by Sara Nickerson
I think this is the only graphic novel I've ever read. Well, it's not exactly a graphic novel, but the illustrations feature comics so heavily it felt like one. How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found is a convoluted little mystery. Its protagonist is twelve-year-old Margaret, whose family life is deteriorating. Her father's dead, her mother is seriously depressed and her annoying little sister is obsessed with jigsaw puzzles. When her mother drives them to a run-down mansion to stick a for-sale sign on the lawn, Margaret begins to solve a puzzle of her own. She comes across a package addressed to her mother containing an odd comic book, her father's championship swimming medal, and an old key. Together with a neighborhood boy who is a die-hard fan of the Ratt Man comics, she tries to unravel the mystery of her father's death and the story in the comics. The story jumps around a lot, switching viewpoints often, and the plot twists and turns so much I began to find it annoying, but it all wraps up in the end. Some aspects of the story were definitely strange- especially the bizarre library stocked only with hand-written books. There's also a ghost and a bit of a love story involved. A fun read, fast-paced and entertaining with lively descriptions, but I felt it was just a bit too complex given how short it is.
Rating: 3/5 ........ 288 pages, 2003