When Savannah disappears soon after arguing with her mom’s boyfriend, everyone assumes she’s run away. The truth is much worse. She’s been kidnapped by a man in a white van who locks her in an old trailer home, far from prying eyes.
And worse yet, Savannah’s not alone: ten months earlier, Jenny met the same fate and nearly died trying to escape. Now as the two girls wonder if he will hold them captive forever or kill them, they must join forces to break out—even if it means they die trying.
Point of view:
While I don’t read/listen to a lot of YA – I enjoyed my first April Henry book, The Girl I Used to Be, last year and wanted to dive into this one.
I liked that this was from multiple perspectives, including both girls, their families, a friend, and that of the kidnapper (unidentified until the end). Savannah & Jenny find strength in each other and collaborate to escape before their kidnapper can follow through on his terrible plans.
Henry does a great job of making her heroines realistic, competent, and vulnerable. In this case, Savannah and Jenny are quite different in personalities and experiences – but they work together well. It’s a good mix of mystery & suspense.
I loved the epilogue that tied things up nicely.
Amy McFadden does a great job here with a fairly large cast of characters. She really helped immerse me in the emotional and suspenseful moments. She continues to be one of my favorite narrators.
About the author:
New York Times-bestselling author April Henry knows how to kill you in a two-dozen different ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. There was one detour on April’s path to destruction: when she was 12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children’s author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he showed it to his editor, who asked if she could publish it in Puffin Post, an international children’s magazine. By the time April was in her 30s, she had started writing about hit men, kidnappers, and drug dealers. She has published 25 mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults, with more to come. She is known for meticulously researching her novels to get the details right.
You can connect with April Henry here:
About the narrator:
From Amy McFadden’s website: I live in Michigan and even in the dead of winter I love to laugh so much that I never have to do situps. Truthfully, I probably wouldn’t do situps anyway, but hey, laughter is the best medicine, so I must be SUPER healthy, right?
I’m an actress now, and I used to be a 2nd grade teacher. I loved that part of my life, but after doing it for a bunch of years, I was ready to move on to the next version of me. They’re not really very different versions-teachers and actresses both reach out and engage people through stories. I’m NOT a morning person, but waking up to tell stories makes mornings better-than-tolerable.
I love books and the Muppets and smart people and kind people (not necessarily in that order) and sleeping and chocolate and coffee and writers and learning and Oreo cookies and a bunch of other stuff-but I’m starting to make myself gag on all this love.
I hate a bunch of stuff, too, but who cares about that junk? It’s probably the same stuff you hate, so I won’t bore you. Except I REALLY hate listening to people eat bananas.
You can connect with Amy McFadden here:
My Favorite Quotes
If he was anonymous to me, that meant I was to him as well. Anonymous meant disposable. – The Girl in the White Van by @aprilhenrybooks #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Mystery #Suspense #Thriller #YoungAdultTweet
Some days I felt nothing but small. Others I felt enormous, the RV shrinking around me. – The Girl in the White Van by @aprilhenrybooks #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Mystery #Suspense #Thriller #YoungAdultTweet
It felt like my throat was closing. Like my heart was about to give out. I could hear my own breaths, shallow and fast. – The Girl in the White Van by @aprilhenrybooks #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Mystery #Suspense #Thriller #YoungAdultTweet
Maybe Bruce Lee was saying there are times you have to stop fighting and redefine yourself based on your circumstances. – The Girl in the White Van by @aprilhenrybooks #Audiobook narrated by @amymcnarrator #Mystery #Suspense #Thriller #YoungAdultTweet