Tuesday, March 3, 2015

*Book Review* Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: Harper Collins
Released: March 10, 2015
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Format: E-Book, 368 pages
Genre: YA, Psychological Thriller

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.  Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late. In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

Lauren Oliver's Vanishing Girls tells the story of two sisters; 17-year old Nicole (Nick) and 16-year old Dara Warren who were once more than best friends, but drifted apart. Nicole is the reserved one, who almost never gets in trouble, while Dara is the life of the party and gets all the boys she wants. It all comes apart after they are involved in a serious car accident leaving Dara with serious injuries and Nick trying to put the pieces of her life back together.

Told in alternating narratives, going from the past to the present, Vanishing Girls is a psychological thriller that you really MUST pay attention to if you have any clue as to what is actually going on. I will say, honestly, that Oliver gives you plenty of clues via secondary characters, that I figured out the twist pretty quickly. For me, the last 20 percent of this story really was the best part. Oliver tries to hold her cards close to her chest, but you really must know that there is something off about the story's narratives.

So, here we are with totally opposite sisters. Nick is the one who always seems to be cleaning up Dara's messes, solving others problems, while ignoring her own including how she actually feels about her "former" best friend John Parker who was "stolen" by Dara. She's also got a reputation that she refuses to debunk. Here is Dara, the cute, popular, and adorable one who gets involved in things that my own sister used to; alcohol, drugs, boys, and acts more like the older sister. Because of her carelessness, she ends up doing things that perhaps she should have avoided.

Vanishing Girls is a good story for those of us who have sisters. While sisters grow up doing almost everything together, life eventually changes our paths and we drifted apart. It's funny, as I was reading this book, I was thinking about my younger sister who I adored, and still love to this day. While I was the one playing sports, trying to get good grades so I could get into college, she was off with her band of troublemakers because she thought I was overshadowing her.

She blamed me for her problems when I went off to the service leaving her to deal with school, and my parents who were working all the time. I have to say that I don't blame my sister for being a bit jaded, or angry. I'm 3 years older. I've gone to college, served in the Navy, traveled all over the world, and moved away while I still had the opportunity. I had my own issues, but never have moved past my displeasure at how we grew apart so quickly. Yet, I don't think that there isn't anything she wouldn't do for me now if I asked her, and I would do the same if she allowed me to.

I do believe that this is a dysfunctional story. I loathe the idea of parents being divorced due to the fathers infidelity, and perhaps the mothers own lack of emotions, or a death in the family that happens off screen. I can't say that I liked either parent when all is said and done. I think Aunt Jackie is an interesting character who seemed to care more about Nick's struggles. But, I would have loved to learn more about her, and how she intends to help Nick get over everything that happens.

Overall, Vanishing Girls was a satisfactory read for me, and loose ends are tied up instead of leaving room for the mind to wonder what happens next.

**I received this book for free from (Harper Collins) via (Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**


  1. Tsk, you just had me scrambling off to EW looking for this thing! I just read Little Peach, it's a good novel too (read it if you haven't yet) and it gave me an appetite for more contemporary YA that's not about love or whatever.

    1. I have Little Peach. Will be reading it sometime this month, or next!