Rummanah Aasi
Description: Four months ago: Sara Zapata’s best friend disappeared, kidnapped by the web of criminals who terrorize Juàrez.

Four weeks ago: Her brother, Emiliano, fell in love with Perla Rubi, a girl whose family is as rich as her name.

Four hours ago: Sara received a death threat…and her first clue her friend’s location.

Four minutes ago: Emiliano was offered a way into Perla Rubi’s world—if he betrays his own.

In the next four days, Sara and Emiliano will each face impossible choices, between life and justice, friends and family, truth and love. But when the criminals come after Sara, only one path remains for both the siblings: the way across the desert to the United States.

Review: Disappeared is an intense thriller and an eye opening read. The novel chronicles the lives and decisions of the Zapata siblings. The story is told in dual perspectives and are both equally suspenseful and  nail biting as Sara and Emiliano are constantly faced with making tough decisions and the line between right and wrong is unclear. 
 The book kicks off with Sara Zapata's best friend, Linda's disappearance and being an another victim of human trafficking. Sara, a rising-star reporter at Juarez, Mexico's El Sol newspaper, is determined to find her and shine a light on Juarez's missing and murdered girls, the Desaparacidas. Sara is a terrific investigator with a very strong moral compass and she is dismayed when she discovers that the Mexican State Police has a deep connection to sex slavery. As she pursues the truth and writes her findings in El Sol, she receives numerous death threats that puts her family in danger, but Sara has an obligation to her best friend and to the families of the Desaparacidas. 
  We follow Sara's younger brother Emiliano in the second story line. Emiliano is an entrepreneur with great people and business skills. If given the opportunity, he can become a very successful businessman. He is networking and trying to make a better life for their family and be considered worthy of his wealthy girlfriend. Above anything Emiliano does not want to become his father, who abandoned his family in order to pursue his dreams in the United States while leaving his struggling family behind. When Emiliano is tapped to undertake a new business venture that will financially secure his family and his place in his girlfriend's life, Emiliano must decide is the comfortable life worth his soul.
  Disappeared is an emotional and complicated thriller. It really reminded me of the movie Sicario which takes the viewer behind the scenes of the drug cartels in Mexico. The book takes place over the course of seven harrowing days and includes betrayal, desperate escapes, a dangerous trek across the desert in order to cross the border into the United States. I appreciated that Stork did not shy away from the intricate and pervasive corruption in Juarez as the city tries to rebuild itself after the horrifying aftermaths of drug cartels. The lines between right and wrong are constantly blurred throughout the book. Making the 'right' decision can bring you constant pain and danger and the 'wrong' decision can bring you security and comfort. Both Sara and Emiliano have a very hard time making decisions for themselves given their loyalty to their family and friends. The book also provides readers a reason why immigration is such an important topic and so complex. Though the book ends on a hopeful and open note for the Zapata siblings, I don't think we are done from hearing them yet. I would like to know what happens next and what path has their decision taken them.  

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, underage drinking, and mentions of drug cartels and human trafficking in the book. Recommended for strong Grade 8 readers and up.

If you like this book try: City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
4 Responses
  1. Sounds like a thrilling book. Thanks for highlighting it.

  2. I love books that educate... especially in these times. Oh I do think this is a book I need to read or at least recommend though you! :D

  3. Kindlemom Says:

    I can see why this would be emotional with the subject matter. It does sound really good and I like that it has dual point of views. Great review for this, I think I will look into it more!

  4. This one sounds fantastic! Adding it to my TBR list now!

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