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.
“Alarming and uplifting, a rare psychological thriller that has a kind heart at its center. Read it with all the lights on.” — E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars.
- Vanishing Girls is about sisters and the growing pains that cause a divide. Memories of times when things were easier, when things like boys, and finding themselves didn’t interfere with their love for each other were poignant and heartwarming. The pangs of sadness radiated from Dara and Nick, deep and nostalgic. Despite everything, the Grand Canyon between them, they remember and they miss each other so badly it’s a physical ache. The gulf is wide and vast and they both struggle to overcome the space between, to figure out where it went wrong. The dynamics between older and younger siblings, popularity, attractiveness all come into play.
- Madeline Snow’s disappearance propels the story forward, a mystery that grips the small town and overwhelms everyone’s thoughts. The police blotters, parents preoccupation with the search and community unity added a sinister, mysterious tone to the story that kept me in suspense. On the downside, I cared more about what happened to Madeline than the squabbles between Dara and Nick because in comparison, it was pretty weak.
- The twist was unexpected and heartbreaking. Suddenly every bit of space makes sense in an in your face revelation.
- The story felt fragmented and random. Pieces connected but didn’t fit with the overall story arc and the big mystery of what happened leading up to the accident was never truly revealed. There are pieces of the puzzle that at the end were still missing.
- Pacing was slow and parts lagged even with the varying POVs, journal entries, etc.
- The ending drama was resolved quickly and read like summary. I would have liked to see more of what the after effects were, not just the verdict of the crimes but the healing process.
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