Review: When We Vanished by Alanna Peterson [Evil food corps, mad scientists and deep-friendship]

When We Vanished by Alanna Peterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Read this review on Goodreads.

I’m giving this book 4 stars.
Thank you NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I did not regret reading this book.

’Baba said if I was lost…I just need to play my flute, and they’ll find me.’

After I read the description, then, read the book, it was not what I had expected. The book was very fast-paced and very enjoyable! It’s a quick read, so I finished this in two sittings.

This book is about a girl whose father was a test subject in a food-company’s experimental lab. She wants to find him after there were rumors about the company, but her plan to rescue her father didn’t play out the way she wanted it to.

What I liked about this book:

The Characters
1) Andi She was a very well-fleshed-out character! Her desire is to find her father in the research facility. Her relationships with all the other characters: Roya, Cyrus, Tara Snyder and Naveed were very realistic. She was a lovable protagonist.
2) Cyrus I love this character! He is Naveed’s younger brother, and he is a coding prodigy. I enjoyed being on the character’s journey throughout the book, and he seems to be this geeky and sweet boy that wants to impress people. I love that trope.
3)Naveed I didn’t end up liking Naveed that much. I understand his reason for withstanding Dr Snyder’s plans, but I believe he shouldn’t have been that dogmatic. (Well, that’s just my opinion.) He has a lot of backstory with his girlfriend, Brooke, and he was very fleshed-out as well.
4) Roya The eight-year-old girl, sister to Naveed and Cyrus. She is so adorable! I obviously enjoyed the chapters that were in her point of view, since she is so childish, and it would be very interesting to see things in a child’s perspective. I like the faith she puts into saving her brother, Naveed and how the flute is special to her.
5) Tara Snyder The evil/mad scientist takes shape in a blonde woman. She actually turned out to be my favorite character. Many villains often come out flat and unreasonable, but she is the complete opposite. She has a reason behind her actions, and a very in-depth backstory that kinda justifies her actions. She is as fully fleshed-out as the other characters, and I absolutely adored her as a character, but obviously not as a person. 😉

The crows
Alanna Peterson does a good job in foreshadowing the crows’ role in the story. At the start of the book, the crows start dying mysteriously, and I absolutely adored Roya’s relationship with the black birds. She obviously has a very deep love for these animals (and the EcoCows as well). The foreshadowing wasn’t for nothing, and it played a huge role in the story.

Multiple POVs
The book circles around the POVs of the four main characters of the story: Andi, Cyrus, Naveed and Roya. I adored Cyrus and Roya’s povs the most, but all of them were enjoyable.
Nearing the end of the book, Naveed’s pov temporarily shifts to verse. I felt that this was abrupt and out-of-place despite the well-written verse and poems. (But again, that is only my opinion)

And you thought that I would write this review without mentioning ROYA’S FLUTE? She has a very strong relationship with her wooden flute that Naveed carved. I love how much faith is restored in her after she receives the flute from the evil Dr Snyder. And the silver star charm is the cutest. Alanna Peterson did an amazing job in writing Roya’s pov as well!

And let’s get to the message this story carried out. This book obviously points out the truth about different food corporations in a very down-to-earth, yet poignant way. The story made us care for the characters, and go through this journey with the to learn the truth behind the gates of a enormous corporation. This message is successfully conveyed in the context and the plot of the story, and serves a good cause. I read ‘About the author’ in the end of the book. I really like how she wrote this book for a cause: to spread the word about evil food corporations; and wrote a compelling YA novel that can change people’s perspectives.

1) I was confused about the names of the parents in this story. Obviously, with many kids involved, the names of their parents had to be mentioned, but I couldn’t remember them all, and it was confusing at times.
2) I liked how Naveed’s pov temporarily shifts to verse, but I felt that it was out-of-place, and doesn’t fit the story. Though, the poetry was well-written
3) The book was very fast-paced in the start, but once it started reaching the 80% mark, the pace slowed down exponentially, and it made me skim for the last 20% of the book.


Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!
Would I read the sequel? The ending did not have much foreshadowing, and I initially though it was going to be a standalone, but I would definitely check out the sequel.
How did I pick this book up? I was scrolling through the ‘Read Now’ section in NetGalley since I was looking for a quick read. This book’s cover totally caught me. (In oppose to the saying ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover.’ But it’s absolutely gorgeous.)

View all my reviews

By Yanitta

Yanitta is a writer, blogger, reader, hard-working student, type 8 (Enneagram), big fan of FRIENDS, and a devoted plotter. When she is not writing, you can find her finishing off her homework, plotting her next murder mystery, researching random stuff on the internet, devouring a novel and doing a ton of extra-curriculars until late at night.

She runs the Write Between The Lines book blog as well as The Historical Chronicles blog with her brother.

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