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Vanished Books One & Two: When Lightning Strikes; Code Name Cassandra Paperback – September 7, 2010


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Vanished Books One & Two: When Lightning Strikes; Code Name Cassandra + Vanished Books Three & Four: Safe House; Sanctuary + Missing You (1-800-Where-R-You, Book 5)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Vanished
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Bind-Up edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442406291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442406292
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Meg Cabot is the author of the #1 New York Times best-sellers All-American Girl and The Princess Diaries series, two of which have been made into major motion pictures by Disney. Meg is also the author of The Mediator series, the Airhead series, and many books for adults. She currently divides her time between Key West and New York City with her husband and one-eyed cat, Henrietta.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER 1

They want me to write it down. All of it. They’re calling it my statement.

Right. My statement. About how it happened. From the beginning.

On TV, when people have to give a statement, there’s usually someone sitting there who writes it down for them while they talk, and then all they have to do is just sign it after it’s read back to them. Plus they get coffee and doughnuts and stuff. All I’ve got is a bunch of paper and this leaky pen. Not even so much as a Diet Coke.

This is just further proof that everything you see on TV is a lie.

You want my statement? Okay, here’s my statement:

It’s all Ruth’s fault.

Really. It is. It all started that afternoon in the burger line in the cafeteria, when Jeff Day told Ruth that she was so fat, they were going to have to bury her in a piano case, just like Elvis.

Which is totally stupid, since—to the best of my knowledge—Elvis was not buried in a piano case. I don’t care how fat he was when he died. I’m sure Priscilla Presley could have afforded a better casket for the King than a piano case.

And secondly, where does Jeff Day get off saying this kind of thing to somebody, especially to my best friend?

So I did what any best friend would do under the same circumstances. I hauled off and slugged him.

It isn’t like Jeff Day doesn’t deserve to get slugged, and on a daily basis. The guy is an asshole.

And it’s not even like I really hurt him. Okay, yeah, he staggered back and fell into the condiments. Big deal. There wasn’t any blood. I didn’t even get him in the face. He saw my fist coming, and at the last minute he ducked, so instead of punching him in the nose, like I intended, I ended up punching him in the neck.

I highly doubt it even left a bruise.

But don’t you know, a second later this big, meaty paw lands on my shoulder, and Coach Albright swings me around to face him. It turned out he was behind me and Ruth in the burger line, buying a plate of curly fries. He’d seen the whole thing …

Only not the part about Jeff telling Ruth she was going to have to be buried in a piano case. Oh, no. Just the part where I punched his star tackle in the neck.

“Let’s go, little lady,” Coach Albright said. And he steered me out of the cafeteria and upstairs, to the counselors’ offices.

My guidance counselor, Mr. Goodhart, was at his desk, eating out of a brown paper bag. Before you get to feeling sorry for him, though, that brown paper bag had golden arches on it. You could smell the fries all the way down the hall. Mr. Goodhart, in the two years that I’ve been coming to his office, has never seemed to worry a bit about his saturated-fat intake. He says he is fortunate in that his metabolism is naturally very high.

He looked up and smiled when Coach Albright said, “Goodhart,” in this scary voice.

“Why, Frank,” he said. “And Jessica! What a pleasant surprise. Fry?”

He held out a little bucket of fries. Mr. Goodhart had mega-sized his meal.

“Thanks,” I said, and took a few.

Coach Albright didn’t take any. He went, “Girl here punched my star tackle in the neck just now.”

Mr. Goodhart looked at me disapprovingly. “Jessica,” he said. “Is that true?”

I said, “I meant to get him in the face, but he ducked.”

Mr. Goodhart shook his head. “Jessica,” he said, “we’ve talked about this.”

“I know,” I said with a sigh. I have, according to Mr. Goodhart, some anger-management issues. “But I couldn’t help it. The guy’s an asshole.”

This apparently wasn’t what either Coach Albright or Mr. Goodhart wanted to hear. Mr. Goodhart rolled his eyes, but Coach Albright actually looked as if he might drop dead of a coronary right there in the guidance office.

“Okay,” Mr. Goodhart said, real fast, I guess in an effort to stop the coach’s heart from infarction. “Okay, then. Come in and sit down, Jessica. Thank you, Frank. I’ll take care of it.”

