freedom to read should offer some protection to the library. The use of flashbacks in The Vanishing Game supports the California Department of Education English Language Arts Content Standards for grades 9 and 10. Finally, alternate titles could be The Long Walk by Stephen King and What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen.
Reason for inclusion
This title is a good one for any fan of horror and mystery. It’s included in the collection to appeal to those readers.
Myers, K.K. (2012). Bio of Kate Kae Myers. Retrieved from: http://www.katekaemyers.com/