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.
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver is a mystery thriller about two sisters and the aftermath of a terrible accident. How do two sisters that used to be inseparable repair their relationship when one of them is the reason why the other now has scars that mull her face? How do they expect to get along again when their divorced parents can’t even be in the same room anymore? How does the disappearance of a local nine year old girl relate to their current predicament?
All of these questions and more in this enjoyable mystery!
When two sisters get into a little argument one rainy night driving down the highway, little did they know that Nick wold lose control of the car and they’d both be left emotionally and physically damaged. So after a couple months of living with her dad, Nick is sent back home for the summer in hopes of rebuilding the relationship she had with her sister Dara. But the disappearance of a local girl Madeline rocks the small town. So when Dara turns up missing on her birthday, Nick believes it has something to do with her dark past and is also the reason Madeline is gone too.
With a plot like that I knew I would be in for a lot of suspense and drama. With such a shattered life, these two sister’s just can’t seem to repair the once fun loving relationship they had. And nothing makes it easy for them. Dara blames Nick for her now scarred face and her new anti social life, while Nick blames Dara for causing the argument that ended with the accident. Not to mention having two parents that can’t stand each other anymore. The mom is too heart broken over losing her husband and now having two daughters at war, and a dad that wants to focus on his new life with his new girlfriend. When their life is as messed up as that I agree it would be hard to resume when things were good.
With all the twists and turns and the big reveal at the end I found myself quite enjoying the book to be honest. Oliver‘s writing was suspenseful, intriguing, and compelling all at the same time. Maybe I’m just a fool, but I didn’t see the ending coming and was quite surprised. But the story doesn’t come without it’s faults. It switches between past and present and alternating POV’s which can make for a bit of a confusing mess to be honest. I’m a straight forward reader and I found myself getting lost in all the details of the past to the point where I had to put down the book or a while.
We should talk about the two most important characters of the story, the sisters. Nick, the good sister. Over achieving, perfect, and all around good girl. The majority of her narratives are pretty straight forward and easy to read. We get to see her sister through her eyes and how much she truly wants to fix things between each other. I preferred reading her POV’s more than Dara’s for the simple fact that she was more tolerable of a character then her sister was.
Where as Dara is the bad sister. Likes to party, get drunk, and the one with the dark secrets. Her narratives were a bit confusing and I get why after finishing the book. Her personality was also a bit jumbled when it came to her decision making. So in order to avoid spoilers I think I will leave it at the fact that I didn’t find her quite as enjoyable as her sister was to read.
Vanishing girls takes place in a small town where everyone is in everyone’s business. So when a little girl vanishes literally the whole town goes looking for her. I get why the location was chosen. Small towns just make thrillers all that more exciting to read. Oliver’s location choices were clear and well thought out and I liked the little images and blog posts/news articles that get thrown in between chapters to further set up the tone of the story. On one hand I just wish there was more dark settings that add a bit more creepy factors to the story. I feel like that would have made it more suspenseful and thrilling.
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver was a good read. I quite enjoyed that big reveal at the end, but it didn’t save the confusion I had with the back and forth POV’s the story was written in. If you guys have read Vanishing Girls, let me know what you thought about the sister’s relationship and how surprised were you when the ending came. I would love to know that I wasn’t the only one who fell for it!
Plot = 4/5
Writing = 3/5
Characters = 2/5
Setting = 3/5
Until next time,
She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel.
She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.