Book Review: Vanishing Girls


ashley | Even though I’ve only read Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver is one of my favourite writers. I may not have the evidential catalogue to back up that statement, but I can tell you that anytime I see Oliver’s name attached to anything, I immediately get excited and need to get my hands on it. In fact, the reason I haven’t read the Delirium series yet is because I really, really want to, but I’m terrified of what is going to happen when I’m finished with it and then I have nothing left. So when I saw that Oliver had a new book, Vanishing Girls, I bought it right away and dove right in.

Things are kind of all over the place in the beginning; it starts “before” and then skips to a couple of police reports posted “after” and then there are diary entries. A lot of different writing elements thrown together one after the other, without giving too much detail to what they are all alluding to. At least Oliver’s writing is strong enough to pull it all together or else this could have sent me off on the wrong track.

Sisters are a scary breed. I only have a brother, so I have been spared the unique childhood experience of growing up with a sister, a closeness that is cute at one point and then once a certain age is met, that cuteness seems to turn into a vicious competitiveness that usually leads to nothing good. Vanishing Girls explores the changing relationship between Nick and Dara, not just as they grow older, but after they experience a horrifying accident that of course changes things forever.

I’m not sure how I felt about this book, though. It just didn’t totally grip me from the beginning and took me a while to get through. I wasn’t ripping through the pages with that need to know what was going to happen until the very end, when things start to come together and you see how much bigger this situation really is.

Maybe it was because of the different writing elements that I mentioned before, maybe I didn’t pay enough attention to dates to see this story building from the beginning, but it was a very obvious and much-done twist in the end and I didn’t really put my finger on it until then. This is usually a really good thing, but when I went back to look for subtle hints pointing in that direction leading up to it, I just saw more confusion than anything else. I don’t think there was enough evidence showing up in the first part of the book to lead to this conclusion and it almost seems like you’re just forced to accept this explanation without questioning it too much. And though it took me a while to catch up, anyone who has read a lot of psychological thrillers will likely see the ending coming at them full speed and be disappointed in the not-so-original “twist”.


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March 10, 2015