Publishing Info: March 10, 2015 by HarperCollins
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: April 5, 2015
Related Posts: Annabel (Delirium #0.5), Requiem (Delirium #3), Before I Fall, Panic, Broken Things
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.
I had heard a lot of interesting things about VANISHING GIRLS before I started so I was pretty anxious to jump in once I had decided the time was right! I had just finished THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller (review to come!) so I was in a very mystery/thriller mood and I had hoped VANISHING GIRLS would keep me on that streak!
The book was really interesting but I do have to admit that I sort of waffled back and forth between being really curious and feeling a like the book was a little sluggish. I think some of that stems from my impatience whenever I read a mystery or thriller (I get too excited!) but Lauren Oliver’s writing is always a bit lyrical and her words are very carefully chosen so I tend to feel frustrated when that drags out the mystery a bit longer. That being said, I do think that it worked very well for VANISHING GIRLS (impatience and all) because of the way the story was put together and how the ending came to be.
The relationship between Nick and Dara was really interesting. I really wasn’t sure at first why the two POVs were necessary, plus a constant switch from past to present, but it ended up not feeling as jarring towards the middle of the book and felt downright necessary towards the end. I also had a hard time in the beginning just getting into the book because I’m always greedy for immediate mysteries and clues to present themselves when I know something is coming, so I always hope for just a touch of something to really hook me at the start. The first half of the book felt a bit slow and I felt like there was a lot of time spent developing the story between the two girls which in retrospect the reader does need in order to fully understand them both BUT it did feel like a lot of set-up and so it dragged for me just a little bit.
I was able to predict the ending but I also think that I picked up just the right amount of clues. I didn’t really start forming theories until about halfway through and by that time I think the readers are supposed to be picking up what’s going on. Nick is hot on the trail of the “vanishing girls” (including her sister) and the reader starts to realize what happened even before Nick does so it’s a really interesting dynamic to the book! It was actually really neat to see everything come together and the fact that I was able to guess how the book ended really didn’t affect my reading experience negatively. Actually, it allowed me to seeing a wider perspective than just Nick or Dara’s POV so it was really cool to put those pieces together and watch the ending unfold around them.
I was hoping for a BIT more thrill from VANISHING GIRLS but it was a really interesting story! I love mystery/thrillers and Lauren Oliver threw in some nice twists for the reader! I think if you don’t pick up the clues, the ending will SHOCK you and if you do, it’s still a ton of fun!
“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Nick // Character Obsessions: Reconnecting with Dara, family, keeping the peace.
Nick seems a lot like me. Dara was the more adventurous sister and Nick was much more reserved, followed the rules, and really wanted to keep the peace between everyone. She didn’t like to rock the boat when it caused fights, even at the expense of her own feelings. But I also loved how much she missed her sister when the accident fractured their relationship and how much she really wanted to patch things up. She was really persistent to repair that relationship and it really meant a lot to her.
Kept Me Hooked On: Lauren Oliver. I’m not gonna lie… I still feel a bit let down with REQUIEM since I fell head over heels for DELIRIUM and it was one of the books that got me reading YA. I still haven’t read ROOMS or PANIC (although I want to) so this is the first book I’ve read since the Delirium Trilogy and I really wanted that magic to come back. I did enjoy the book so that was good but it wasn’t quite as much as I had hoped. I kind of want to revisit Lauren Oliver’s writing but back in a non-contemporary book. I haven’t really had success with her more realistic fiction.
Left Me Wanting More: Thrills. I really enjoyed the overall story but I really wanted to be hooked in by more thrills! The ending was really great but the pace didn’t really pick up until halfway through. I just prefer things to be a bit more spaced out throughout the book to hold a reader’s attention!
I feel good about the book overall, but the beginning was a touch slow for me. I wished I had fallen in love a bit more but I do still recommend it to those looking for a fun mystery/thriller!
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(Click the cover to see my review!)