The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

Rating: 4/5

“All the money, all the power—none of it compares to a good book. A book gives you everything. It gives you a window into other souls, other worlds.” 

The Plot:

While Stevie Bell may have solved the murder of her classmate, she now finds herself into a new brew of trouble as strange things keep occurring and before she can investigate, her parents pull her out of the academy for her own safety. They want her to move on from this obsession and focus on other things but Stevie feels isolated, disconnected, and alone. To add insult to injury, she finds herself thinking of David, the boy she kissed but also the boy who lied to her. Stevie doesn’t want to ever seen him again but when David’s father, Edward King makes a visit and wants Stevie to come back to the school to make nice with David. He tells her that he’s in the middle of a campaign and can’t afford for David to cause any trouble. If Stevie is there, he will make nice.

The prospect of returning to Ellington Academy is to exciting to turn down as Stevie knows she’s close to solving the murder. But, the path to truth is much more dangerous than before and Stevie must be careful or she could be next.

This novel takes a very unexpected turn that I didn’t see coming, I nearly gasped and threw my book but I loved it at the same time. The plot is what I love the most as it’s unique, entertaining and keeps you guessing what will happen next.

The characters:

So much growth for Stevie, I really enjoy her as a protagonist. She’s very real and relatable and I loved seeing her grown as a character. I felt for her when she was back home and feeling disconnected from everything as that can be really difficult and in addition to that, she felt hurt by David. I can’t say that I blame her for being hurt that he lied to her as I would feel the same. I already had a feeling that she would seen David soon and while David does improve and grow, I still can’t like him as much I liked Stevie. I did enjoy their banter and the dynamics that they have in this telling but I don’t buy the romance, it’s awkward and feels forced.

The writing:

Johnson’s writing is what I love the most. She knows how to write unexpected twists and turns in a way that you don’t even seen coming until it happens. I really enjoy how she’s able to create an atmosphere that’s so real and she does a great job with the dynamics between the characters. Overall, a very entertaining, edge of your seat thriller that keeps you wanting more!

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