The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
Reagan Arthur Books, Little, Brown
July 7, 2011
Review copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:
The End of Everything is one of those quick reads that you just can't put down. Even though the subject matter is creepy-crawly with themes of bad deeds of evil doers.. it certainly held my attention. This is the story of two tween girls who have been best friends and neighbors for as long as they can remember, and were always like two peas in a pod. Lizzie and Evie shared their clothes, their lives, their thoughts with each other until that one untangible thing came along that Lizzie knew that Evie was hiding from her.
And then the unthinkable happens: Evie disappears pretty much into thin air and Lizzie is the last person to see her alive. Lizzie is bombarded with all the emotions at once, and still she knows that somehow Evie is out there, alive. Told in first person, we go through all of Lizzie's thoughts and suspicions as we follow Lizzie's life during those horrific weeks that Evie is gone. She spends time with Evie's grief stricken father, and even while Evie is gone she feels something a bit more for this Mr. Verver, which is creepy in itself. And then Evie's older sister Dusty is there, watching on the outside, making Lizzie and us readers feel that Dusty knows something, and we can't quite put our finger on it.
Lizzie at first helps the police, but then fabricates stories to the police as an effort to steer people in the direction of insurance agent Mr. Shaw, based on her hunch. Mr. Shaw's family is then turned inside out, as the police take any leads they can get. But as a reader we begin to question, is it really Mr. Shaw? Is all this for nothing? Did Evie jump in the lake? Did someone else take her? All these questions along with that gut-wrenching fear grip you as you read this book, and given its horrific subject matter of a young girl gone missing and what could happen to her as she is abducted, this is a story that is well-told. It was full of suspense and with its own weird twists that kept me guessing - making me think I should look up the author Megan Abbott's previous works.