Review - Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin
Narrated by Vanessa Johansson
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing / Hatchette Audio
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Date Read: January 29, 2019
Length: 352 pages / 8 hours 11 minutes
Source: NetGalley / Purchased
Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to 13 years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, with the right look, in the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.
My Review

I thought that this book was okay.  I really liked certain aspects of the book while I found other aspects less impressive.  This book found its way onto my reading schedule largely because the premise of the book was quite intriguing in addition to positive reviews from others.  I did find the story to be rather interesting and I am glad that I decided to give it a try.

Lainey is a rather tragic character.  As a child, Lainey was taken and held captive for three years.  She carries a lot of emotional scars from her ordeal in addition to her physical ones.  They have never caught her captor.  Lainey is really just getting by in her life.  She works a couple of entry-level jobs and lives in an apartment she can afford.  She uses chemicals to help herself deal with day to day life.

Everything changes when Lainey sees a poster for a missing girl.  She knows right away that this girl is connected to her case and she knows that the girl is in danger.  Lainey feels compelled to help find the girl before it is too late.  She finds herself working with the police and even her parents to get to the bottom of what has really happened.

I liked the basic story but had a few issues.  It seemed like everyone kept crossing boundaries with Lainey.  Not only did I hate seeing these things happen to Lainey, but they also didn't always feel authentic to me.  It never felt right that Lainey would have been given so much access to a case being actively investigated by the police.  She was anything but qualified!  I really had a hard time connecting with Lainey or any of the characters. 

I thought that Vanessa Johansson did a great job with the narration.  I think that this was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to her narration work and I really enjoyed the way she read the story.  She did a great job with various character voices and added a lot of intensity to the mystery. 

I do think that a lot of readers might like this one a bit more than I did.  I thought it was a compelling mystery with an interesting twist.  I wouldn't hesitate to read more of Nina Laurin's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.
 About the Author

Nina Laurin studied Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal, where she currently lives. She arrived there when she was just twelve years old, and she speaks and reads in Russian, French, and English but writes her novels in English. She wrote her first novel while getting her writing degree, and Girl Last Seen was a bestseller a year later in 2017. The follow-up, What My Sister Knew, came out in summer 2018 to critical acclaim. Nina is fascinated by the darker side of mundane things, and she's always on the lookout for her next twisted book idea.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter


  1. It's a pity you didn't enjoy it as much as you could have. I can have issues with realism in this kind of book so I understand what you mean about her access to the case.

    1. I liked the book but I just kept thinking that parts of it didn't seem realistic.

  2. not as thrilling as it should be you mean?

    1. It didn't really lack thrills. I just had some issues with the characters.

  3. What a chilling premise! It is hard to fully enjoy a book when you find parts unbelievable, though.

  4. I am glad you managed to get some enjoyment from the story despite the issues.

  5. Great cover. Sounds like one I would enjoy. Wish all books I read could be five stars. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. It sounds like a good synopsis, but I understand how you feel about a lack of realism in the story itself. Things like obviously made up police procedures irritate me too

    1. I just didn't feel like everyone would have let her run around like she did.

  7. Hmmm, it sounds good, but then it is so much you have to overlook

    1. A lot of readers liked it more than I did so give it might be worth a try.

  8. The premise sounds great but if they let her get involved other than as a witness the realism would be a problem for me also. Excellent review. Anne - Books of My Heart

  9. Sorry to hear this one wasn't excellent for you but glad you were able to enjoy it somewhat! It does have a super interesting premise, so I can see why you wanted to read it, and even that cover is a little freaky. It's hard though when you don't really connect with characters, and I always find it hard to overlook when the police just let people get involved in investigations!

  10. I like plots like this one but I do need them to be realistic. Unless it's a fantasy or horror. Then, anything goes. Sure has a great cover.

  11. It sounds like this one would be a good one for someone who was more so just breaking into the genre or who don't mind suspending their disbelief because it seems like some aspects to this one weren't realistic. You always have to be clever about how the investigator, if it's not their profession, ends up getting access to the information they do.

  12. I can suspend my disbelief quite a bit in books like this, but the issues you mention would probably give me pause too and put a damper on m enjoyment of it to some degree.

  13. What a neat cover! Sorry this one was a bit of a miss. I hope your next read was better!

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads


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