Once Upon a Bookshelf – The Disappearance of Emily H.

The Disappearance of Emily H.The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Raine and her mother move around a lot. After being in 5 different schools in 3 years, Raine hopes that Yielding is a place that will stick. They move into a bright pink house that is full of mystery. The family that lived there before suffered a loss – their daughter Emily disappeared one night on her way to a sleepover. Raine is special, though. She collects memories that she finds all over town in an attempt to solve the mystery that has been plaguing the town for months.


Emily isn’t missing and she isn’t dead. Using her powers and tips from neighbors and classmates, the discovers that Emily has been living in her basement this whole time! She’s been hiding from a high school arsonist that is out to get her because she knows his secret. Raine uses her abilities to help her out but it’s not before they are both put in a terribly dangerous situation.

My favorite part of this book was the mystery. With all of the sneaking about and the small hints at Emily’s fate, it’s hard not to be involved with the case. The subtle hints about the fires and the small memories that seem like nothing can easily draw you in once you start connecting the dots.

You can never go wrong with stories about overcoming bullies, too. Jennifer (the bully) is an awful person and even though we don’t really know why, we do find her weakness and Raine and her new friend, Shirlee, take matters into their own hands to bring her down.

Despite this being a mystery/sci-fi kind of story, it also has heart. Raine is standoffish at first, trying her best to make no friends because she thinks her mom will make them move again after her next boyfriend messes things up, but by the end she’s created friendships with people that she didn’t even realize would be important to her.

The whole collecting memories thing was actually pretty cool, but I wish there would have been more of a backstory to that, other than her grandmother having that ability too. I want to know more about the origins and how and why it came about.

Overall, I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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