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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Waiver/Potential Spoiler Alert: I am the only person I know who did NOT gush over the "brilliance" of "When We Were Liars." So when I saw that comparisons were being made, I pretty much had the ending before I read the first page. So why, then, did I purchase it? Because Lauren Oliver wrote it. I knew her writing would be well-crafted without being so deliberately stylistic. I knew her characters would be likable. I thought all this would make it better--but it didn't. A plot twist is all well and good, and I'm all for an unreliable narrator, but I don't like coming away feeling like I was deliberately misled and tricked just for the sake of it. I wish I knew which book had actually been written first, because I don't like thinking that Ms. Oliver and/or her publishers set out to cash in on the success of WWWL. There is a way to present this sort of twist. "The Sixth Sense" movie did it very well. Jodi Picoult recently did it *amazingly* well. So it's possible. This book just didn't succeed for me on many levels. Lauren Oliver is a better writer than this, and I feel like I not only wasted my money on this book, but also my time.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
john simmons
Strange book. I read a lot of teen fiction in order to give book suggestions to kids at school. This one was just odd. I had a really hard time getting into the story, and I couldn't quite figure out what the plot was or where the story was supposed to be headed--everything seemed random and it was difficult to follow the time line of events. Ending was strange and disappointing and the way it was woven into the story with the missing girl at the end seemed tacked on as an after thought. Again, strange book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I preordered this book & forgot I did. I started reading it & I'm not going to lie after the first half I went to the reviews for spoilers & all I found was great reviews & one single clue that said someone knew the ending by the first half or almost right away. I didn't know what they read that I missed but I was going a little crazy wondering so I cheated I went to the last pages and read. I read the ending and I was floored bc no I didn't see it coming. I won't give anymore of my reaction away besides that as not to spoil it. After I read the ending I started back where I had left off and just read it through from there. I liked this book a lot. I liked the POVs and having spoiled my own ending I looked at every sentence and every word trying probably twice as hard then if I had not cheated. Honestly I'm glad I cheated bc it was incredibly emotional to me. The other story is really intriguing and important. I will go and check out the other books from this author I thought this book was amazing and well thought out obviously. I'd recommend it certainly.
The Beginning of Everything :: The Way I Used to Be :: This Is Where It Ends :: The List :: Until I Fall
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Do not be one of those people that read the last chapters of this book. Do not look at reviews that will spoil this book for you. You have to read it for yourself. Form you own opinions as to what is going on and commit to reading the last twenty percent of this book in one sitting.

Now I am sure that others might have figured this book our earlier than I did, but I admit that there were parts that had me wondering; closer to confused, as to why certain characters were acting the way that they were, but I did not put all of the pieces together.

There are two storylines going on here. You have wild Dara and the practical more reserved Nick, sisters that are close in age and closer in relationship that is until an accident that Nick cannot remember that leaves beautiful Dara scarred. Now the sisters are estranged and when Dara disappears on her birthday, Nick thinks that Dara is pretending. Nick can hear her in her bedroom, can see her getting on the bus, and knows that she is in the house, but she ignores her when Nick knocks on her door or calls out to her.

Then you have nine-year-old Madeline Snow. She too has vanished but the story that her older sister tells is not adding up. Nick becomes obsessed with this missing child and knows that Dara too was hiding a secret before she too disappeared. Is it possible that Dara was involved in something and that is why they are both now missing?

The mind field of teenage sisters is difficult at best, but when you add in a neighbor boy that both girls become involved with, devastation is bound to occur. The book weaves the sisters’ story from flashbacks to present day leaving the reader fixated on who is talking and from which timeframe it is occurring so they can put the puzzle pieces together.

To say that this book is edgy and leaves the reader bewildered is an understatement. The final truth of this book will completely blow the reader away. An out of left field sucker punch to the gut is how I felt when I finished. I did not put all of the pieces together. I had questioned a couple of actions of certain characters, but still, the light did not dawn. I loved this book. Loved how it completely blindsided me and yet I did not feel betrayed by the author. An awesome book that I highly recommend.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
** spoiler alert ** 5 Stars for Oliver's writing style and character development. These are two sisters, one very much flawed, and yet the way they are written is endearing and intriguing. Their tenuous connection is driven by mutual affection and insecurities, so the dynamics of their relationship seem realistic.
5 stars for the plot twist. Whereas many other readers claimed to see it coming, I did not. I was pleasantly shocked by what was really going on.
I thought THE TWIST was very clever and something like we see in the film "The Uninvited".
I do think, however, that Oliver needed to go deeper into Nick's psychology to give us a better grasp on this twist.

