Intense, Uncomfortable, and Raw

3 out of 5 stars

Something in the synopsis of Girl Last Seen hooked me right in. Maybe it’s because “The Face on the Milk Carton” was one of my all-time favorite books as a young adult and this seemed a little reminiscent, with the main character seeing a familiar face on a missing poster, much like the Janie saw her’s on a milk carton… but oh man. In this novel, Lane sees a face that looks like her own and is immediately pulled back into her past, and the hell she experienced at the hands of a kidnapper, the same kidnapper she suspects has taken Olivia Shaw.

Girl Last Seen can be intense, uncomfortable, and raw, as Lane recounts the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse she experienced and struggles to cope with its physical and emotional scars. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I thought Laurin’s character development was phenomenal, particularly with Lane’s character. I don’t think she was stupid, but I do believe she makes some rash, reactionary decisions, something a traumatized young woman like her might also do if left with so little support.

I liked the pace of Girl Last Seen and found the plot line to be pretty interesting, holding my interest through a few twists and turns, but it didn’t blow me out of the water. I also found the last hour or so of the book to be somewhat rushed, as if Laurin was trying to tie up all of the loose ends in a hurry. Overall, Girl Last Seen was a good read and I’d recommend it, with a trigger warning for those who find reading or listening to another’s stories of abuse traumatic.

I adored the narrator’s voice and am looking forward to listening to more of Vanessa Johansson’s work. I would give her narration a five and the book an overall three.  Overall, a book that I didn’t love or hate – it kind of felt like a “take it or leave it” story.

Book Description:

Audiobook: Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin (Narrated by Vanessa Johansson)three-stars
Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin
Narrator: Vanessa Johansson
Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
Published by Hachette Audio on June 20th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Pages: 353
Format: Audiobook
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Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to 13 years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, with the right look, in the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.


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