Book Review: ‘Vanishing Acts’ by Jodi Picoult

14865I hate abandoning books half-way through, and, this year, there have only been two that I haven’t finished. The first was Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon (The less said about that the better.), and the other was Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult. My mum is a Picoult fan, and about a year ago she gave me a stack of her books to read. Three days ago, I finally picked one up and started reading. I stopped reading at page 100, my cut off for books that haven’t fully engaged me earlier on.

It’s not that this book is bad, it’s just that it’s annoying. I found the main character, Delia Hopkins, irritating, and, after 100 pages, I just didn’t care about her or her story any more. The plot seemed contrived: Delia Hopkins has always been good at finding things, and, as an adult, she makes a living as a finder of lost children. Now what would be the most devastating thing for her to find out? That’s right. That she, herself, was also lost (kidnapped) as a child. I could handle this idea, if it wasn’t the crux of the whole book. This is something that might work if the story was about a case she was working on, and then she found out her own secret at the end, but it doesn’t happen like that. She finds out in the first few chapters and then (I’m guessing here because I haven’t read on.) the rest of the book is about her unravelling her own mystery. I don’t think the reader is given enough time to get to know Delia as a person before she becomes a whiny, snivelling victim. The other thing that put me off was that the story is written from four different first person perspectives, which are hard to follow because each voice is not distinctive enough. Sometimes I forgot whose story I was reading.

1/5 – I didn’t like it.

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