Paperback, 336 pages.
Release date:May 1st 2014.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Three years ago, thirteen-year-old Danny Geller vanished without trace.
His family and friends are still hanging on to every last shred of hope. Not knowing if he's alive or dead, their world is shrouded in shadows, secrets and suspicions.
This is the story of what happens when hope comes back to haunt you. When your desperation is used against you. When you search for the truth – but are too scared to accept the reality staring you in the face...
A mesmerizing psychological thriller with the most incredible twist you'll read all year.
Long-hidden secrets and lives built on lies are the order of the day in Now You See Me, an engagingly-written pulled-from-the-headlines psychological thriller from debut novelist Emma Haughton.
Danny and Hannah have pretty much been best friends since birth, so when Danny goes missing without a trace, age thirteen, Hannah feels as though her world will never be the same again. It’s true that Danny had been distant in the months before his disappearance, but at the time, Hannah put this down to growing up and growing apart. After Danny’s disappearance Hannah wonders if something more might have been going on in Danny’s life, something bad, maybe a secret that he didn’t feel he could share with her, but she’s clueless as to what Danny might have been hiding.
Life’s not easy for Hannah. Her mum has recently died, her best friend is missing, and her dad, lost in his own grief, is barely ever home. But Hannah is resilient, and little by little, she moves on with her life, all the while maintaining ties with Danny’s family, in particular his adorable sister Alice. Three years on, Danny’s parents are constantly stressed; things have been strained since Danny disappeared, and Hannah knows that things will only get worse if Danny is ever found, because she’s sure that after all this time, Danny can’t be alive.
Thing is, though, in a wish come true, Danny is alive. But you know what they say about being careful what you wish for? Yeah, that too.
When Danny went missing, he was a boy. Now, back in Hannah’s life at sixteen, Danny is all grown up. At first, Hannah barely recognizes this new taller, scruffier Danny, but then she looks into his eyes, and she sees the boy she used to know. Even so, though Danny still calls Hannah by her childhood nickname, it’s pretty clear that he no longer wants to be friends with her. He no longer wants to hang out with Alice either, even though three years previously, they were super close siblings. Old Danny was into sports, specifically swimming, but New Danny, well, all he wants to do is cause trouble, bunk off school and smoke cigarettes. Danny declares that he remembers nothing of the three years he spent away from home; not where he was, what he did, or who he met. But Hannah isn’t so sure that Danny is telling the whole truth. In fact, as times goes on and Danny sneaks out night after night, she thinks that every word that comes out of Danny’s mouth might just be a big fat lie.
Like most thrillers, Now You See Me contains a clever plot twist or two, and so for that reason, if you plan on reading this one, it’s best to do so without knowing all that much about the storyline past the fact of Danny’s disappearance and the fact that he has a dark side when he returns. Unfortunately for me the real life events that inspired this book are noted in the press release, and so I knew what was going on with Danny from the get go. Actually, I guessed the story behind Now You See Me after reading the blurb. Nonetheless, I found this UKYA to be a very enjoyable read –it’s especially perfect for anyone who enjoyed Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie- and knowing what I know of the origin story, it was interesting to see how the author dropped clues here and there and dealt with certain aspects of Danny’s return. I can’t say much more without spoiling the story, but I will be very interested to see if readers who are not familiar with the true story behind Now You See Me will figure out the truth behind Danny’s lies.