Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
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.
edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue,
loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each
I was so excited for this one, I preordered it (which is something I rarely ever do). I love Lauren Oliver's writing style and she is so eloquent with her words that I have loved everything she has ever written. Except for with this one.
Maybe I went into this one with too high of expectations or too much hype, but I thought while it delivered on characters and being a Lauren Oliver novel, it lacked a believable, original plot. Because this was basically the same story as Identical by Ellen Hopkins. And I usually don't mind if a story has a similar plot line as another book as long as it is well executed but I don't think this one fits that bill.
Nick and Dara are polar opposites. Nick is sporty and scholarly while Dara is fun and always down to party. One thing that Oliver did well is the sisterly relationship that they have with one another: they love each other, but they are also extremely jealous which leads to some petty actions between the sisters. I thought at some points it was too black and white between them and that they were written as stereotypes but they were still interesting and complex characters on their own. However, at some points they were fairly codependent on one another and it seemed at some points that they didn't even like one another but then would switch back to the petty feelings they had. It was almost as though they were out of character at some points, if you know what I mean.
I think part of the problem I had with this book is that it was so slow going. I read this on my way home from a six hour drive and it took me all those six hours. A book this size should have taken me maybe three-four hours, but this one was just so agonizingly dry at some points that it took me forever. I did, however, like the mix of notes, emails, posts, etc. that were included in this writing. I thought that broke it up nice and gave the reader a taste of "reality" that surrounded the book.
Too much was riding on the ending -- the twist -- and it wasn't creative or original, it was something that has been done multiple times before and it was a tad disappointing to me. There was too much to disprove the conclusion from the rest of the book that it didn't seem to really fit. It seemed as though Oliver had the direction she wanted to take mapped out and then started to change her mind half way through but needed the ending to stay as is for the story to make sense.
Overall: 3/5 stars. I thought it had a good premise but was pretty predictable.