May 5, 2020

When We Vanished

When We Vanished
by Alanna Peterson

Book: When We Vanished
Publisher: Rootcity Press
Pub Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Genre: Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: ARC
Book LinksGoodreads    

 When Andi Lin overhears details about a harmful research study at the food corporation Nutrexo, she’s instantly worried that her dad is involved. He left home to participate in one of the company’s clinical trials, and was in frequent contact at first—but her recent attempts to reach him have been met with silence.
Fearing he may be in danger, Andi sets out to investigate. She finds an unlikely ally in her neighbor Cyrus, whose mother once worked for Nutrexo and is hiding secrets of her own. Their search for answers leads them to the head scientist at Nutrexo’s confidential research facility, where they learn that the truth is more complicated—and more devastating—than they ever could have imagined.

My Review: Andi’s father signed up for a clinical trial with the food company Nutrexo but, over time, stopped responding. When Andi gets a chance to investigate this elusive company, she takes it.  She teams up with her neighbors, 3 siblings - Naveed, Cyrus, and Roya - to figure out exactly what’s going on and how their parents may all be connected to Nutrexo and its secrets. After their mission fails, the four teens/children end up kidnapped and held prisoner at the secluded SILO, where they are forced to participate in the company’s horrible experiments. As the clock ticks down to the global release of Nutrexo’s newest products, EcoCows and Compadre, the children are in a fight for the truth and their lives. 
I have to start by saying I loved this book. As an adult, I’ve strayed away from young adult books over the years, but this one brought me right back. The beginning of the novel was a little slow but, once the action got going, I was hooked. I was so invested in these characters and the struggles they faced that I couldn’t put the book down. The situation is frightening and complex, the characters are relatable, and I just HAD to see how everything played out. 
The book, despite its genre and generally light tone, is not always easy to read. The antagonist is seriously disturbed, a teenager is physically and mentally tortured, and the novel addresses capitalism, racism, and abuse. There is no happy ending for all or quick fixes to a world full of problems but I came away feeling satisfied. Honestly, I was probably even more satisfied than I would have been with a cookie-cutter ending because this was much more realistic. This book pulled no punches and provided a truly thrilling, young adult mystery. 
Alanna Peterson did a wonderful job with this novel. I will be happy to pick up whatever book she puts out next, and I highly suggest you do too. After you finish reading this one, of course.

My Rating:


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