Girl Last Seen is one of those books you just want to speed read to know the ending. I had to stop myself from reading the book in one sitting so I could fully enjoy the writing, but I could have easily devoured the novel in one sleepless night.
Kadence Mulligan and Lauren DeSanto are, or were, high school BFFs who became Internet celebrities. After one of their homemade music videos went viral, Kady and Lauren spent the next year trying to keep the fame alive and turn themselves into the real deal. Unfortunately, when Lauren lost her voice due to an illness, their friendship turned toxic. Now, the two not only have a mixture of animosity and jealously against them, but after one of Kady’s solo concerts, the teenager goes missing. Soon, all of the their sins come to light, including what happened with Nathan (Jude) back in junior high, and no one can answer the question, “What happened to Kadence Mulligan?”
The novel itself is told from multiple points of view. While I feel Lauren and Jude were the main focuses of the novel, we also get tidbits from Mason (Kady’s boyfriend) and Kadence herself in the form of her video blogs. While I don’t usually like this format of storytelling, it really worked for this kind of mystery. I was able to piece together who Kady was and get more information about each character. I also liked that the authors didn’t retell the same scenes repeatedly from different points of views, as some do with this approach.
The story itself was more than just a mystery. The reader gets to learn teenagers haven’t changed too much over the years. There are still some cruel “Mean Girls,” but everyone has a back story. Like I said before, I wanted to speed read through this book. I found it very enjoyable and almost too easy to read, meaning I wasn’t challenged by the content. However, this is only a minor complaint. The ending of the novel really brought everything together. The last few pages shocked me a little, but I felt like they were a good addition.
I definitely would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a fast summer read. And I will say it’s nice to have a good standalone among the sea of YA series. Just be prepared for things to not end how you expect them to.
Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is currently enrolled at Tiffin University in their Master’s of Education program. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by AW Teen. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.