Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown

the-girl-last-seenBibliographic Information:

  • Publisher, Date: Albert Whitman & Company, 2016
  • Edition: First
  • Description: 260 pages; 22 cm
  • Interest Level: YA
  • Summary: Kadence Mulligan’s star was rising. She and her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, watched their songs go viral on YouTube, then she launched a solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren’s vocal chords. Everyone knows Lauren and Kadence had a major falling-out over Kady’s boyfriend. But Lauren knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. And nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with the disappearance. Or the blood evidence… As the town and local media condemns Lauren, she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the truth herself. Lauren slowly unravels the twisted life of Kadence Mulligan and sees that there was more to her than she ever knew. But will she realize she’s unknowingly playing a part in an elaborate game to cover up a crime before it’s too late?    
  • ISBN: 978-0-8075-8140-7
  • Subjects:
    • Music, writing – Fiction

Reader’s Annotation: Yeah, Kady’s tossed me aside when I couldn’t sing anymore, and yeah, I was really angry at her.  But mad enough to kill her, kill my best friend and partner; you bet I was.

Book Trailer:

Plot Summary:  Kadence Mulligan and Lauren DeSanto met in middle school when Kadence moved to the town.  They immediately bonded over music and formed a singing duet where Lauren wrote and played while Kady played and enchanted.  Kadence was the one who attracted all the attention but Lauren was the creative force behind the pair.  And when she lost her voice as a result of an infection she got in the wake of food poisoning, the relationship crashed and burned.  Kadence was primarily concerned with how this all impacted her and this lead to a conflict between the girls that escalated when Kadence learned that her boyfriend Mason had kissed Lauren. Then Kadence vanished and all the evidence pointed to Lauren being involved.  To clear her name and eventually the name of an old friend, Jude (Nathan), Lauren, Jude, and Mason try to solve the mystery of Kadence’s disappearance.  What they find shatters their worlds and changes things forever.

Critical Evaluation: This book is written in a first person style but from four different points of view.  Each chapter is written by one of the four major characters: Lauren, Jude, Mason, and Kadence (via computer entries).  This makes for a very interesting presentation of a story that is both current and timeless; a story of love, hate, betrayal and loyality.

The method of presentation is a good one in this case, with the perspectives knitted carefully together to create a compelling account of what can happen when you become friends with the wrong kind of person.  It also provides a good example of how quickly one person can destroy another person and how little effort is required to do so.  The two women who wrote the story have managed to blend their efforts seamlessly to create a story that compels the reader to read until they can read no more.  You want to know what happens next.  You want to know who did what.  Although no book is perfect, this one is an excellent effort toward perfection.

Author’s Brief Bio:  Heather Anastasiu is the author of the young adult sci-fi Glitch trilogy. She grew up in Texas but recently moved to Minnesota with her family. She teaches creative writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.  Anne Greenwood Brown is an attorney by day and young adult novelist by night. Her works include the paranormal mermaid trilogy: Lies Beneath, Deep Betrayal, and Promise Bound. She lives in Minnesota.

Genre Designation: Realistic Fiction or Mystery Fiction

Possible Curriculum Links:

  • Music
  • Blogging
  • Social relationships

Book Talk Ideas:  What would your best friend have to do for you to turn against them?

Materials Relating to Potential Challenges:



Why this book was selected. This book was one I had to read for Review and Evaluation so I included it in the blog.


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