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Review: Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown

Tags: lauren kady
Title: Girl Last Seen
Author: Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co. Teen
Publication Date: March 1, 2016

About the book: Kadence Mulligan played to a packed house of her fans Friday night.  Saturday morning she was gone.

The songs Kadence wrote and sang with her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, had made them both online sensations.  But when Lauren lost her voice, Kady couldn't wait to go solo.  It's no secret the two had a major falling-out and were barely speaking to each other.  Yet Lauren was one of the last people to see Kady the night she disappeared.

The only person who seems to believe that Lauren is innocent is Jude Williams, former outcast turned gorgeous bad boy, but he has reasons of his own for wanting to get back at Kady.  Still, he's Lauren's only ally, and together they look back on their complicated friendship with Kadence as they search for answers.  But are they both really on a quest for the truth?  Or is one of them playing an elaborate game to cover up a crime?

My thoughts: There were 4 major players in this book - Lauren and Kady, best friends since junior high but recently falling apart.  Jude/Nathan - who was Lauren's best friend before Kady moved to town.  He was kind of a dork with a "pizza" face, but Lauren did not seem to notice - until Kady pointed it out to her, as well as to the whole school.  He moved away, but is back - using his middle name - Jude - and that is not all that has changed.  He is still in hopeless love with Lauren, but has many revenge fantasies involving her and Kady. And last is Mason, Kady's boyfriend of the last couple of years.

The story is told in revolving points of view/chapters among these four - with Lauren, Jude and Mason's being in the present and Kady's told through webcasts.  Kady disappears after a solo performance at the coffee shop that Lauren works at.  Her car is at her house, but the door is hanging open and both she and her laptop are missing.  

Lauren is under suspicion due to their recent falling out and Kady's success as a solo artist.  Jude befriends her and together they start to piece together how Kady has destroyed reputations and bullied people in their school - and it is starting to look as if she has been setting Lauren up to take the blame for it all. Both her and Jude are questioned regarding Kady's disappearance and the longer she is gone, the worse it looks for them. 

This was a great read and while I suspected part of the ending - there is no way I could have predicted what actually happened.  You are going to have to read it to find out!

From the publicist: Girl Last Seen is a timely tale, tackling the relatively new phenomenon of Internet fame and the harsh realities that come with it – from the fickleness of fans to the desperate lengths some people will go to for their 15 minutes in the spotlight. Song lyrics, news segments, video diaries, text messages, and YouTube comments are woven throughout, giving the story a uniquely modern feel. The multiple points-of-view are cleverly crafted to implicate everyone and absolve no one, making readers question their own judgment, as well as the motives of each player in this elaborate game of smoke and mirrors. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Pretty Little Liars, the twisted life of Kadence Mulligan will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

~I received a complimentary copy of Girl Last Seen from Media Masters Publicity in exchange for my unbiased review. ~

About the Authors: Heather Anastasiu is the author of the young adult sci-fi Glitch trilogy. She grew up in Texas but recently moved to Minnesota with her family. She teaches creative writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. You can visit her on Facebook and Twitter @h_anastasiu.

Anne Greenwood Brown is an attorney by day and young adult novelist by night. Her works include the paranormal mermaid trilogy: Lies Beneath, Deep Betrayal, and Promise Bound. She lives in Minnesota. You can visit her on Facebook and Twitter @AnneGBrown.

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Review: Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown


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