My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the author Jodi Lynn Anderson and the publisher, Orchard Books.
The Moment Collector, otherwise known as The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson tells the story of a girl named Maggie, who moved from Chicago to a small place named Gill Creek – quite a transition for a teenage girl. There she meets two new friends, Pauline and Liam, and builds a strong friendship with both. But at the same time, a ghost wanders around Maggie’s house and feels drawn to her. On top of that, young girls are being killed by a serial killer. Can this ghost help?
Let me start of by saying that this came off to me as a ghost book, and it wasn’t. Not to me, anyway. The majority of the book focuses on the living – which is fine, but I’d expected something different from the blurb. I expected a lot more from the ghost (or ghosts, I wasn’t sure if there’d just be one in the story or not). About halfway in I started treating this as a regular book about a girl moving to a small town where things… happen, and there’s a ghost – but she doesn’t know about it, nor does anyone else, so basically that ghost is just busy being a ghost.
That being said, the last 10% or so I did love a lot, because that’s when the reveal came – one I saw coming, but still managed to make me a little emotional. Props to the author for being able to conclude the story in such a way – it was very heartfelt, very raw and just overall felt really well done.
Moving on to the characters – I didn’t really feel much for any of them with the exception of Pauline. Maggie was a fine protagonist, but not exceptionally different from others I’ve read about. Liam was more of the same – he was fine, nothing really special, he was just a guy. Pauline on the other hand I was genuinely interested in, she had flaws, she was spoiled but not mean in attitude as many (even the main character) expected her to be. She was, to me, a breath of fresh air and I really enjoyed reading about her.
The writing and pacing of the story was more than fine for me, though I could’ve done without song titles, book titles – it’s a personal pet peeve, I just find it unnecessary and it’s starting to bug me more and more. Nevertheless, I wasn’t bothered by the writing or the pacing. I was hoping for more things to happen in regards to the killer, or maybe for the story to get a bigger impact in the ghost-area, but that didn’t happen so that was a bummer.
The twist at the end, like I said, I saw coming, but that did not take away from the moment. It was well-written and quite a lovely way to end the book, I just wish we’d gotten more from the ghost-part than we eventually did.
Three stars for Jodi Lynn Anderson’s The Moment Collector/The Vanishing Season — a book about life, love and the afterlife and a good recommendation to fans of young adult contemporary books.