Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver


Vanishing Girls is a haunting, mysterious story of a girl drowning in grief and her reckless, one-of-a-kind sister.

Dara and Nick aren't speaking to each other. They used to be best friends who did everything together, even though they each believed to be living in the other's shadow. But after the car accident that left Dara's face and body scarred and Nick unmarked, they have nothing left to say to one another.

But when Dara disappears only a few days after a young girl has gone missing, Nick is determined to believe that the two are linked; and she needs to discover where her sister has gone and what kind of trouble Dara's gotten herself into, so Nick can save them both--before it's too late.

This book was pretty dang awesome, to be blunt about it. It was unique and tragic and just an all-around pleasure to read. I'm getting a little bit tired of dual narrative novels, but this wasn't just two narratives; it weaved in diary entries and news articles and emails and texts. It was really interesting, and it was a nice change of pace from the usual dual narrative stories. Also, it was nice that the voices were relatively distinguishable. Not crazy different, but different enough.

I really enjoyed Nick's narrative. For a while, I thought she was going to turn out to be an unreliable narrator, because Dara's diary entries consistently refuted scenes and memories that Nick had already discussed, but she turned about to be strong and broken and reliable. I really wanted her take control of her life and her decisions, and in the end, she did--and it saved herself.

I also liked that there wasn't very much romance. In fact, there was almost none. There was a lot of talk about Parker, Nick's best friend, and the relationships both Dara and Nick had with him, but there wasn't a lot of actual romance. Usually, for me, the more romance the better, but it felt really natural and necessary in this novel to not have any. The characters are just a little too broken to be jumping head first into love.

Though, I didn't love this book as much I as I did Before I Fall, it's safe to say I like Lauren Oliver's contemporary novels more than I like her Dystopians.

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