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Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls

by Lauren Oliver

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5713727,023 (3.4)7
"Two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident, a missing nine-year-old girl, and the shocking connection between them"--

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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Nick and her younger sister, Dara, are as different as two sibling can be...in every aspect. An accident that leaves her sister permanently scarred both physically and emotionally...sees Nick walking away and for all purposes abandoning her sister. The story is told from both Dara’s and Nick’s points of view through alternating past and present day accounts as well as diary and blog entries. Unfortunately the essence of the story becomes lost in a story that simply tries to hard to be too much. The author unsuccessfully makes an attempt to weave the sister's story together by using a plot line about the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl. This drags the story down by taking way too long for the reader to sort out how the two different stories are related and it simply becomes a distraction. I did enjoy Oliver's writing style and I wouldn't say it's a bad book...it just wasn't the book I was expecting or hoping for. ( )
  Carol420 | Jul 19, 2019 |
I was enticed and captivated by the relationship development between the two sisters from the very start, and I felt like I had been inserted into the story of how their relationship evolved. But I can't say that it is one of my favorites because I thoroughly enjoy action-packed stories, and there really wasn't much of this. I do have to say that Lauren Oliver managed to discuss typically difficult topics and develop a conversation within her novel. ( )
  morganmcb19 | Jun 4, 2018 |
Loved this book. It hit so close to home. I have a sister really close to age to me and have had a sibling die. I competed with my sister but always felt like I had to watch out for siblings being the oldest. ( )
  EdenSteffey | Mar 14, 2018 |
I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Vanishing Girls and could not be more grateful for my chance to take a peak early. That said, my review is entirely my honest opinion.

Cracking open Vanishing Girls, I was enthralled from the start mostly due to the focus in on character and the mystery woven into the opening chapters. The story focuses on two sisters and how a car accident completely alters their relationship. Though the back cover tries to pitch the book as a darker and more plot-driven thriller, the story actually very much focuses on the relationship and development of the characters. Lauren Oliver really wanted you to know these girls, and they succeed in popping off the page and being real life people that I could see myself befriending. Dara, of course, is a vibrant character in the sense that she's a rebel without a cause and manages to be larger than life, even just in the way she takes control and does her own thing. Nick, on the other hand, can come off a bit of a plain, everyday kind of YA character, but through Dara's POV we see the cracks in her demeanor. Nick takes for granted that she's the older sister and often doesn't see how her actions or feelings can leave Dara feeling like the third wheel. It sets up a delightful shift where Dara tries to take control which causes more trouble between the two of them.

The characters were very real, and the rest of the story itself feels real in the way it doesn't shy away from things like sex offenders, underage girls lured into porn/prostitution/etc, drug use, drunk driving, etc. This book would definitely be qualified as 'edgy' and yet because of that feels more authentic. It doesn't shy away from the gritty or real, which can give a lot of kids something to relate to. After all, (and I'll repeat it until my face turns blue), there are teens going through these very struggles, and sometimes they need to see how others handle it and make it through. It's nice how it shows how teens can get dragged down the rabbit hole without setting out looking for Wonderland.

Though the tension and mystery is very nice in this book, it does take a bit before the story gets into the really juicy parts. Because it isn't plot driven, it can be hard to keep the tension high while building up everything else that is needed. There are bits of mystery to keep you interested, but the real delight was coming to the end and the twist. I had the twist figured out about mid-way through, and though it could be kind of obvious to some people, I found it satisfying. Not to mention the secondary part of the plot (What happened to Madeline Snow) keeps you in the dark enough that it doesn't feel like everything in this book is horribly obvious. There were definite parts where I wondered whether the two plot lines would actually come together (The accident Madeline Snow), and though by the end I could find nothing to complain about, the Snow subplot only seemed to buff up the relationship plot and didn't do much to really wow me, aside from keep me guessing as to how it would turn out.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book for how it made me feel. There were a lot of poignant points in this book and a lot of truths hidden in the pages. By the end I was crying, because I really loved the characters. They were by no means, "These characters are so badass, they're my heroes," and more, "These characters are so wonderful because they're real, because I could find them in any of my friends."

TL;DR: 4/5 stars. Made me ball. Intense relationship thriller with very realistic characters. Don't miss if you're a contemporary lover. ( )
  KatCarson | Nov 23, 2017 |
  jwmchen | Nov 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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To the real John Parker, for the support and inspiration -
and to sisters everywhere, including my own.
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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 on the highway.
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