The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan
by Gia Cribbs
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: May 29, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound
No one wants me to tell you about the disappearance of Sloane Sullivan.
Not the lawyers or the cops. Not her friends or family. Not even the boy who loved her more than anyone. And most certainly not the United States Marshals Service. You know, the people who run the witness protection program or, as it’s officially called, the Witness Security Program? Yeah, the WITSEC folks definitely don’t want me talking to you.
But I don’t care. I have to tell someone.
If I don’t, you’ll never know how completely wrong things can go. How a single decision can change everything. How, when it really comes down to it, you can’t trust anyone. Not even yourself. You have to understand, so it won’t happen to you next. Because you never know when the person sitting next to you isn’t who they claim to be…and because there are worse things than disappearing.My rating:
Sloane Sullivan was on the run since she was twelve and had nineteen different identities, make it twenty if you include the real her, within the last six years of her life. Her parents were dead—her mother was killed by those who were after her and her father, who was tired looking over his shoulder and jumping from one identity to another, died by his own hand.
Being under the care of the government’s Witness Protection Program, also known as the Witness Security Program or WITSEC, she found a family and a friend on Agent Markham Sullivan.
She was supposedly Sloane Sullivan, now and forever, only if she follows the rules—blend in and don’t let get too close with anyone. If she did, she will be out of WITSEC, go to college and finally be on her own. And when Sloane saw her best friend, Jason Thomas, a person connected from her past, everything changed. Too desperate to get out and tired of not being normal or always being a new someone, she lied to Mark about him.
But bad things happen when you don’t follow the rules and Sloane break the number one rule she had made for herself: don’t have anything you can’t leave behind. Would the memories of her past will make her stay or Sloane Sullivan will disappear and never be found again?
To start, the characters were well written, especially Sloane’s every identity. The author’s commitment to her was evident as she didn’t take shortcuts on how Sloane would connect her present to her past self. By meeting new friends in her first day of school like Livie, Sawyer, Oliver, and Jason, Sloane was able to experience high school teenage drama even if she knew she will eventually say goodbye to those people she cares about.
On the other hand, I love how Mark truly cared for Sloane. He was actually my favorite character because he was filled with passion and raw emotions that as the story progress, I ended up rooting for him and understand why he did the things he had done to protect Sloane. It didn’t surprise me at all that in the end, he developed some feelings for her especially when he has been there for Sloane for the past six years.
All the while, Jason’s character gave an excellent weave of strength to the story’s climatic events especially given that he has a deep connection to Sloane, the role he played to piece the puzzle was relevant. He and Sloane, together, was able to confront that there’s a bigger truth on their past than what they had expected.
The supporting characters also clicked perfectly to what could be their part into the story. One of the moments I considered devastating was when Sloane hugged Oliver and it just only meant another heartbreaking goodbye. And as much as I’m keeping this review spoiler-free, there was so much sense in this line and you would be affected as much as I did when you read the story and realized why: “I should be the guy who doesn’t get the girl.”
The slow build-up made an intense, eerie element that gave more mystery to the plot, achieved both by Sloane’s flashes of memories and the constant feeling of fear or danger telling her: you can’t hide.
Don’t even get me started with the ending because when I thought I’ve already got a good catch on the tell-all part of the story, just wait because there’s more! Gia Cribbs doesn’t know the meaning of moderation when it comes to surprises. It was like a storm after the calm, lightning and thunder came in rapid succession and I ended frozen on the spot asking the first and only question: “Did just that really happen?”, and before I knew it, another smacking blow of bombshell was revealed.
Gia Cribbs’ approach to the story was real. There were a lot of truth about being on Sloane’s character because she was able to demonstrate in her writing what kind of life a person who is under WITSEC has—being isolated, not feeling safe or having the dilemma of knowing one’s identity.
The story also had an undercurrent of issues on depression, suicide and especially the ongoing problem about gun violence where the author made an emphasis on how easy it is to make a mistake or how the consequences becoming permanent. For me, Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’, which was released, recently this month is a befitting song to highlight a significant, timely topic like this in this debut.
Moreover, the cover got a gorgeous depiction of Sloane’s character and the message the author wants to convey to her readers.
Perfect for the fans of the TV series, The Blacklist and In Plain Sight, The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan is a devious, sensational and a ready movie material debut with skillfully pulled off, tricky and well-crafted plot, ending the story in a chain of coherent twists, shock, and wonder. If you love suspense, thriller and a bit of romance, this one is a book to remember!
Thank you to Gia Cribbs for providing me a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review! Below, she will also be sharing the day she found out Sloane would be published.
I WILL never forget how I found out that THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SLOANE SULLIVAN would be published. Because when my agent, Steven Salpeter, called to let me know we had an offer, I missed the call.
I was at a school basketball game. It was hot and loud in the gym, and I wasn’t expecting any calls, so my phone was buried in my purse down by my feet on the bleachers. I’m also pretty sure Steven somehow managed to call during halftime, which was the loudest part of the whole game. And because I didn’t think anyone was going to call, I didn’t check my phone while I was at the game. Or when I was leaving. Or when I got into my car.
It wasn’t until I’d been driving for about five minutes that one of my daughters asked to turn on the audiobook we’d been listening to: HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter. I passed my phone back to her so she could get it started and she said, “Oh, you missed a call.” When I asked her the number, she rattled one off that started with a 212 area code. Then she said, “There’s a message, too.”
I know the 212 area code. I have family who live in New York City. And of course it could’ve been one of them calling. But a tiny voice in my head said maybe it’s Steven. I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. During the submission process, Steven had been updating me through email. If he was the one who called, I figured it was either really good news or really bad news. And because I was driving to the restaurant my kids picked for a celebratory dinner for one of their accomplishments, I couldn’t check my phone for another ten minutes.
Those ten minutes felt like one hundred.
When I finally got to the restaurant, the semi-fast food kind where you order at the counter and they bring the food to your table after they’ve cooked it, I sent my kids into the restaurant with my husband and listened to the message. It was Steven, and he said something like, “Call me when you get the chance.”
It was really good news.
I don’t remember most of the conversation, but I do remember being so nervous and amazed and excited that my hands were shaking so much I could barely hold my phone. I was so jittery that I got out of the car and started pacing around it just to release some of that nervous energy. And that’s when I saw the hungry faces of my family staring at me from the restaurant’s windows, wondering what was taking me so long when I was only supposed to be listening to a message. I waved them back outside as I got off the phone, told them the good news, and we all did a little happy dance in the parking lot. Then we went inside where the person taking orders told us their stove had just run out of gas and they had no way of cooking anything (not surprisingly, the restaurant closed about a month later). Nothing was going to wipe that smile off my face though, and now we had even more to celebrate, which is how we ended up at home eating ice cream for dinner.
And I still celebrate all good book news with ice cream.
About The Author:
Gia Cribbs is an author and lawyer who lives in Maryland with her husband and daughters. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, eating too much chocolate, or fantasizing about her next vacation.
Each post on the tour contains a bold underlined word in all caps. Email all 6 keywords to firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to win the prize below: 2 custom @novellyyours candles, a silver Charleston-related necklace (a scene takes place there), and a book nerd enamel pin pic.twitter.com/55qezBTjen
— Gia Cribbs (@GiaCribbs) May 21, 2018