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The Missing Season

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  871 ratings  ·  233 reviews
From the author of Edgar Award finalist Grit and The Lies They Tell comes a tense, atmospheric novel for fans 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 kids in the old factory town of Pender know what is really behind it: a monster out in the marshes that they
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.26  · 
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 ·  871 ratings  ·  233 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
Her writing talent is undeniable. I fished this book in one day because I was so gripped, just on the edge of my seat. At least for the first half. This mystery revolves around a new girl to town, and an age old monster myth. I was sucked into the story right away, the atmospheric small town on a marsh, the tight knit friend group, the "is this or isn't this paranormal" vibe that I love.

Then it did what a lot of YA mystery does, adding cheap thrills, a heavy handed red herring, an unnecessary ce
Larry H
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I rounded up.

Clara is used to being the new girl, as her family moves quite often to follow her dad's construction jobs. But she's never a big fan of the adjustment period, waiting to see how people will treat her, whether she'll be the loner with no friends or be lucky and make a friend or two, only have to abandon the relationship when she moves away again. It never fails.

When she moves to Pender, a depressed New England town, she expects it to go the same way i
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it

this is the first book i have read by gillian french, so i don’t know how this one stacks up to her other ones, but i knew she was a pretty popular YA author, i saw a free ARC, i loved the cover, and i grabbed it with my sticky froggy hands.

this is YA written for the younger side of the YA curve. and there ain’t nothing wrong with that, but most of the YA i’ve read seems to be aiming for that juicy YA/adult crossover demographic, so the difference is something i noticed when i wa
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
What a lovely surprise this book was!

I have been itching to read some Gillian French as I have had her books in my TBR for what seems like forever so when Edelweiss had a copy of this available I snatched it right up and since it takes place at Halloween I just had to dive in right away. I am still not ready to let Halloween go and for for the "other" holidays to take over my mind, body, soul, and wallet.

"Mumbler, Mumbler, in your bed,
Mumbler, Mumbler, take your head,
Eat your nose,
Gobble y
So so happy to have read another book by Gillian French honestly everything the author writes I will be in the first line to read.
I love her style of writting is so unique that it won't take you so long to fall in love with the story.
I have read "The Lies They Tell" that book is my first read of Gillian French and I absolutely loved it!
The author is not just talented but highly talented in writting books that in my taste or my opinion are the books I can easily call the best.
The author uses a te
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
The Missing Season by Gillian French is a young adult mystery/thriller. The main character, Clara is a perpetual new girl in town so she wasn’t surprised when her dad’s construction jobs had them moving to Pender, a depressed New England town.

Being constantly the new girl in every town and school Clara was used to being a loner but this time in Pender seemed to be going differently, Clara quickly found herself with a new group of friends. While the group welcomed Clara they were known as the tro
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, young-adult
". . . all we've got to do is survive Halloween."

Teenagers are menaced by a mysterious, folkloric figure called The Mumbler . . . or at least they're being menaced by the menacing rumors surrounding the legendary predator.

"I've seen that." I was mostly thinking out loud, but I've got Bree's attention. "That message, 'Fear Him.' It's under the overpass by school."

"It's everywhere. All over town." She watches me, gaze intent. "What do you think it means?"

"I don't know. Like, God, maybe."

She gives
If you enjoyed Gillian French's The Lies They Tell, you'll definitely be in for a treat with The Missing Season ! Crafted with the same atmospheric content from her 2018 release, The Missing Season is fine-tuned just perfectly for the reader to enjoy. Essentially a young adult novel geared for anyone 13 and above, I had to take that into consideration when reading this crime-fiction mystery.

Without going into too much detail, the story takes place in a town that is struggling to survive—
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Having enjoyed French's other mysteries I was really excited to see The Missing Season and knowing that another good YA mystery would be on the horizon.

I think I might have gone into this one with my expectations being just a little bit too high.

This book started out great. I loved the small town going under setting. The background on the Mumbler and the whole mystery behind the missing and dead kids and then...I don't know exactly what happened.

The mystery sort of..fizzled a bit.

Things weren't
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cameron (LostInStories)
This is a good book to read during spooky season. The writing is good but it's one of those books that are enjoyable while you're reading it but not something that I will read again. ...more
Cassie’s Reviews
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clara’s the new girl in the town of Pender , her family had to relocate for her fathers job. The town is struggling and it’s filled with households that are lower and middle class. Clara soon discovers friends and their a group of some troublemakers that pull pranks and hang out at the skate park , and she’s taken under their wing. Her new friends begin to tell her about the local urban legend called The Mumbler. You see The Mumbler takes children ever year and it’s around Halloween and they beg ...more
Karima chermiti

I really don’t know what to think of this one. It wasn’t really good or really bad, It just fell somewhere in the middle for me so maybe I’ll go for three stars rating. GOD, it sucks when I don’t know what to do with my books.

Kids always disappear in Pender around Halloween time and it’s all the Mumbler doing, a scary monster who lives in the marshes. When Clara, our main character moves in to live in Pender, it doesn’t take long for her to learn of the stories but what she dismisses as just glo
The Library Ladies
(originally reviewed at )

Thank you to Edelweiss+ for sending me an eARC of this novel!

I’ve been racking my brain, but given that I lived in a fairly large metro area when I was a kid (and still do for that matter) I can’t think of any ‘urban legends’ that were prevalent in my hometown during my childhood. The closest I can come is when two mean girls in first grade tried to convince me that at midnight if you looked up at the sky you’d see a star that would automatically
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The town of Pender is haunted by several disappearances of children that have happened over the years. They all seem to occur around October and the Halloween season. If you ask the other kids living in the former factory town they would tell you these kids have all been victims of the Mumbler. They would tell you that if you don’t make the right offering up to the Mumbler, come Halloween, you could be next on the list.

