Thursday, July 06, 2017

Review: Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin (audio)

Title: Girl Last Seen
Author: Nina Laurin
Narrator: Vanessa Johansson
Published: June 2017, Hachette Audio
Length: 8 hours 11 minutes
Source: Publisher
 
Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.
Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.

My thoughts: Sometimes when you read debut novels, you know it - they are good, but you can feel the newness of the author. And then, there are times when you are completely gobsmacked that a book is a debut - that's how I felt when I finished this one. This book is so utterly powerful and addicting from the very first sentence and stays that way throughout. 

This book is crazy twisty and I loved it! It's raw and powerful, even uncomfortable at times, and I loved the way it was told, from the perspective of Lainey/Ella's eyes. You feel her vulnerability throughout, yet there are times when you question her reliability. I really feel that this is what makes the book what it is. If it was told by anyone else, it just wouldn't be as powerful or have the same effect.

There were so many times when I was sure I had figured out what was going on. Everytime someone new came on the scene, I thought - Yes, that's who took Olivia...but oh no. Nina Laurin is a master of twists and turns. She does give clues, but I definitely did not put them together in time for the big reveal. 

I also enjoyed the pacing of this book. I felt there was a good balance of character development with action. At what felt like just the right time, there would be a twist to the story that would jar everything you were thinking. This really keeps you on your toes throughout the story and as secrets come out, you realize this isn't what you expected at all!

This is one of the best debut novels I've read/listened to in a long time. I cannot wait to see what comes next from Nina Lauren - she is definitely an author I will be keeping an eye out for!!!



Audio thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Vanessa Johansson and I thought she did such a great job with this audio. She didn't sugar-coat the voices, and I felt that she did Lane/Ella's voice justice - giving it that raw/vulnerable voice it needed. Her pacing was good as was her intonation. I will definitely be checking out what else she has narrated!




4 comments:

  1. Wow - this sounds like a book that needs picking up; I love it when a debut novel turns out like this.

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  2. I definitely know what you mean about picking up a book and knowing that the author is a debut -- I'm so glad that this one is amazing! It sounds really good. Great review!

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  3. Looks super good!

    I gave your blog a follow, and I would truly appreciate it if you could check out my book reviews blog located at https://elsbookreviews.blogspot.ca/ and possibly give it a follow as well! Looking forward to reading more of your reviews!

    - El

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  4. I like the sound of this one. Thanks for the review.

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