Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

32740062

Rating – 2 stars

Date Finished – June 10, 2017

49/120 in 2017

Watch Me Disappear is (or maybe should be) a book about a marriage, a mother, and the lingering questions that follow a death. Truthfully, I wasn’t interested in whether Billie was a master manipulator who ran away to reinvent herself or a woman with a checkered history who died in a freak hiking accident. I was most interested in Olive and Jonathan and their changing relationship as they navigated the grief of Billie’s disappearance. If this were primarily a novel about the people left behind, it could have been a much stronger and more unique story.

Unfortunately, Watch Me Disappear can be lumped in with all the books that are trying to be the next Gone Girl. It comes close to addressing the complicated nature of female victimhood vs. agency that has become a common trope, but it doesn’t add anything new or interesting to that conversation. The epilogue was absolutely maddening, and I think that this novel with an ambiguous ending would have been so much stronger. If I just hadn’t read that last bit, this might be a 3 or 4 star rating.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for the advance copy of this novel.

 

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