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Island of Lost Girls

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  7,426 ratings  ·  922 reviews
While parked at a gas station, Rhonda sees something so incongruously surreal that at first she hardly recognizes it as a crime in progress. She watches, unmoving, as someone dressed in a rabbit costume kidnaps a young girl. Devastated over having done nothing, Rhonda joins the investigation. But the closer she comes to identifying the abductor, the nearer she gets to the ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2008)
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The initial premise of this novel seems quite intriguing and promising but it very quickly degenerates into a very clichéd and mundane story. This is a book of two stories, the first that of a little girl abducted by someone dressed as a rabbit. The witness has a second story of her childhood experiences when another adult who dressed as a rabbit disappeared, along with his daughter. The story of the modern day abduction felt incredibly contrived and extremely far-fetched, and it felt like the a ...more
This book was just as awesome as the other one I've read from Jennifer. I would recommend these books to anyone who likes a good mystery, since both times I thought I had it figured out but then I turned out to be all wrong. And I love it when that happens!! Hopefully she will continue to come up with such amazing stories.
May 26, 2008 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sandra
I recently read a positive review of this novel and picked it up at a local bookshop. The main character, Rhonda, is filling her car with gas at a local gas station and witnesses a person dressed in a rabbit costume abduct a 6 year old girl while the girl's mother is inside the station buying lottery tickets. Riddled with guilt over her failure to take action, Rhonda becomes obsessed with aiding in the search for the little girl and does an investigation of her own. At the same time, Rhonda conf ...more
Pete Sikora
Sep 28, 2008 Pete Sikora rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: book marketing people
When you walk into some restaurants, you know they're designed by consultants. That's this book's feel - assembled from a marketing menu.

(reader note: I am revealing a plot detail - stop now if you care) Just like with a restaurant consultant bringing in mini-burgers, we get the short chapters... we get the carefully designed cover... we get the molested kid. And we get the faux-suspense, with a set-up for twists at the end. Alas - the last fifty pages suck too.

The two minutes it will take you
Edited to change misinformation. While it did not change from first to third person it still was not written well and the story was not done well.

That should only be 1.5 stars and that is being generous. The main character, Rhonda, is just annoying. She's been pining away after Peter, her childhood friend since she was eleven, but she's twenty three now and has made no move to get a life. She's just graduated from college and is getting gas when she sees a person dressed in a bunny suit abduct a
I'm just starting this book but I'm finding myself stuck on this: "Trudy's nails were no joke. They were two inches long, filed to points, and showed off a fresh coat of reddish orange that reminded Rhonda of a bleeding Creamsicle."

Ummm... What? is that supposed to be a real person?


This was a quick and easy read for me. The plot was not terribly simple and only slightly predictable. This is certainly not a piece of literary art. However, it's interesting enough to be a good way to
Sara Strand
Now, I've reviewed another book by this author and I was blown away. I will say that this book captured me right away and I really like how this author creates a story line and builds characters. I may not always like the character (and truth be told I felt like punching Rhonda for being a whining baby about everything and is just too "woe is me" for me to like her.) but I like the role they play in the story.

I felt this book really captured the fascination of child abductions and it made you fe
Luckily, there's no sophomore slump here. If anything in her new novel, Jennifer McMahon's writing is even more assured. She brings back many of the elements of mystery and memory that made her debut PROMISE NOT TO TELL such as success.

