99 Red Balloons is a fantastic debut novel by Elisabeth Carpenter.
8-year old Grace goes missing from a sweet shop on her way home from school. Her parents, Matt and Emma, are frantic. With the support of Emma’s sister Stephanie and the half-hearted company of their mother, Matt and Emma unravel.
Meanwhile, Maggie becomes obsessed with Grace’s disappearance. To the point of purchasing multiple copies of the same newspaper. Why? Because her 5-year-old granddaughter, Zoe, was kidnapped under similar circumstances 30-years ago.
There are some things I love about this book and some that were just plain mediocre.
Let’s start with the love. 99 Red Balloons had one major twist that truly made me go “Woah!” I woah’d a little more than half way through the book, and it changed my entire perception of the characters. That’s always a good thing for me.
Elisabeth Carpenter wrote 99 Red Balloons in the first person from multiple points of view. Maggie and Emma’s sister, Stephanie, are the prominent points of view. Then there are the unnamed first persons, who provide a little drama and tension. Many folks are not into multiple points of view. However, I prefer it.
There are a few things I wish the book had included. First, I was expecting a little more family drama between Matt, Emma, and Stephanie. There’s plenty of drama with the girls’ mother. But for some reason, I thought there was going to be more drama between the “kids.” So I was a little disappointed with that.
Last, while I enjoyed the ending well enough, I would have loved to see another major twist.
All in all, I give Elisabeth Carpenter’s 99 Red Balloons 4-stars.
Thank you Netgalley, Avon Books UK, and Elisabeth Carpenter for providing an advanced copy of 99 Red Balloons for review. All opinions are solely my own.