Book Review: Vanishing Girls
By: Lauren Oliver
Published By: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Page Count: 368
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publicist
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery
Nick (Nicole) and Dara are sisters who were inseparable when they were younger, but became more competitive as they grew up...especially when it came to Nick's best friend, Parker. Nick was the nice, obedient sister. Dara was the sister who drank, did drugs, ran around with boys, and became Parker's girlfriend. But Dara was also hiding a secret. And one terrible night, Nick and Dara got in a horrific accident that left them completely at odds with each other.
Nick and Dara's parents are divorced. Nick has been living with her father, but he's decided she needs to move home with her mom to work out some of the struggles she's been having since the accident. Nick is worried about seeing Dara again, but as Dara's birthday looms closer, Nick wants to try to make amends with her sister.
Around the same time Nick moves home to Somerville, 9 year old Madeline Snow disappears. The whole town seems focused on finding Madeline. Nick's mom is constantly watching it on the news. But Nick is focused on trying to mend her relationship with Parker and planning something big for Dara's birthday.
Dara's birthday finally arrives and Nick is excited about becoming friends with her sister again. But when Dara doesn't show up for their family dinner and then seems to have disappeared later that night, Nick goes out on her own to search for her sister. She discovers that Dara's disappearance is somehow linked to Madeline's, but an even bigger revelation confronts Nick that evening and threatens everything she thought she knew to be true.
Nick and Dara were both messed up by the choices they made and the things that had happened to them in their lives. It reminds me of the saying that you are free to make the choices you want, but you are not free to choose the consequences of those choices. Unfortunately, Nick and Dara both had some serious consequences to the choices they had made.
The first book genre I fell in love was mysteries. I think that's why I enjoyed Vanishing Girls so much. Lauren Oliver's writing is amazing. She doesn't just tell a story - she paints a portrait of the characters' lives. If you love a good mystery, you will love Vanishing Girls. It's one you'll want to reread as soon as you finish it.
One more thing - Lauren Oliver wins the prize for best character name ever. Nick and Dara's therapist is named Dr. Lichme. Or Dr. Lick Me, as they refer to him. LOL
Content: Language, underage drinking & drug use
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.