Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

I read this book in a day. It was kind of refreshing after it took me 4-5 days to get through The Sunshine Sisters, which was a good summery beach read, but not my favorite Jane Green. Anyways, excited to be back to the suspense genre.

Last week I posted all the books that I currently have in my stack. After this weekend, I knocked 2.5 of those out. So, time to find some new titles. Never mind the other 3.5 books I still need to read.

But, I did check out the August selections on Book of the Month and I’m not sure any of them are speaking to me. So I might skip a month. Stick to my library and Netgalley reads. And also my Book of the Month books from the last two months. Because I totally have not read those yet.

It’s a struggle. Back to the book at hand.

From the Publisher:

It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. Her body was never found, just a shattered cellphone and a solitary hiking boot. Her husband and teenage daughter have been coping with Billie’s death the best they can: Jonathan drinks as he works on a loving memoir about his marriage; Olive grows remote, from both her father and her friends at the all-girls school she attends.

But then Olive starts having strange visions of her mother, still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he understood about his wife. Who was the woman he knew as Billie Flanagan?

Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, but also about themselves, learning, in the process, about all the ways that love can distort what we choose to see. Janelle Brown’s insights into the dynamics of intimate relationships will make you question the stories you tell yourself about the people you love, while her nervy storytelling will keep you guessing until the very last page.

My Review:

I love this cover. It’s so simple. But sometimes that is all you need. It just seems mysterious and I know the story line will have something to do with water and it just seems peaceful. And I love the premise. A middle-aged mom goes missing and is presumed dead. But is she?

I have to say, this book did not turn out to be what I expected. But that’s not a bad thing. The characters were a little more volatile than I expected and honestly there really wasn’t a completely likeable character in the bunch. Which doesn’t really bother me as a reader, but I know some of the women in my book club would hate not having someone to root for.

The daughter, Olive is seriously bitchy and entitled. The father, Jonathan, makes some questionable choices as a father. The mother, Billie, whose disappearance the story focuses on definitely has a lot going on that makes her not very likeable. Not to mention a couple other characters that are also kind of terrible people. But  I kept reading. Because I really wanted to find out what happened and there were some great twists and turns.

Watch Me Disappear was a great book, definitely one to not miss. Janelle Brown is a gifted storyteller. It’s obvious from the way she wove this story that none of the twists were accidental.

I think this one would make a good movie, or even a series. I could see Charlize Theron as Billie and Justin Theroux as Jonathan. Maybe the Olson twin’s little sister, Elizabeth as Olive? Have you read the book? Who would you cast?

Buy the book:


Barnes & Noble




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