But Coach Albright just kept standing there with his face getting redder and redder, even after I’d sat down—in my favorite chair, the orange vinyl one by the window. The coach’s fingers, thick as sausages, were all balled up into fists, like a little kid who was about to have a tantrum, and you could see this one vein throbbing in the middle of his forehead.

“She hurt his neck,” Coach Albright said.

Mr. Goodhart blinked at Coach Albright. He said, carefully, as if Coach Albright were a bomb that needed defusing, “I’m sure his neck must hurt very much. I’m quite certain that a five-foot-two young woman could do a lot of damage to a six-foot-three, two-hundred-pound tackle.”

“Yeah,” Coach Albright said. Coach Albright is immune to sarcasm. “He’s gonna hafta ice it.”

“I’m certain it was very traumatic for him,” Mr. Goodhart said. “And please don’t worry about Jessica. She will be adequately chastened.”

Coach Albright apparently didn’t know what either “adequately” or “chastened” meant, since he went, “I don’t want her touchin’ no more of my boys! Keep ’er away from them!”

Mr. Goodhart put down his Quarter Pounder, stood up, and walked to the door. He laid a hand on the coach’s arm and said, “I’ll take care of it, Frank.” Then he gently pushed Coach Albright out into the reception area, and shut the door.

“Whew,” he said when we were alone, and sat back down to tackle his burger again.

“So,” Mr. Goodhart said, chewing. There was ketchup at the corner of his mouth. “What happened to our decision not to pick fights with people who are bigger than we are?”

I stared at the ketchup. “I didn’t pick this one,” I said. “Jeff did.”

“What was it this time?” Mr. Goodhart passed me the fries again. “Your brother?”

“No,” I said. I took two fries and put them in my mouth. “Ruth.”

“Ruth?” Mr. Goodhart took another bite of his burger. The splotch of ketchup got bigger. “What about Ruth?”

“Jeff said Ruth was so fat, they were going to have to bury her in a piano case, like Elvis.”

Mr. Goodhart swallowed. “That’s ridiculous. Elvis wasn’t buried in a piano case.”

“I know.” I shrugged. “You see why I had no choice but to hit him.”

“Well, to be honest with you, Jess, no, I can’t say that I do. The problem, you see, with you going around hitting these boys is that, one of these days, they’re going to hit you back, and then you’re going to be very sorry.”

I said, “They try to hit me back all the time. But I’m too fast for them.”

“Yeah,” Mr. Goodhart said. There was still ketchup at the corner of his mouth. “But one day, you’re going to trip, or something, and then you’re going to get pounded on.”

“I don’t think so,” I said. “You see, lately, I’ve taken up kickboxing.”

“Kickboxing,” Mr. Goodhart said.

“Yes,” I said. “I have a DVD.”

“A DVD,” Mr. Goodhart said. His telephone rang. He said, “Excuse me a minute, Jessica,” and answered it.

While Mr. Goodhart talked on the phone to his wife, who was apparently having a problem with their new baby, Russell, I looked out the window. There wasn’t a whole lot to see out of Mr. Goodhart’s window. Just the teachers’ parking lot, mostly, and a lot of sky. The town I live in is pretty flat, so you can always see a lot of sky. Right then, the sky was kind of gray and overcast. Over behind the car wash across the street from the high school, you could see this layer of dark gray clouds. It was probably raining in the next county over. You couldn’t tell by looking at those clouds, though, whether or not the rain would come toward us. I was thinking it probably would.

“If he doesn’t want to eat,” Mr. Goodhart said into the phone, “then don’t try to force him.… No, I didn’t mean to say that you were forcing him. What I meant was, maybe he just isn’t hungry right now.… Yes, I know we need to get him on a schedule, but—”

The car wash was empty. No one wants to bother washing a car when it’s just going to rain. But the McDonald’s next door, where Mr. Goodhart had picked up his burger and fries, was packed. Only seniors are allowed to leave campus at lunchtime, and they all crowd the McDonald’s and the Pizza Hut across the street.

“Okay,” Mr. Goodhart said, hanging up the phone. “Now, where were we, Jess?”

I said, “You were telling me that I need to learn to control my temper.”

Mr. Goodhart nodded. “Yes,” he said. “Yes, you really do, Jessica.”

“Or one of these days, I’m going to get hurt.”

“That is an excellent point.”

“And that I should count to ten before I do anything the next time I get angry.”