This is the story Clara, the new girl in town, learns from her recently acqui
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller
*Rating* 3-3.5


Gillian French's The Missing Season is set to the backdrop of a small town working-class town in Maine with a colorful cast of characters and an unsettling past that features a character named Mumbler. 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
andrea caro
It was fine.

I wish it had been a lot less about the group dynamics/friendships between characters and more about the mystery. The mystery aspect felt secondary and I felt nothing whenever the ending happened.

The writing was really lovely, though.
Katherine Iorio
While The Missing Season by Gillian French is on the younger side of YA novels, this book seriously brought back some fun memories of my high school days! As much as I enjoyed the memories, this book had a rather disappointing ending!

Clara is a high school senior who has had a difficult childhood, having to move all the time and trying to fit into new schools. Now at a new small town, Clara has fallen in with a group of kids who hang out at a skate park. She eventually also falls for a dark skat
francis moore
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: came-soon-18-20
Full review:

Fear Him

Gillian French’s The Missing Season is a perfectly balanced thriller that keeps you constantly wanting to know more and read on. The language was beautiful and surprising, the characters were classically relatable, and every plotline was perfectly weaved together. Rating: three blue Jell-O balloon bombs/five

For fans of: The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Siobhan Ward
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was ok

I think I would have liked this better if I were a teenager. To be fair, it's a YA book, so I'm not the intended audience and I definitely felt it. So much of the book was devoted to Clara running around with the "wrong crowd" which didn't do a lot in terms of building the plot... If the whole book had been written like the last 50 pages, it would have been great, but way too much time was devoted to brooding boys and skateparks. Sure, in my teens I might have found that to be an engaging pl
Ludwig Reads
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gillian French succeeds to stay at the top of my favorite YA thriller author list. The first few pages instantly caught my attention and I had a hunch I won’t be having any complaints with The Missing Season, in fact I thought it was very clever and well-written.

The author ups her game by including a horror element, blending it softly into a plot that’s filled with mystery, and fresh + well-constructed characters to generate an atmosphere that grips you until the final, action-packed reveal. I a
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Missing Season was my first Gillian French book, and it was an entertaining read! This is a YA mystery with light horror tones set in a small town. I liked the gloomy setup and characters. The descriptions of the setting are done well, and it was easy to get invested in everything that was going on.

I wish that the story would have been more focused on the friendship between Clara, Bree, and Sage instead of on Clara's romantic relationship. I feel like there was a missed opportunity here
A huge thank you to Gillian French and Harper Teen for sending me a free ARC of “The Missing Season”. Every town has one- their own monster that lurks in the shadows. So many stories are passed on about this monster to the point where no one knows what to believe. Is he real? Does he wait out in the woods? Every October in the town of Pender another kid goes missing. Parents are unsure what to believe, but the teens of the town know exactly who took them- a horrific monster known as the Mumbler. ...more
S.M. Parker
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another brilliant mystery by Gillian French!!!
Anastasia Hopcus
If you're looking for a spooky October read definitely grab The Missing Season! It doesn't jump 100% into the scary straight away, which is a plus in my book. You really grow to care about the characters in a way that leads to MAJOR tension the further you get into the story. I didn't want anything bad to happen to any of them! Also, the creep factor in The Missing Season is insidious. While reading, I thought, 'Oh, that's kind of spooky...' But I was so wrapped up in the superbly written relati ...more
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another addictive suspense thriller from Gillian French. I loved the slow-building tension and suspense between the characters and sympathized with Clara's plight as she tried to navigate a new town, tentative female friendships, and the boy that's captivated her all while trying to decide if the local legend surrounding The Mumbler were true. I devoured this book and spent much of my reading time trying to decide which of the characters was playing part to the legend and I was always wrong. I d ...more
Jun 01, 2021 rated it liked it
**Rating 3.5**
The atmosphere of this one really reminded me of the film Lady in White (1988) in that it is increasingly claustrophobic and draws its horror from the archaic past. While the characters and their relationships could be more vibrant, I thought the actual plot moved along at the perfect pace to draw out the suspense without ever getting boring. This one would be an excellent addition to a YA booklist for October creepy reads.
Robin Tobin (On the back porch reading)
This was a classic thriller. I must say, this would be a perfect October/Halloween read. Even though, I read it in January and still enjoyed it.....
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: partner-read
Thanks to HarperTeen for the free copy in exchange for my honest review

3.5 stars - rounded up for rating

Last year I had read THE LIES THEY TELL by Gillian French and loved it, so when I read the synopsis for THE MISSING SEASON I was so excited when I received a copy. A small town with an urban legend that lurks in the woods. As you know, I’m a huge fan of anything reminiscent of Slenderman and urban legends in the same vein. So this was a must-read for me.

This one is set in a small town and we s
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this one during daylight hours. Clara’s moved to a new small town where kids have been disappearing or dying. Is it the Mumbler? Kids chant a nursery rhyme about the Mumbler and graffiti can be sighted throughout town advising to “Fear him.” Is he real or just a myth designed to get kids inside before it gets dark? French has crafted a creep and well-written YA thriller.
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Gillian French is the author of three novels for teens: GRIT (HarperTeen, THE DOOR TO JANUARY, and THE LIES THEY TELL (HarperTeen, 5/1/2018). Her short fiction has appeared in Odd Tree Press Quarterly, EMP Publishing's anthology Creepy Campfire Stories (for Grownups): Tales of Extreme Horror, Sanitarium Magazine, and The Realm Beyond. She holds a BA in English from the University of Maine, and liv ...more

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