Friday, 21 December 2012

Review: The Art of Disappearing by Elena Perez

Delia can see the future . . . but can she change it?

All Delia wants is to be popular. She has the perfect plan: join the cheerleading squad with her best friend, Ava, and rule the school from the coolest table in the cafeteria. But everything changes the day she watches a boy die—before it actually happens.

After dreaming about a classmate’s demise, she’s shocked when she witnesses his last breath—just like she dreamt it. Ava insists Delia stop acting so strange, but Delia worries her abilities are beyond her control.

Torn between who she is and who she wants to be, Delia wishes she could simply disappear. She doesn’t get her wish, but when someone close to her vanishes, Delia must use her gift to solve the mystery, before it’s too late.

I have to say this book was quite different from what I expected, but I liked it. It was refreshing, and the underlying plot is something we can all relate to. The Art of Disappearing is a strong debut from Elena Perez, and I would definitely check out new material from her.

Delia is a freshman in high school, and is part of a very tight-knit group of friends consisting of her, Ava and Trish. When Delia finds out she's psychic, her life turns upside down. She desperately wants her friends and family to understand her and support her, but instead she has to figure everything out all by herself.

I liked the concept and the plot, because who wouldn't like a nice psychic story? This book reminded me a little of Jinx by Meg Cabot. I loved that one, so of course I liked this too. The pacing was good, though a bit slow at times. I liked the ambiguity of Delia's dreams, and the fact that we as readers had to figure stuff out too. Moreover, that ending! Normally I don't like endings where all the plot lines haven't ended, but in this case it worked. The last part gave me chills! If you read the book and don't particularly like it much, you'll find out that it's all worth it to read that ending.

What I didn't like about this book were the characters. I liked Delia well enough - she was kind, smart, and insightful. I definitely did not like Ava. She was extremely shallow and self-centered. I guess she was meant to be that way, but nevertheless it dampened my mood while reading. I found the character development in this book lacking. Trish lacked substance, as did Delia's mom. I don't even know why Andrew Carr was even mentioned at all. But another character I really liked (probably my favourite) is Zach, Delia's cousin. He was unique and quirky, and I loved his punk attitude. This brings me to Regina, a new friend of Delia's and Zach's. She has similar tastes to Zach, and there's a hint of a brewing romance between them in this novel.

Despite the fact that there was no romance in this novel, I quite enjoyed it. It was a light read, and it also gives you perspective. I loved reading the song lyrics of The Angrists which were mentioned throughout the book, because I could relate to them, being a teenager myself. Having said this, I would recommend this book to all the teenagers out there, the ones who feel like they're having a hard time dealing with life and also the ones who are confused about what paths they're going to follow.

Even though I liked the plot, I still feel there was a lot of ambiguity there, and I wish things could have been clearer. As I mentioned before, I would have liked it better if the pace was a bit faster. Also, the book lacked a climax or any discernible turning point. 
However, I enjoyed reading it, and finished it in just two days. Delia's growth in this novel is great to see, and her desire to fit in with her friends is something we have all experienced or are still experiencing.

Overall, I think The Art of Disappearing is a solid debut by Elena Perez. I liked the incorporation of psychic abilities, even though the main focus was Delia's discovery of herself. It was fun experiencing Delia's journey with her, and that ending stayed with me for quite some time!

*Thank you to Elena Perez for providing me with a copy for review*

Rating: 3/5


  1. I haven't heard of this before. Thanks for the introduction and your thoughts!

  2. I haven't heard of either this book before but the comparison of writing to one of my all time favorite authors Meg Cabot, has piqued my intrested as well as your honest review. I hope to give it a try soon. :)


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