I recently signed up to NetGalley – an online place for professional readers to review proofs and publishers to get feedback. Basically, you scroll through the different recommendations, genres, authors etc and request to review it. The publishers then choose whether to approve you or not and if you’re approved, you’ll be able to download it to your kindle app or device and start reading. You can also leave your reviews and feedback for the publishers through this website too. When I first signed up and was looking at the titles available for me to request, I was instantly drawn to All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. I mean, look at that cover. It’s beautiful. I love the blue and aqua sky with the bold orange font really pulling me in. I read the blurb – basically, ten years ago a girl name Corinne disappeared and her friends Nicolette (the narrator), her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson were all at the centre of the investigation and really took its toll on the town of Cooley Ridge. Nicolette moved far away and started a new life but returns to help her brother out with their dad who is suffering from dementia. Not long after she returns to the town, another girl goes missing – Tyler’s new girlfriend and the group’s alibi the night of Corinne’s disappearance – Annaleise. The book is told in reverse over a 15-day period, so it starts on day 15 and works backward to tell the story.
The reverse storytelling is an interesting aspect I haven’t read before and it was addictive. As the reader, you’re reading from the present into the past, so the characters have knowledge than we don’t and as we read on, we have to keep reminding ourselves that the characters don’t know what’s going to happen, but we do! It’s not as confusing as it sounds but rather, a very clever way of unraveling the mystery.
As we travel back in time, each day gives us clues to the previous and hints towards the future that we’ve just read. We get more information about the disappearance of Corinne, from ten years ago, as well as some clues as to the disappearance of Annaleise.
Like a typical suspense novel, the climax and twists and turns are saved for the end, except it’s actually the beginning of the story chronologically, and really puts the rest of the book into perspective. You think about everything you’ve read to try and piece it all together and then you realise you were completely wrong with your theories and wonder how you ever fell for it in the first place.
Megan Miranda does a fantastic job of having twist after twist that even I, a member of the Scooby Doo fan club and CSI detective, couldn’t solve. All my theories did pan out, but there was always something more to the story. Some added bit of extra information that later in the book, made my proud moments of detective work seem irrelevant. It was both infuriating and enticing all-in-one. I hated and loved the characters and kept wondering just what the real truth was.
All The Missing Girls is a story of lies, secrets and the lengths we go to protect them. The characters aren’t as innocent as they seem. The story certainly isn’t what it seems.
I had a few unanswered questions which at first, I wondered how the author would bring it all together in the end, or if any would just remain unanswered, but all loose ends were perfectly tied up in a well-written finale.
I give All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda a 5/5 stars. This book is released on June 28th 2016 in hardcover but as a paperback fan myself, I will be eagerly awaiting its release, fingers crossed later this year!
Let me know in the comments if this is something you’d read.
What are your thoughts on novels told in reverse?