Mr. Goodhart nodded again, even more enthusiastically. “Yes, that’s true, too.”

“And furthermore, if I want to learn to succeed in life, I need to understand that violence doesn’t solve anything.”

Mr. Goodhart clapped his hands togeth...

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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All in all, a very good read, and better than the TV show.
Vowels
I've only read the first two books in this series (in the Vanished combo-form), but I'd love to read the others.
Allison Bailey
I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who has not read read it yet!
Brit

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Allison Bailey on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just now read these books because I was afraid that they would be scary. I know, I'm a wimp, but I seriously have to be careful about thrillers because they scare the dickens out of me. Needless to say, I found these books to be adventurous and exciting, but not really scary, so that was good!

Basically, Jess is struck by lightning on her way home from school one day, and it gives her the ability to locate missing people. If she sees a picture of a missing child, the next day she wakes up knowing where the child is. Cool, right? Unfortunately, this ability has some scary consequences... Jess finds a child who does not want to be found, and the media and government go crazy for her new ability. The attention scares her older brother who is struggling with schizophrenia, and Jess has to figure out how to straighten things out before they go out of control! Plus, there's a super attractive bad boy with a secret past...

In Book 2, Jess is a counselor at a summer camp, and she is faced with a difficult choice when she is asked to find a missing child... I can't say more than that without spoiling Book 1!

I've only read the first two books in this series (in the Vanished combo-form), but I'd love to read the others. Jess is a typical Meg Cabot heroine- she doesn't quite fit in, but she is courageous and willing to do whatever it takes to do what she thinks is right. There is also an X-Files reference that made me laugh out loud (super awkward when reading in public). The supporting characters are well developed- I love the presence of the older brother with schizophrenia. It's important for authors to incorporate characters who incidentally have mental problems. Real families deal with mental illness, and I love it when books realistically acknowledge this.

Four stars for fun stories- these would make great beach reads! I look forward to reading the rest of the series. PS. This would make a great Disney channel show (haha)!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Simpson on May 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really love Meg's books even though at 63, I am probably over her age range. But her characters are so real. They react the way real people would; unlike the one's that have had 6 friends killed by an axe murderer but still insists on going into the haunted cavern. I especially like the way Jess wants to help people, but doesn't want to stand out as different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Sumsion on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book in 3 days! It pulls you in very fast, and I am planning on buying the second one very soon :)
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By Claudia Mae Bryan on April 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is great! It's about a girl who gets stricken by lightening and can magically tell where missing kids are. It's just a great book!
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By Amazon Customer on April 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love these books, I can't tell you enough about the main character without giving anything away but she is awesome and the story keeps you wanting more and more. I purchased all the books and I have no complaints. Funny, mysterious, intriguing, you name it, it's got it!
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Format: Paperback
The books, "Vanished" by Meg Cabot is very interesting and intellectual, it gives the reader a sense of what it is like for everyone to all of the sudden like you. In this case it was because Jessica the main character was one with special powers and a lot of agencies looking for people wanted to use her as she could find kids or people who were lost . Her powers were able to help her locate children in her sleep and know where they are, and she would call and tell the people where. Although she finds one kid that doesn't want to be found and makes the cops and everyone come after her for kidnapping. I have read two of the five books of the series, and to get the whole story you would have to read all of them but the author does a good job with letting the reader know what happened before and also is good at foreshadowing. Meg Cabot has written a lot about things that are not real but she makes them realistic. In. These books she gives us a family that has isn't exactly perfect but none are. Jessica's brother is schizophrenic and stays at home and her parents don't pay that much attention to her so she is forced to make wild and sometimes smart decisions .
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By L. Whitney on November 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Meg Cabot is great when you're looking for a lighthearted, entertaining book. This series has strong characters, interesting plots, and a fun psychic twist to it that makes it original and comically suspenseful.
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By Heather on October 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I remember the first time I read this series! I had by chance picked it up at the bookstore and it sounded really interesting. I didn't even know at the time that Jenny Carrol was the pen name for Meg Cabot.. But once I picked this series up I haven't turned back. It is amazing! I love the characters. I think I love it so much I have read it at least a dozen times (maybe more). I love Jess's personality and I love how Meg always finds ways to make you laugh when you read her books. I think everyone should read this book and series then check out other books by this amazingly talented author :)
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