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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Vanished Books Three & Four: Safe House, Sanctuary

Vanished: Safe House & Sanctuary - Meg Cabot Safe House: Much like the Mediator series, Vanished/1800WhereRU focuses more on character development before progressing with its main plot. There’s a little bit of leeway toward that direction particularly near the end of this book, but again, this is another volume of character development. I like the set-up in this. It’s interesting to see what happens when a missing person is someone Jess saw/sees on a near-daily basis and not to be informed of it until it’s too late to save them. There’s a real sense of frustration from everyone around her and her own self-consciousness. There’s also the fact that Jess really is in danger, and the killers know what will hurt her the most. She tries her best to keep protecting her family, particularly her brother Douglas, but knows that it’s not the easiest of jobs. The only change in her character in this is that I’m not completely a fan of Jess becoming more girly to improve her image and her temperament. There’s nothing wrong with being a tomboy, and aside from a few mentions of wardrobe, I don’t see how being more girly is deferment to standing up for yourself and your loved ones. As for her romance with Rob, it’s equal parts entertaining and frustrating. I like that Rob really wants to be with Jess, but his current probation and her being underage is enough for him to tone it down. I like that they both admit their mutual feelings to each other, but the circumstances mean that they have to stick it out for a little while longer. The frustrating part comes from the whole Grit/Townie situation that arcs throughout the series. Jess’s avoidance of introducing Rob to her family comes off as more wishy-washy, and I wished that she would just get over it.I like this a lot better than the second book, if only because it gets deeper inside of Jess’s head and how she reacts when a missing-person case hits close to home, in more ways than one. There is a small advancement in the plot, but aside from setting up the last arc, there’s really not much conflict to drive the story forward.Sanctuary: Like Safe House, the main plot of Sanctuary focuses on when the reality of what Jess does hits very close to home. She’s not as familiar with the Thompkins or Seth Blumenthal, but she still has to live up to a lot of people’s expectations in order to solve everything.I’m not as big of a fan of Dr. Krantz in this. He seems to be more of the meddling bureaucrat type, rather than having a natural affinity with Jess like Smith and Johnson had. I would have liked to have seen more of him, in particular, trying harder to get Jess to join his special team of psychics. The True Americans plot that drives the main mystery—it’s a little unsettling to read. The problem with Jess being that narrator is that she snarks her way through a situation, and it diffuses a lot of the tension, almost to the point of being overkill. (Like repeatedly mentioning how short Jim Henderson is.) However, the fact that people like the True Americans exist and given current events in the last few years (I won’t name specifics), it’s unsettling to read this book and remember that there’s not teen psychics taking these guys out. There’s also the whole topic of class prejudice brought to a point in this book as well, given the town’s attitude toward Grits and how they’re looked down on. It can border on the anvilicious, but at the same time, it does feel realistic in regards to the characters.I like the book, even if it ends abruptly. It’s a darker turn from the rest of the series, but still manages to keep Jess’s personality in check.