3 stars for the weaving between flash-backs and present time. In the beginning of the novel, especially, the back-and-forth timelines is quite confusing as is the newspaper headlines about the disappearance of 9-year-old Madeleine Snow; this felt misplaced and disruptive to the story of the two sisters.

3 stars for Oliver's explanation of the ending. When we find out that Madeleine was actually hiding, unharmed, well, this seemed like a pretty weak explanation. And when we discover that Nick was experiencing severe PTSD and personality displacement (imagining scenarios with Dara still alive), Oliver gives us very little time to digest this. More explanation about how this came to me, building that bridge between the before Nick and the after Nick is necessary. There simply was no explanation for it.

With these problems aside, I really do like her writing style. She has a knack for drawing the reader into this place so that you feel like you are right next to them, and you really care what is going to happen to them next.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
clare wherry
I read a print version of this book. This was a pretty good book, but I was confused at some parts.

I've read another book with the same sort of ending. The Perfectionists and The Good Girls are a two book series and dealt with MID. I think that this was overall a good book, but it was sort of just wandering around aimlessly, as much as a book can do that. The summary described it to be about a sister's disappearance, but that was just kind of like the bass in a song. Just a little extra, an afterthought. I thought that The characters were pretty well developed, but extremely common stereotypes. The plot was kind of eh. The conflict was nonexistentuntil the middle/end of the book.The ending jumped around a lot and I had to go back and reread the ending because it kind of just went BOING BOING BOING! I did enjoy
the story, but the main elements such as plot and conflict needed more work. It was a very creative storyline, but I hope to see more of the parts that make a story a story.

Another thing I liked, just to stop being negative, was the emotion. I think that this story needed no more emotuon, if anything, it needed less! I did find this story a good, quick read, but I don't think that this book is a book that I would read over and over again.

Thanks for taking the time to write this review. I hope it was helpful!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ricky penick
That was....certainly something.

I have this say, this book really wasn't my genre. Realistic contemporary fiction doesn't really enthrall me, unless it has a certain aspect I find interesting. Unfortunately Vanishing Girls didn't give me too much to like.

A lot of the plot seemed somewhat empty to me, that things were just moving along without a purpose. There wasn't a lot to the main character other than responsible older sister trying to reconnect with her rebellious, out of control younger sister after a horrible accident. She just seemed like a blank slate character.

I will give Oliver props for not making a love triangle completely overbearing, yet Parker seems so useless to the story as he seems to be just the childhood friend turned love interest.

I think I agree with many people here that the twist was a little corny. It's almost straight out of Twist 101. I will say that I didn't guess it, but isn't the only requisite for a good twist. That and there are a couple of things in the story that don't really make sense once the twist is revealed, like how can the twist not even be discussed among the family? It's just some weird tip-toeing.

I wasn't exactly interested by Oliver's work before and that hasn't changed now. Hopefully the book club I read this for will give some interesting insights so this book can be worth the read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
This is a story of two sisters who find themselves at odds with each other after a car accident. Nick wants to mend fences but Dara, scarred and angry, refuses to speak to her. We hear about a child who has gone missing, and when Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick is convinced the girl's disappearances are related. Nick is determined to discover what happened and rescue her sister.

The story jumps back and forth between, before the accident and after. Some of Dara's diary entrees are also woven into the story as well as news articles about the missing girl. I found myself flipping back to check if I was reading before or after the accident. I didn't want to get confused and miss something important.

In the first half we learn a lot about the sister's relationship which was filled with love, competition, jealousy and some sweet moments. I didn't care for the love triangle between Nick, the boy next door and Dara. Dara is the younger sister who grew up a little too fast. She always has to be the center of attention and it seemed that hooking up with Parker was just a way for Dara to compete with Nick. I can't imagine wanting to be with someone that my sibling already dated. It's just a little too weird for me.

