Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a TBR jar pick and a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist… When turned out to be a pleasant surprise even though there were a few things that irked me. And I can definitely understand the hype around The Vanishing Half now!

Title: When
Author: Victoria Laurie

Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller
First published: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Finished reading: November 22nd 2020
Pages: 336

“I was like a whirlpool of tragedy, and anybody who dared to get too close to me could get sucked in and drown. Like I was drowning right now.”


I’ve had When on my TBR for a long long time… I remember adding it as soon as I read the blurb as I loved the premise of this story, but somehow it took my TBR jar choosing it to finally pick up this title. I’m glad I finally did read it, as it turned out to be a really interesting story. I still think the premise itself is fantastic. I mean, imagine being able to see the deathdate of every single person you meet in your life, or even knowing someone who can… Would you want to know when exactly you die? Should you tell others or keep it a secret? This moral dilemma is fascinating and definitely one of the key points that makes this story stand out. The whole crime/murder angle also adds extra suspense to the story, and there are lots of other darker topics involved including addiction, alcoholism, false imprisonment and bullying. It makes for an interesting mix of different elements and genres, although I do have to say that there were quite a few cliches involved too and I actually guessed one of the big reveals right? I still think it’s a very entertaining read though and I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre and doesn’t mind a few cliches thrown in.

Title: The Vanishing Half
Author: Brit Bennett

Genre: Historical Fiction
First published: June 2nd 2020
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Finished reading: November 27th 2020
Pages: 350

“People thought that being one of a kind made you special. No, it just made you lonely. What was special was belonging with someone else.”


There has been a lot of hype around The Vanishing Half ever since it came out a few months ago, and I have been curious about this title ever since I read the first review… And I most definitely understand why so many rave about this story now. I mostly picked up my copy because I hadn’t read any of the Goodreads Choice Awards historical fiction finalists yet (still can’t believe it myself as it’s one of my favorite genres), and I’m glad I did as it turned out to be a very powerful read. Sure, the pace was a tad too slow for me in my current reading mood, but somehow I ended up being blown away by the sheer impact of this story anyway. The twin sisters each taking their own direction in life, the family bond, the fact that this story spans more than one generation, the brilliant character development, the focus on race and the lgbt community in those eras discussed… There were so many different elements to love, and this is one of those stories that will stay with me for quite some time. Historical fiction fans who enjoy a strong cast of characters and a focus on family as well as social issues will have a fantastic time reading The Vanishing Half.

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