May 30, 2016

Blog Tour Book Review: How To Disappear by Ann Redisch Stampler

at 5/30/2016 12:00:00 AM

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything...until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

“What a thrill ride! How to Disappear will suck you in from the very first page and never let you come up for air. It’s a game of cat and mouse with an end that will leave you gasping.”
— April Henry, bestselling author of The Girl I Used to Be

“A deliciously gritty dive into the dark side of human nature! This book pretty much defines #MorallyComplicatedYA in a beautifully-written but fast-paced read that’s both twisted and thought-provoking.”
— Martina Boone, award-winning author of the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review (mucho thanks S&S)*

It started with a murder and leads to a cat and mouse chase. Nicolette is the typical high school girl. Lots of friends and super popular among the student body. One day a young woman is murdered by her house, which prompts her to go on the run. Because she knows too much? Or because she was a party to the murder itself? Nicolette runs away from home and is on the run. Paranoia rules her mind and actions. (Girl, don’t you know that running from the scene of the crime is practically an admission of guilt?) It turns out her paranoia is not unfounded. Jack Manx is from a family with a close association with murder and crime. His brother Don (currently serving time in prison) gives him the task of hunting Nicolette down and silencing her. Supposedly Nicolette killed a friend of theirs (Connie) and might know a little too much about something that the mafia don’t want anyone else knowing. (okay….) Jack is certainly not in a hurry to accept such a job; seeing as he is trying to be on the straight and narrow, but when his family is threatened, he has no choice. The alternating POVs give the reader a better understanding of what is going on in Nicolette and Jack’s minds. While I do applaud Stampler’s overall story, I did take away half a star for the underlying romantic theme. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a romantic, but why would you fall for a girl who supposedly killed a friend of yours? And why would a girl fall for her would-be killer? Granted both Nicolette and Jack come from semi-broken homes and starved for love and attention, but seriously? That was just too much. Overall, I did enjoy this book. I enjoyed the psychological aspects of this book immensely. How far are you willing to go for the ones you love? When it comes down to your own survival, are you willing to kill? Kudos, Ann. 
4.5 stars!
"A high-intensity, cross-country thrill ride that will have you breathlessly turning pages until the very end." 
— Gretchen McNeil, award-winning author of Ten and the Don't Get Mad series)

Author Bio

Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. How to Disappear (Simon Pulse, 2016), her first young adult thriller, will be released on June 14, 2016. Ann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Rick.

Connect with Ann!

Pre-order Giveaway

Order a signed copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR before June 14th, 2016 and you’ll receive a swag pack with your book order.

With your signed book, you’ll receive a bookmark; the tiny flashlight from Nicolette’s escape kit; Nicolette Holland and Cat Davis’ (fake!!!) ID's; and one skeleton key in a pretty tulle bag (there are lots of different kinds of keys) that Nicolette used to unlock the doors at the Bluebonnet.

To receive your swag, order your copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR online at and in the Order Comments field, enter a name if you would like to have the autograph personalized, or "signature only" if no name is required.

If you pre-order an electronic copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR, forward your receipt or proof of purchase to with the name & address where you’d like your goodies sent.

Offer valid in the only in the United States. 


fishgirl182 on June 7, 2016 at 12:07 PM said...

Ahhhh I need to get on this one, stat! I haven't read a good thriller in a while. Awesome review, Lisa!


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