The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Teenage neighbors Lizzie and Evie are thick as thieves. When Evie disappears, Lizzie's world is shaken to its foundations. Who was driving the maroon car Lizzie saw circling the block when Evie was abducted and does he have a connection to Evie's disappearance? And will Evie be found alive?
I initally discovered Megan Abbott through her noir works like Queenpin, after hearing people mentioning her in the same breath as Christa Faust. While her latest books haven't been noir, she sure paints a dark picture of what life as a teenage girl is like.
The End of Everything is about what happens to a child's family after the child is abducted. The Ververs and their friends and neighbors cope in different ways. Mrs. Verver hits the pills. Dusty Verver, Evie's sister, gets even bitchier than normal. And Mr. Verver leans on Lizzie, the neighbor girl who happens to be Evie's best friend. And Lizzie takes it upon herself to unravel what happened.
Even in the suburbs, evil is afoot, something Lizzie gradually pieces together. She makes some questionable choices but I can't imagine things going a different way if I were in her place. Her dealing with Evie's disappearance makes The End of Everything something of a coming of age tale. The entire cast gets tossed into the crucible and not a one comes out unscathed.
This book reads like one of those cheesy Lifetime made for TV movies, only deadly serious and written by the literary offspring of S.E. Hinton and Richard Stark. To paraphrase something I've said before, I'd rather be an expendable partner in a Parker caper than be a teenage girl in one of Megan Abbott's novels.
There's not a whole lot more I can tell without spoiling any of the details. Things went down about the way I thought they would but that didn't make things any less chilling. If there's one thing I took from this novel, it's that I do not want to father girls. If you have a male child, you only have to worry about one penis. If you have a girl, you have to worry about all of them.
Four out of five stars. The Megster ran wild on me again this time.
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