23 comments on “Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips | Book Review

  1. I have an arc of this and was quite drawn to it, probably because it sounds a lot like Jon McGregor’s masterful Resevoir 13. Good to hear about your reservations, I’ll reserve judgement!

    • I think most of my disappointment was based in expectation versus reality, so hopefully you’ll click with it better than I did, having a better idea of what to anticipate. Phillips is undoubtedly a talented writer, and there was lots to admire here. And for what it’s worth, I think Rachel gave it 5 stars, so there’s every chance you’ll love it!

  2. I wasn’t sure about this one and this review hasn’t encouraged me! I love multiple POVs when done well, but I hate it when authors use them for the sake of it or because they can’t work out how to plot their novel with fewer POV characters, especially as it then gives the technique a bad name.

    • Same here! I can absolutely see what Phillips was going for with the multiple POVs in this instance, and where it worked it was excellent. But I can’t deny it felt to me like there were a few too many.

  3. Dang, I hope I didn’t overhype this for you! I totally understand your criticisms though and I agree that the marketing for this one has been terrible, and I do wonder how much Phillips’ editors encouraged her to play up the thriller angle when it was clearly never this book’s main conceit. I’m glad you didn’t hate it though! She’s definitely going to be an interesting writer to watch.

    • I hold you entirely responsible 😂 Don’t worry, in all seriousness I overhyped it myself, and it was largely the marketing’s fault. Phillips is a great writer though! I would definitely still read more from her now I have a better understanding of what her style really is.

  4. It doesn’t exactly sound like a page-turner! I don’t necessarily dislike disparate plot threads, as long as you get some sense of meaning and context in the end. Doubt this one is for me though.

  5. i just read this and i felt very much the same way! i don’t understand the marketing behind it because it’s absolutely a slow burn, and i don’t think i’d describe it as mystery/thriller. but, i still *enjoyed* it and i LOVED the ending!

  6. I was interested in this book and yers be the first review I have seen for it. I am glad I read this because I do not think this would work for me at all. So saved loot and time. Thanks matey.
    x The Captain

  7. Ooh, great review, I’ve had my eye on this book! I actually just picked up a copy I’m hoping to read in February, so it’s good to adjust my expectations a bit going in. I didn’t realize the kidnapping element was SUCH a small part of the novel. But I’m glad you enjoyed this at least a little!

    • Thank you! I’m excited for your thoughts on this one! It’s definitely a good book when you know what to expect, and I know Rachel loved it, so hopefully you’ll click with it better than I did 😊

  8. So I just picked this one up from the library and read the opening chapter with the two girls at the beach and I’m not sure if I should keep reading or not. I was feeling like it would be too stressful for me to read but your review has me wondering if maybe I could handle it after all. But is it worth it is now the question!

    • The first chapter is incredibly anxiety inducing, so I can totally understand why it made you hesitant to carry on – especially having young children yourself.

      The focus is elsewhere for the vast majority of the novel, and i won’t spoil the outcome, of course, but I will say there’s no on-the-page suffering where the young girls are concerned.

      It’s an interesting and largely well constructed novel – if not what I expected – so I’d be very intrigued to hear your thoughts if you decide to carry on with it. But I will completely understand if you decide it’s not for you.

      • Thanks for the info! From the moment they spotted the man on the beach I was questioning why I’d begun this book! Philips definitely knows how to get the reader’s attention.

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