The Missing Season – Gillian French

Gillian French is the author of The Lies They Tell and Edgar Award finalist Grit, which was an Indie Next List pick and received starred reviews from Kirkus and ALA Booklist. She holds a BA in English from the University of Maine and lives in Hermon, ME, with her husband and sons.

From the author of Edgar Award finalist Grit and The Lies They Tell comes a tense, atmospheric novel for readers of E. Lockhart and Marieke Nijkamp about friendship, truth, and the creeping fears that can’t be outrun.

Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the Pender kids know what is really behind it: a horrific monster out in the marshes they have named the Mumbler.

That’s what Clara’s new crew tells her when she moves to town: Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing; spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year’s Halloween prank war; and magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist.

Clara doesn’t actually believe in the Mumbler. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender, lurking in the shadows, waiting to bring the stories to life.



Like Gillian’s previous novels, this new story is set in a small working-class Maine town with a colorful cast of characters and an unsettling past. Readers will savor the pressure that builds as relationships are tested, secrets are revealed, and safety is called into question.

When Clara first moves to town, she is immediately charmed by the gang of weirdos who skip class to hang out by the old skate park. Soon enough, she is taking part in their prank wars, their banter, and all of their teenage chemistry that the author has so perfectly captured.

Clara and Kincaid have incredible chemistry, made all the more powerful by the fact that he seems so off-limits. But as the two characters are drawn together, the stakes only feel higher.

Pender is like so many other towns in America—a small factory town with a failing economy confronting unemployment and drug abuse—a setting we rarely see in YA fiction. Once again, Gillian has perfectly captured this unglamorous but very realistic setting.

We were absolutely mesmerized by the beauty, emotion, and heart in Gillian French’s writing. From the setting to the characters to the storyline, the story absolutely buzzes with life. It’s moving, raw, commercial, and literary all at once!

Gillian has been building her profile over the years. Her first novel, Grit, was an Edgar Award finalist, a 2017 Indie Next List pick, and a JLG selection and received starred reviews in Kirkus and ALA Booklist. Her second, The Lies They Tell, was chosen as a Target Epic Reads pick. Her tightly wound, beautifully written stories fit perfectly into the current market hungry for thrillers, and we can’t wait to watch her fly higher!

On Sale Date: May 21, 2019 – HarperTeen

One thought on “The Missing Season – Gillian French”

  1. Thank you so much for this amazing review! You really give me hope for the overall reception of the book–and I truly appreciate all the kind words!

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