Title: Vanishing Girls
Author: Lauren Oliver
Acquired Via: Publisher Release Date: March 10, 2015
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before—before Dara kissed Parker, before Nick lost him as her best friend, before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred. Now the two sisters, who used to be so close, aren't speaking. In an instant, Nick lost everything and is determined to use the summer to get it all back.
But Dara has other plans. When she vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl has vanished, too—nine-year-old Madeline Snow—and as Nick pursues her sister, she becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances may be linked.
In this edgy and compelling novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.
Vanishing Girls is a weird book. It's not sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal weird. It's not even the sisters' relationship that is weird. I think the writing, the twists, and the character interactions are what makes it all so strange, and to elaborate will mean spoilers.
Honestly, I had part of Vanishing Girls' plot twist that is really central to the novel figured out from the start, but the execution of the twist was so off. After being presented with the "truth" behind a mystery, I like to have some sort of satisfaction. Vanishing Girls only left me scratching my head. I understand why tackling the issue is important to YA, but the events surrounding it were confusing. I get that Oliver is trying to blindside the reader, but I was confused to the point that I knew I would have to reread it to have any understanding. And I didn't like the characters enough to justify rereading the book.
Nick (Nicole) and Dara are the sisters who tell the story in alternating points of view. Dara spent the book wallowing in self-pity about the wreck, and Nick... Well, I just didn't care too much for Nick. I guess, out of the two, that I liked Dara the best. I completely understood why she was so angry with the world, but Nick didn't make sense. I mean, she made more sense at the end, but not to the level that I need to enjoy a character and a book.
I wish I could talk about the twist, but that would ruin the book. Even though I knew what was going on, I was pretty pissed after the reveal. I keep going back to this because it was the true point of Vanishing Girls. But ugh, anyways.
As for the part about Madeline Snow, I don't even know why it was in the book. In the end, it made no sense to me.
I guess Vanishing Girls just wasn't a "Kayla book". Oliver's writing is beautiful, but between this book and Panic, maybe she's just not for me. :-(
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a finished copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.