This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed? —and the boy who's sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she's pretty sure she can get away with anything...until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette's house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A's and athletic trophies can't make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

ARC graciously provided by the publisher (and the author, because I'm nothing if not a professional beggar) in exchange for an honest review.

As Cait and I have recently found out, this year Simon and Schuster has set out to fill all our disappearing needs - or the lack thereof. For those who find themselves growing translucent against their will, S&S are publishing Clare Furniss's How Not To Disappear - a practical guide to regaining a corporeal form. (Or possibly it's a YA contemporary about teen pregnancy and familial ties. One of the two.) For those who have accidentally stumbled upon a crime scene and have to fashion themselves a new identity, Ann Reidich Stampler's How To Disappear offers the alternative.

Protagonist #1 - Nicolette Holland - a beloved, bubbly, popular girl - has stumbled upon a grizzly murder and promptly disappeared. 
Protagonist #2 - Jack Manx -  a son of a notorious criminal - has been sent to find at kill her.
Protagonist #1, as it turns out, isn't well-versed in disappearing. Which is just as well, because...
Protagonist #2 isn't well-versed in murder.

And this battle of need-versus-want in a life-versus-death situation is exactly six kinds of wonderful (all of which are hard facts, too - wait and see).

Fact #1: The world needs more YA mystery/thrillers. For those yet on the fence about it - How To Disappear is sure to gently, lovingly... push you off said fence right onto the mystery side. It's spooky and ominous there, and there are guns and devious schemes, but it has action and mindblowing plot twists and all the best parts of the fast-paced genres we all know and love.

Fact #2: Morally dubious gray-area protagonists are the best protagonists. Nicolette is the universally-beloved stepdaughter of a rumored crime lord. She loves nail polish, carbs, her best friend and chaotic pranks. Jack is the universally-feared son of a confirmed criminal. He loves the academics, books, pretty girls and his mother. Then Nicolette is forced to run for her life. And Jack is ordered to end it. If ever there was a situation to bring out the anti-hero in us all, it's the life-and-death, fight-or-flight one. And if ever there was a book chockfull of just that situation - it's How To Disappear.

Fact #3: Dual narrative can be all kinds of perfect. Many an author has yet to master dual narration. Ann Redisch Stampler is way ahead of the curve. Nicolette and Jack read exactly like what two teenagers on the wrong side of the law would read like. Their banter is clever, occasionally dramatic and more than occasionally hilarious. Each has their own voice. Each has their own values. And as all good duos do - they very often clash. Which is the best part, really.

Fact #4: Nicolette Holland wins the day. Through all their ingenious decisions and ridiculously bad moves, both Nicolette and Jack are lovable. But Nicolette. Ah, Nicolette is the special kind of lovable. The kind who doesn't see the world in cliques, but as people. The kind who never forgets to eat and joneses for a chocolate bar. The kind who stays in touch with a best friend even when it's the least safe option she has before her. The kind who loves her thin body just as well as her heavier one. The self-sufficient kind who believes in self-defense. The kind who sets things in motion. And the kind who always has a plan. And we all need to be a little bit more Nicolette when push comes to shove.

Fact #5: forbidden romance is perfection. Not that this needed to be said.

Fact #6: there's dynamite in the climax and it will blow your mind. You have been warned.

And a lie: you know exactly where this is going.

How To Disappear comes out June 14th 2016.

Talk to me, mystery champions! What's your favorite YA thriller/mystery? Do you feel like the YA market is finally giving more prominence to this subgenre, or is there still room for improvement? Leave us a comment below, or find us on social media, where we take over the world one subliminal message at a time.