Title: Now You See Me
Author: Emma Haughton
Genre: YA / Thriller
Description: Three years ago, thirteen-year-old Danny Geller vanished without a trace. His family and friends are still hanging onto 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…
Disclaimer: Review contains spoilers
I decided to pick this book up because I was in a reading slump and I find Crime/Thriller novels the best way to help me out of them. And this one has definitely helped.
I loved that the book was split into two, before the return and after. The first half of the novel jumps between Danny Geller going missing to three years into the future and shows how even though everyone has grown since the missing of Danny the fact he suddenly disappeared still affects them. His best friend Hannah feels lost without him and is trying to figure out any reason why he’d leave without a trace and not tell her. She blames herself. Danny’s mother blames herself. It’s a constant blame train.
I found at certain parts the writing became slow and I found that putting it down and leaving it for a while was the best thing to do but there were parts where I just couldn’t put the book down.
So let’s talk about the obvious: Danny comes home. The minute Danny returns there’s something totally off about him, from Hannah’s previous narrative about Danny you can tell that this Danny is changed and nothing like the Danny we’d thought we’d see. At first you believe that because he’s been missing for three years, possibly kidnapped that it’s understandable, but then as the story goes on Danny gets worse. He pushes away Hannah and he starts becoming cruel. Hannah couldn’t understand how her best friend could change so drastically. And of course she is the only one to notice it, and so she has to investigate. The truth is what is the most scary of all. Danny isn’t Danny. This boy standing in front of her isn’t who he says he is. And I honestly never saw it coming. Danny returned but it was never Danny in the first place. The reveal of Danny not being Danny but a French 22-year-old named Eric was no what I expected. I honestly thought Danny had got himself involved with something so he was pushing everyone away to protect them. Could I have been more wrong? Then things start to make sense, why Danny dropped swimming, why he treated people the way he did, why he didn’t seem to really care about his exams etc etc.
There was even more plot twists to come into play, at first I thought there was going to be a reveal that Alice, Danny’s younger sister, was going to be the daughter of Danny’s mum and Hannah’s dad, but I was wrong to think that. But Danny does have another sister, a half one. It’s Hannah. It’s revealed that the rift that came between Paul, Martha and Hannah’s dad is because Hannah’s mum had an affair with Paul just before Hannah was born. Hannah is Paul’s daughter. And this all came to light when it was revealed that the person Hannah thought was her dad couldn’t have children.
There was some parts of the story that I wished weren’t as dragged along as they were like how Hannah’s mother died. I felt that it was really unnecessary to drag it out so long. I can understand why the author left the reveal to were it was because it put Hannah in the position of her mother and gave her the strength to save herself and Eric.
Eric subtly reveals that he and Danny do know each other and that Danny is alive somewhere and yet leaves so many unanswered questions. The reason why he decided to become Danny was because he wanted to understand what it felt to have a family as he had lost his mother at a young age and never knew his father. And it wasn’t the first time he had done it. I find this shocking because it shows that you really can’t trust anyone, the person right in front of you could turn out to be a stranger.
The epilogue was great yet I feel myself wanting more. Danny and Hannah reunite. Hannah secretly goes to France to go and meet Eric to talk about what happened to Danny and everything before Eric disappeared back to France. And to say thank you Eric makes Danny go to the hotel which Hannah is staying at and they’re reunited. But I feel like I don’t know anything on the real reason why Danny disappeared and why he never returned home. From what Eric says Danny definitely has a reason but what is that reason? I have no idea. I really wanted to see Hannah and Danny rekindle their friendship and talk about their problems and this new information about them being half siblings come into light but I guess I’ll have to figure out everything myself.
It was definitely a good read.