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.
Lauren Oliver never disappoints me with her books but she hasn’t been able to wow me anymore the way she did with Before I Fall. Finally though, with Vanishing Girls, she came pretty close to that again.
Lauren Oliver has this writing style that always keeps me going. My reading just flows and I don’t want to stop, regardless of what’s currently happening in the story. I don’t need to be curious about something to not want to stop reading. It’s her writing style that just won’t let me stop.
What I absolutely loved were the alternating chapters between before and after the accident. I haven’t seen this in books too often yet and I always enjoy stories that are written like that. It gives you such a unique perspective on things. You get to know the characters in the present, see what they are like, but you also get to see that they changed, that they are different from the people they have been before that specific event. Seeing how the accident affected this family, how every family member coped differently was super interesting. It also means that you don’t have all the facts about what happened. You slowly get to know the fact until it all comes together at the end.
And I loved the plot twist at the end even though I knew it was coming. That was only because I’ve read a similar novel before and it didn’t bother me at all that it was quite obvious to me. It actually made it so much more interesting because I could look for specific clues. After I knew that I was right I even wanted to go back and read it again just to find even more hints.
What made Vanishing Girls so much better than a lot of Lauren’s other books that it caused a lot of feels. It is one of those books that made me REALLY angry and not because it was badly done or anything like that, but because of how this one characters treats the another ruining a friendship. There is such a negative atmosphere and had quite the impact on me.
The only thing I didn’t love about it was the whole part about the vanishing girls. Not only does it take quite a long time until it becomes an actual part of the story but it also felt so disconnected. I’m not saying I didn’t like this part, I actually thought it was interesting, but it was also kind of weird. It was almost diving into magical realism, but not really.
I enjoyed Vanishing Girls a lot and I’m glad that Lauren Oliver finally wrote a book again that is more like Before I Fall. A great plot twist, that made me want to reread the book right after, even though it was quite obvious and a tragic, sorrowful story that caused quite the feels.