Rhonda Farr never expected to get caught in the middle of a crime. On her way to a job interview, sitting in her car at the gas station, she watches as someone in a big white rabbit costume grabs a young girl from a nearby car. Confused by the absurdity of the inc
This book was hard to get into at first, but it ends up being a decent little mystery that I couldn't put down for the last 50 or so pages. A young woman witnesses a kidnapping but does nothing to stop it. Her guilt sends her on the quest to find the kidnapper (who happens to be dressed as a rabbit) who she worries might be her childhood love. The book alternates between the present (2006) and the past (1993), to a memorable summer that slowly unravels clues to the mystery. There really are two ...more
I was fortunate enough to get a galley of this thoroughly engrossing novel (scheduled for release in May.) It is the best kind of mystery, one that explores not only the who dunnit, but probes deeply into the dark questions of the human heart.
Jun 07, 2012 S rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
This book is a bit hard to rate. Parts of it were good, parts were... not so good. The description led me to believe that there would be some sort of strong tie-in between two separate disappearances, but it hardly even got into one of them. I was certain of at least part of the conclusion from nearly the beginning, though a part of it surprised me. Two of three twists/surprises I had figured out from a few chapters in. The last left me feeling meh. And I did have a major problem with part of th ...more
"Alice in Wonderland" was a book that I enjoyed in my childhood, but that somehow creeped me out. There is something very unnatural about someone named the Mad Hatter, who, by the way, will be played by Johnny Depp in an upcoming version (run to your local theater and see "Public Enemies"). While some kids (and adults) just fell into this world with no problem, the analytical side of me did not really want to read about a cat who smiled all the time and about two creatures named Tweedledum and T ...more
Jacki Potratz
I really wanted to like this as much as her first book Promise Not to Tell (2007), but I was kind of disappointed because it wasn't difficult to figure out the twists and turns of the plot. It's not fun to read a 'whodunit' if you know who it is by page 30...
I am so scared of kidnappings and that sort of thing, but then I read books like this. Picked this up at one of those read and returns at the airport. It was ok
I read another book by McMahon, 'Promise Not to Tell' and from what I remember, as it was quite some years ago, I enjoyed it. So I thought I would give this one a try too. I wish I hadn't.

Rhonda is sitting at a gas station, waiting for her car to fill up, when she sees a 6' tall, white rabbit abduct a little girl from the back of a car. She doesn't realize what really happened in front of her until it is too late. Now ridden with guilt, she dedicates her time to helping find this little girl, al
Jennifer McMahon seems to be one of those writers who gets better with time or age. Since I have been reading her books out of chronological order, it's a bit disorienting, but her debut novel was an ok read, this sophomore effort a bit better and Dismantled was significantly better, which, of course, leaves a reader excited to watch this author's progress and looking forward to new books. McMahon has a schtick that works for her and her books are all a variation of the tightly knit circle of fr ...more
Reviewed for Eclectica's July issue. Will post link to the review when it is up. Here's a snippet:

With each stop at the gas station, false directions are given towards home. The symbolic nature of "Peter Pan", loves lost, and forests which slowly rot away from the truth lying beneath the floor all work to pull you into this sheer force of plot and character driven narrative. I recommend you dock your senses at the nearest island located between fantasy and reality before taking a hike on this t
So, this is the last McMahon that I had put on ereserve (whew). This was better than Don't Breathe a Word, about the same as Winter People (but different). I still maintain that Promise Not to Tell is the best. The rest of these are just middling-murder books. On a side note, my 12 year old is just loving them.

This one was still not quite believable (I thought the whole Pat as the Rabbit was just unrealistic) for the whodunit, but the overall story was compelling. I wasn't sure why Peter didn't
This book was a bit of a mess. In my quest to find another author of a good thriller I stumbled upon this book which I was assured was on the same level as a Chevy Stevens novel. Let me assure you that this is indeed not anywhere near that level. In fact I suspect that Chevy Stevens could write a more thrilling grocery list than this. I should have known anything that starts with someone being kidnapped by a dude in a bunny suit just doesn't have the makings of a good thriller. I was willing to ...more
I read Promise Not to Tell just last week, and liked it enough to pick up Island of Lost Girls immediately after finishing the first one. I loved them both, but liked this one a little better. "Island" follows the same format of "Promise", flipping back and forth between the past and the present, with a whole web of secrets and mysteries connecting the two. In the present day (2006), 23-year-old Rhonda witnesses a little girl getting kidnapped at a local gas station one summer day, and subsequen ...more
This was my pick for next month in my book group--and I hope my fellow groupies like it as much as I did.

Being an attorney that represents abused/neglected children, I always find myself interested in 'missing kid' books. But this book was more than just a 'missing kid' book--it was about the loss of physical childhood and emotional childhood. The book focuses on 2 'lost girls'--one in present time, and one in the past (who just happens to be the protagonist's childhood best friend).

