“Be moral, or be a monster.”


The Missing Season by Gillian French

Clara is new to the town of Pender, a deteriorating community packed with stories about what, or who lives in the marshes. As she befriends the rebel kids of Pender and a loner skater boy nobody can pin down, Clara starts to see the sinister side to the tales of the Mumbler as the line between spooky fiction and ominous reality disappears.

Gillian French proves herself as a master of inventive language and metaphor in The Missing Season. Her writing style includes delightful dark descriptions that you’ll miss if you don’t pay close enough attention. I personally didn’t expect much from this book writing-wise but was pleasantly surprised by the nuggets of beautiful writing wedged in between fairly basic YA structure.  

The Missing Season’s plot flowed between teen friendship drama, a romance subplot, a subtle prank war, lots of skipping school, and a gently spooky thread that took over for the climax. While the weaving wasn’t 100% masterful, the plot still felt complete and not sectioned into different pieces, every storyline affecting another at different points. 

Gillian French’s The Missing Season is a perfectly balanced thriller that keeps you constantly wanting to know more and read on. The language was beautiful and surprising, the characters were classically relatable, and every plotline was perfectly weaved together. Rating: three blue Jell-O balloon bombs/five

For fans of: The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart, The Wilder Girls by Rory Power, There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins


Favorite quotes:


  • “That I was tasting the real world instead of the stale gerbil pellets of this place all day.”
  • “With the right person maybe you can never get too intimate, never go too far.”
  • “But maybe there’s a point where freedom just becomes loneliness, living without a compass, lost in your own life.”


Review by: Ivy

The Missing Season is on sale now!