Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (357 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by: Lupine

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.

I enjoyed Vanishing Girls. I easily connected with the protagonist, and I liked her outlook on life and how she dealt with the accident that left her and Dara estranged.

I really liked Nick’s determination when it came down to solving the cases of disappearing girls, and the fact that the book focused more on her and how she in particular developed and matured was different from other books I’ve read of late. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to read something that focuses in on the main character and her internal growth rather than a romance between her and a boy. I’m part of the target age group for this novel and I wish more authors would realize we aren’t all reading for romantic angst.

I struggled with the constant use em-dashes. The author has a constant use of dashes and very long, over the top descriptions that really don’t pertain to the matter at hand and can be super distracting from the original topic. Though she does a wonderful job manipulating the words into something beautiful, I don’t need to know how that smell reminds Nick of that time when she was a kid and happy and she was in a different place doing something else when really I need to know where she’s going to that day.

I both hated and loved the end, because it was a turning point for Nick and a place when she could breathe and move on with her life.  I did have a major “How does the even work?” moment at the end, though, when something was revealed.  I’ve re-read the book, hoping to see something underlying that I didn’t before, but I still remain confused on how the author manages to execute the two differing points of views for reasons I don’t want to reveal as it would ruin the ending. This confusion was the main reason this book didn’t rate higher.

Aside from that, though, Vanishing Girls is another good story from the author. I’m a fan of hers, and look forward to reading more of her work.

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