vanishing girls by lauren oliver
overall rating: 4.3/5 ⭐️
character development: 4.5
genre: YA, contemporary, mystery
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.
okay, whoa. this book is crazy intense, with both subject matter and plot. i’ve read oliver’s other books, which all have gripping plots and interesting characters, and this book definitely lives up to my expectations.
i actually really like the characters in this book. the main character, nick, is super interesting to follow, and i love her narration. i also love the character interactions, especially within the family. dara and nick’s family has a very interesting dynamic, and i enjoyed seeing the relationships between the parents and the sisters. the other characters (parker, etc) are also interesting, but i wish they were more prominent.
nick’s character is well-developed, and oliver does a good job showing us who nick is through her thoughts, words, and actions. by the end, i had a pretty good feel for her personality and character, but then everything changes suddenly (!!). the change does feel a little rushed, but i think it’s pretty realistic.
the romance in this book is pretty complicated. i was confused about it for a while, but things clear up later on. there are a few scenes that i found super cute, but i really wish there were more, especially since the romance is part of the conflict.
the plot is pretty good, but not amazing. the first half of the book definitely drags a bit, and i feel like a lot of it is unnecessary. the main conflict doesn’t even begin until about two-thirds of the way through the book, so i definitely think there’s too much build up. however, once you get into the conflict, the plot moves really quickly. it’s really exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat, and it pulls you in. there’s a huge plot twist at the end that i wasn’t expecting at all, and i’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. my only problem with the plot is that it can be confusing, since it switches between before/after and nick/dara.
finally, i really liked the writing style. it’s simple, but it just flows so well.
overall, vanishing girls is an exciting read that i would definitely recommend if you want something with some mystery.
have you read this? what did you think?