Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: Vanishing Girls - Lauren Oliver

Disclaimer:**I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

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, bestselling author Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

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When I first started reading this book I thought that this was just going to be another book about sibling rivalry. I was expecting to read about how these two girls were at odds with each other ready to pull each other's hair out. Especially once I realized there was a boy to fight over. Oh, how wrong I was. 

Nick is the more responsible, sensible older sister who is trying to keep it all together while Dara is the beautiful, wild, care-free spirit who is constantly sneaking out and getting drunk God knows where with God knows who. They couldn't be more different if they tried. And up until the accident happens, their differences don't matter. Nick, Dara, and Parker (Nick's best friend and Dara's sometimes boyfriend) are like the three musketeers; there for each other through life's up and downs. After their accident that all ends. Nick and Dara are no longer speaking to each other or Nick. Everything seems uncomfortable yet manageable until nine year old Madeline Snow disappears. 

The disappearance of little Madeline Snow takes Nick on a journey to the darkest parts of her town and herself. What she discovers is nothing that anyone reading this will be expecting. The accident involving Nick, Dara, and Parker really does change the rest of their lives. This book took so many twists and unexpected turns that I couldn't put it down. The ending hit me like freight train because I was looking for something completely different to happen. 

Lauren Oliver is an amazing writer. Her ability to make you feel like you are inside a teenage girl's head, invading their thoughts, is uncanny. Her characters are beautifully written and feel like real, genuine people that you might come across on a day-to-day basis. Nick was definitely my favorite character. I identified with her a lot more than I did with Dara. I understand her need to keep things under control and keep the peace as much as possible. Dara's impulsiveness and affinity for trouble was off-putting and made me not want to like her. I did not like either one of the parents because of their lackluster attitude toward their teenage daughters. It really bothered me that Dara was allowed to get away with the things that she was doing because their parents weren't paying attention. I do think that those parents are very real characters, though. Especially parents who are going through a divorce and are having a hard time getting along for the sake of their children. An unfortunate circumstance for everyone involved. 

My favorite part of the story is when Dara makes it to the lighthouse. I can't say much more without giving away the ending but I felt like someone was squeezing my heart as I read through that part. The pain in the story was palpable and I *ALMOST* got the "ugly cries". I highly recommend this book for anyone who's had a sister, or someone so close that they feel like sisters, and have let something silly come in between them. This book will really make you appreciate the people in your life a lot more and will make you look at how you treat others in a different light. I highly recommend this book and I cannot wait to read more for Lauren Oliver. 

About the Author: 

Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Before I Fall and Panic and the stunning New York Times bestselling Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem. She has also written two luminous novels for younger readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, Lauren Oliver lives in Brooklyn, NY. | Facebook | GoodReads | Twitter | YouTube

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