Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls
By Lauren Oliver
Release date: March 10, 2015

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.

My review:

Vanishing Girls looks at the relationships in one broken family. Nick is worried about her sister Dara who is becoming increasingly wild since their father moved out.  The close bond she shared with Dara began to fray as Dara became more beautiful and popular and started dating Parker, Nick's best friend. Nick also has feelings for Parker that she feels guilty about. After the accident, things only get worse. Dara can't stand Nick and no matter how much Nick tries to reach out, it doesn't work. Then Dara disappears and Nick wonders if maybe something bad happened to her.

The story goes back and forth in the past as well as the present "after the accident". When I started reading this book, I had a hard time liking Dara. She was a party girl and seemed to be kind of spoiled and petulant. The sisters are very different which lead to some complications in their relationship with each other. Nick came across as more caring but also kind of bossy in a big sister way before the accident. After the accident, Nick struggles a lot with guilt. She takes a job under duress at a local theme park where she reluctantly reconnects with Parker and makes some new friends. There she seems to bloom a little until her sister disappears. Then she starts trying to figure out what happened to Madeline Snow.

This is not a suspense novel though the missing Madeline Snow adds a little bit of intrigue to the plot. It is more about mending damaged relationships and forgiveness. There is also a shocking twist that I did not see coming. Maybe I just wasn't reading carefully enough but the author took me by surprise. It made me rethink how I felt about the book.

Overall I liked Vanishing Girls. The writing reminded me a little of Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver's debut novel which I loved after the disappointment of the Delirium trilogy. I liked that the book focused so much on sisters and less on romance though there is some there. I think readers who like darker contemporary novels will enjoy this the most though some may find the twist to be a gimmick. 

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. I enjoyed this one overall, but nearly as much as I enjoyed Before I Fall. I thought that the way it was written was great (I love her writing style), but I felt it lacked that something special. I didn't see the twist coming either and you are did feel a bit gimmicky. I'm glad we agree, Christina! Great review!

  2. i've never read anything by this author, but i'm always intrigued by her books!


Reading Extensively is now an award free blog. Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I enjoy receiving feedback! Due to increase in spam, I've enabled comment moderation. Sorry for any inconvenience!