I noticed so
The Island of Lost Girls takes place in a small community where two girls have gone missing, but more than twenty years apart. The story is told from Rhonda's perspective. Rhonda was best friends with Lizzy, who disappeared when they were children, and then happened to be present when Ernestine was kidnapped in present-day. She cannot help but link the two in her mind, being greatly disturbed by both events.

Ernestine was kidnapped from the local service station by a person dressed in a rabbit co
I had a hard time rating this book - I can't say I didn't enjoy reading it - I was actually pretty captivated. But it was such a bizarre and twisted story that I was just very disturbed - part of it almost seemed like a horror to me and that's not a genre I love. A lot was left unresolved in my mind at the end but not necessarily in an unsatisfying way. So - why 3 stars? I guess I would give it 2.5 stars if I could, but in the end it kept me very interested and unsuspecting of the twists and tur ...more
A decent literary mystery, albeit a bit predictable; I suppose that can't be helped if one is paying attention. The fact that the little girl was kidnapped by someone in a rabbit costume (in broad daylight) was intriguing at first. However, I did not care for the italicized passages told from the rabbit's point of view. I found them to be melodramatic and increasingly ridiculous as the novel progressed. The same can be said for the main story. It was interesting enough at first, but as the novel ...more
We all go through a point in our lives in which we think everything is falling into place, until it suddenly spirals down. Being the mother of a stolen child really puts a person into this position and not knowing anything leaves them feeling very hopeless. Throughout the book Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon, one may find themselves very emotionally attached to the characters, thinking deeply about the possible outcomes and vividly picturing this tight-knit town. Within the text provide ...more
Wow. This book was so compulsively readable, I could NOT put it down. So good. I am definitely a new fan of Jennifer McMahon. I just wanted to keep on reading because I HAD to figure out the whole mystery. I have to say, all along I thought I knew what was going on and while I was right about some things, others definitely gave me a shock. I can't wait to read her debut novel Promise Not To Tell, which I plan to get from the library as soon as possible. It seems that a theme in her books seems t ...more
Amy Bailey
I thought this was a very cleverly written book. I liked the use of the rabbit imagery. The image seemed to creep back in. Even the names, from Peter to Warren, had symbolic meaning. Amazing how creepy a rabbit can actually be, but it was very effective. There's something terrifying about the predatory rabbit who preys on little girls. I won't say that I didn't see the ending coming. I had considered it as a possibility, although not in as great of detail as it turned out to be. And it was proba ...more
Carolyn Gerk
Whatever happened to Jennifer McMahon in her youth must've feature one heck of a weird rabbit and a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome.

This novel is pointless and you don't need to be wasting the seven whole minutes it'll take you to read it. Jen gives us the intersecting tales of two abductions that feature weirdos in rabbits suits. She tries to build suspense and mystery but it all feels dull and boring and I couldn't have cared less. She tosses in a bunch of red herring gimmicks and tries to
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
I will admit rgith away that this was not my favourite book by this author. I really loved some of her other books, but this one fell a little flat for me.

This is a book all about secrets and their devastating effects. It is really two stories in one: the 2006 story of a missing girl, and the 1993 story about the summer of change.

Why didn't I enjoy this book as much? I found it confusing in the beginning with the references to Peters and rabbits. It seemed rambling and disconnected. Further in,
Amy Park
It seems that Jennifer McMahon tends to unravel at a certain point in her books. They start off strong and then slowly the story falls apart and becomes a jumble of stories. However, this was still a fun beach read and I moved through it rather quickly.
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Spoilers - about the ending 2 48 Dec 12, 2012 09:37PM  
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I'm the author of Promise Not to Tell, Island of Lost Girls, Dismantled, Don't Breathe a Word, and The One I Left Behind. My next novel, The Winter People will be released February 11, 2014. I live in central Vermont with my partner and daughter, in an old Victorian that some neighbors call The Addams Family house.
More about Jennifer McMahon...
The Winter People Promise Not to Tell Don't Breathe a Word The One I Left Behind Dismantled

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“Sometimes what a person needs most is to be forgiven.” 61 likes
“Marriage is full of such cut-and-dry arrangements, Rhonda thought,then felt that small ache she sometimes got at the back of her skull-the one that told her she might be alone forever, not a fate that she chose but rather a fate that seemed to have been chosen for her.” 0 likes
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