**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

It took me a little bit to get into Vanishing Girls, but once I was in, I was HOOKED.  For me, the book had a bit of a slow start, then about 2/3 of the way through there's a WHOA moment and the story is kind of turned on it's head and becomes unputdownable.  (<--had to make up a word to describe this twist)  And, because of this twist, it's really hard to write a coherent review without spoilers!  (But I do promise no spoilers; Girl Scout honor.)

Vanishing Girls is the story of two sisters, Dara and Nick (short for Nichole), who are super close.  Lauren Oliver does a fantastic job with portraying their relationship.  I myself have a sister, and I love when authors are able to authentically capture the reality of the relationship.  The girls love each other with a ferocity that cannot be broken by anything.  They are fiercely loyal to each other, but also hold each other accountable for their actions.  When Dara begins straying into dangerous activities, Nick covers for her, worries about her, and also tries to bring her back to the fold.

The chapters in the novel are told from both Dara and Nick's points of view, and in two times: "before" and "after."  The "before" and "after" refers to a single night; a car wreck that left Nick with a few superficial wounds and Dara with nearly catastrophic ones.  Before the accident, Dara was the pretty sister, the social butterfly, the flirt.  After the accident, she's left nearly friendless after a long recovery period, and her beauty is marred by scars.  Before the accident, Dara and Nick were thick as thieves; after the accident (which Nick blames herself for, and imagines that Dara does too) the girls have an invisible wall of sorts between them.

There were other changes to the family after the accident, too:  Dara and Nick's parents divorced, and Nick lives with her dad, leaving Dara in their hometown where her mom still lives.  Nick has a new summer job, working at a local amusement park.  Nick is rebuilding her childhood friendship with Parker, after drifting apart while he dated Dara.  And Nick's mom has become a bit obsessed with following a local missing child case.

As Vanishing Girls progresses, the reader sees that emotional and mental scars left on the girls after the accident.  They both feel betrayed by the other for differing reasons.  They both yearn to get back to the more pure relationship they shared before the events of the previous winter.  And both are just slightly off-hinge.  The reader never feels like either girl is an unreliable narrator, so it's hard not get pulled in and pulled along.  The unexpected ending that I mentioned?  I never saw it coming!  This book is a totally unpredictable psychological thriller.  You might think you're reading a plain Jane contemporary YA... then BAM.  Things you thought you knew get turned on their head.

This book takes a little patience, but it's worth the wait to see how the story unfolds.  Lauren Oliver wows with this one!

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

3 People left their mark' :

  1. I had heard of this book before but wasn't quite sure what it was about. Your review makes it sound absolutely amazing! My sister and I are really close so that immediately made me sit up, although the rest of the story sounds very heartbreaking! Might have to check it out ;) Thanks for the review!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. I have only read Lauren Oliver's Delirium books. I haven't read any reviews of Vanishing Girls before yours. A slow start can be terrible, but I definitely want to read this and get to the point where it wows! I need to read this soon!

  3. Please note that Vanishing Girls is a novel originally published by HarperCollins, in 2012, by Katia Lief. Some of my readers have expressed confusion, since it's the same title and the same publisher, and so I am spreading the word.

    "Vanishing Girls is powerful, provocative, and pulsating with verve; it also marks an evolution of character and circumstance that should serve the series well in future installments. Further, Karin Schaeffer is both complex and compelling, and arguably one of the strongest female figures in contemporary crime fiction—and her absolute strength of will is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit."
    —John Valeri, Hartford Books Examiner