Murphy’s YA debut is a fascinating read that crosses multiple genres and will appeal to a wide range of readers. With wonderful, compelling characters and an intriguing plot you won’t soon forget, The Disappearances is a clear 2017 YA standout. Fans of Shakespeare will delight in all of the literary references to his work and how Murphy purposefully and cleverly weaves them through her story. This is not a tale that is easily predictable, but one where the mystery is revealed in slow, page-turning increments. Well researched and well done, The Disappearances will have readers anxiously awaiting Murphy’s next tale.
Aila Quinn’s mother recently died and her father has just been drafted to fight in the war. This leaves Aila and her younger brother Miles in need of a place to stay. So they are sent to live with their mother’s childhood friend in the town of Sterling. Not too soon after, Aila and her brother start to realize that something strange is going on in Sterling — the Disappearances. They also find out that their mother may have been the catalyst for the strange phenomenon taking place. With the help of new friends and her host’s cute son, will Aila be able to figure out just what is causing these Disappearances before the next one? (HARCOURT, Jul., 400 pp., $17.99, HC, 12 & Up)