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.
First Sentence: The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train and take time to chase butterflies through grassy fields or see rainbows in puddles of oil slick on the highway.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
I wasn’t interested in Vanishing Girls at all when I first saw it. After how Lauren Oliver ended Requiem, I absolutely refused to read another one of her books, no matter how good her writing was. How did I end up reading Vanishing Girls then? Well, I learned that Vanishing Girls was about a girl gone missing, which automatically caught my interest since I’m a fan of anything that gives off a Criminal Minds vibe. My friends also enjoyed reading Vanishing Girls so therefore why not give it a try? In the end, after a lot of thinking, I’m still extremely conflicted about the book. Vanishing Girls was good, but not amazing.
“What do you think happened to Madeline Snow?” Margie calls after me, her voice loud and easy – too easy.
I freeze. It might be my imagination, but I imagine that the crowd freezes too, that for a second the whole day stills and becomes a picture filter… (ARC 111)
If Vanishing Girls just focused on the girl gone missing storyline without the missing girl storyline, it would be nothing special. However, since Vanishing Girls also focused on the sister sibling aspect between Nick and Dara, it made the book stand out apart from other missing person books. Lauren Oliver shows the very real miscommunication and jealousy that can happen between siblings (in this case sisters), although a very small part of it did come off as being cliché. I did find myself siding with one sister because of several reasons and I think a majority of readers will side with the sister I sided with too. I didn’t like the other sister as much because of several things she did, but I did understand why she did the things she did except for the one major decision that changed everything.
I remember really enjoying Lauren Oliver’s writing in Delirium and it being the highlight of the entire book. However, I didn’t feel Lauren Oliver’s writing in Vanishing Girls or thought that it was beyond amazing. In fact, there was such a huge difference between the writing that I couldn’t quite believe that the same author who wrote Vanishing Girls also wrote Delirium. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so many other books ever since I last read Delirium and I’ve just seen better writing or writing similar to hers during that time. Vanishing Girls just lacked the magic the words in Delirium made me feel.
I remember it was very cold.
I remember that she didn’t scream, or say anything, or make a sound.
And then I don’t remember anything at all. (ARC 320)
There was this huge, huge plot twist near the end of Vanishing Girls that I never saw coming. Sadly, even though I didn’t see that huge twist coming (which is a good thing), I don’t think it was done well. It took me a minute or two to figure out what Lauren Oliver was trying to tell me with that twist, and when I finally got it and thought about it, it took a mighty long time for things to make sense again. I’ve read another book with the same exact plot twist that Vanishing Girls has and it was done SO much better – there was no confusion and it shook me to the very core. Three years later, whenever I think of that book, I am still shaken up. As for Vanishing Girls, all I really did after that twist was shrug off my confusion and read on.
Overall, Vanishing Girls was an okay read and was definitely better than I had expected. Vanishing Girls is certainly not the best book out there focused on sister sibling relationships, but it does stand out apart from the rest (besides the one other book I was talking about in the above paragraph) because of its twist.