Book Review – Vanishing Girls

by Lauren Oliver (Hodder & Stoughton) ISBN: 9780062224101

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but a devastating accident has caused an icy rift between the two sisters. Beautiful, daring Dara, younger by a year, has been left scarred, angry and isolated. The responsible sister, Nick, is filled with self-loathing, blaming herself for her sister’s devastating injuries.

Vanishing Girls is told through the viewpoints of the two sisters who are barely communicating with each other. There are emails, photographs, diary entries, and website posts dotted throughout the book, giving readers a nuanced, textured look at the story.

Dara is seething, rebelliously avoiding old friends who look at her as if they don’t know her. Nick is trying her best to be normal, battling her emotions, her guilt and struggling to come to terms with their parent’s divorce. Then there is Parker, the boy next door, who was Nick’s best friend before Dara decided she wanted him. The tension over Parker is as unsettling as anything else in this book.

The book is brilliantly plotted. The tragic family drama turns into a nail-biting thriller and I truly did not see the end coming. I had to re-read certain parts of the book to make certain I wasn’t going crazy. Oliver has outdone herself with her beautiful writing, her complex believable characters and her perfectly paced novel. Read it. You won’t be disappointed.

Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 12th May 2015