Friday, March 4, 2022

Book Review: "Vanish Me" by Lee Matthew Goldberg

In Vanish Me, a teenage girl’s search for her missing mother, a former musician, helps her find herself, too.

One great reading discovery I made last year was the Runaway Train trilogy by Lee Matthew Goldberg. I read the first two books, Runaway Train and Grenade Bouquets, last year, and this was the last book in the series.

The first two books took place in the mid-1990s and followed Nico, a rebellious teenager who leaves home following her older sister’s death and, after some fits and starts, becomes a musician. She falls prey to the pitfalls of fame and drug and alcohol addiction, but she becomes a real star as well. The books really captured the music and feel of the 1990s.

Vanish Me takes place in 2014. Nico has gone missing and her estranged teenage daughter, Love, decides to try and find her mother after finding her old diary. She and her two best friends set off for Los Angeles in an attempt to track down anyone who might know where Nico could have gone.

The story alternates between Nico’s journal entries before and after Love was born, and Love’s attempts to find her mother. In trying to understand the challenges Nico faced and the pain she inflicted on others along the way, Love also begins to understand herself a little better, and tries to figure out what she might want from her own life as well as her mother, if they find her.

This was a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. I really enjoyed Love’s character and how her journey tied up a lot of loose ends from the previous book. Nico’s journal entries definitely gave more insight into why she was the way she was, but still underscored her selfishness. This was a well-told, poignant, fun journey, with lots of good music references thrown in.

Thanks to Suzy Approved Book Tours, Wise Wolf Books, and Lee Matthew Goldberg for inviting me on the tour for this book and providing a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review!!

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