I like mysteries and thrillers but I haven't read many lately, so I wasn't overburdened by the feeling that I've read this all before. I suspected what the twist might be but I can't say I had it all figured out. I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it hadn't been quite so slow in building up to the disappearance and if I had felt like Dara was in serious danger. Initially it seems like Dara hops on a bus and leaves the night of her birthday dinner in a desperate plea for attention. I was well past the middle of the book before I even started worrying that Dara actually was in trouble. Overall, I do love Oliver's writing style and I felt she did a nice job keeping me guessing throughout the book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Nick and her younger sister Dara used to be best friends, completely inseparable. That was then, before Dara kissed Parker. Before the accident. Nick hasn’t seen her sister since last summer and, if Dara has her way, it looks like it’ll be longer still before she does. But she’s got a job at the local amusement park to deal with and a friendship with Parker to try and patch up. It would be better if her sister would talk to her, but she’ll have to make do.

Vanishing Girls is the first Lauren Oliver book I’ve read, though I had heard of her before. I’m honestly not entirely sure how I feel about it, so this may go a little long. This is also going to be really spoilery because of the way the book and its official description have next to nothing to do with each other, also that talking about the twist is impossible without spoilers. So spoiler alert.

Our protagonists here are Nick, who’s been gone for a year living with her father, and Dara, her younger sister who used to be beautiful but is now horribly scarred by the car accident they were both in last summer. She blames Nick and refuses to so much as be in the same room with her. Nick gets most of the screen time here while Dara gets a few chapters to foreshadow the big twist and show the reader what a bad girl she is.

I lost interest in Nick pretty quickly, she has some promising moments, but the friendship with Parker felt super cringe worthy and they danced around their mutual attraction way too much. Dara wasn’t much better, the rebellious sister to Nick’s perfect daughter, the bad girl who got into partying with much older guys and wound up doing porn as a result. The side characters, particularly Alice, were much better written in a lot of ways and tended to feel more three dimensional. That might have been a less is more thing though, none of them got a lot of screen time.

The big twist, and the scenes immediately preceding it, is where the book lost me though. The plot doesn’t really start until past the half way mark, probably closer to the two thirds mark, so when it hits it feels really rushed. Kind of like the author was reaching her page count and needed to tie it all together so she could spring her big twist and reveal all. That just doesn’t work for me. We get that Dara is the trouble sister, that she acts out to get attention because she feels left out, but then we get this child porn ring plot nearly out of nowhere and Nick rushes off to save her sister from the thing. The possibility of this plot was only mentioned in some of the mini chapters that were formatted to read like an internet comments section in relation to the little missing girl sub plot that the book really didn’t seem to care about. It just doesn’t work. Then of course, we get to the twist and it’s just anti-climactic and weak.

This is the cornerstone of the whole book, the thing that this entire novel is written in service to. The twist hits at the height of the action and just kills all the momentum. So, spoiler alert again, but this whole time Dara’s been dead and Nick has trauma induced dissociative identity disorder and has been alternating between being herself and being Dara throughout the novel. Reading Vanishing Girls the first time through the foreshadowing for the reveal just wasn’t there. It took sitting around after finishing the book to start seeing hints. That combined with the momentum halting way the twist was introduced made it feel very, “surprise, she’s crazy!” To my mind at least, that means the twist was just not worth it. Better lead up would have helped, as it stands it feels very tacked on despite being the central key to the entire novel.

So, all that said, where does Vanishing Girls land? The book has good bones, they just weren’t filled in very well and it reads like a couple of them were shoved back in at the last moment. Some of the side characters are fantastic, which only serves to make the main characters that much more lack luster. I also take issue with the big twist being that the main character isn’t sane, that feels like a really outdated thing to use as the big twist and, again, it wasn’t pulled off well enough to justify itself. That said, I actually kind of enjoyed my initial reading of the book, kind of a turn off your brain thing. So, while I don’t know that it earns it, I’m giving it a three out of five.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brianna andre
I want to thank HarperTeen for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

I love Lauren Oliver! So when I saw she was publishing a new book I jumped right on it. And I was not disappointed! I was hoping I'd get the same feels from this book that I did what I read Before I Fall, and I really did!

In alternating points of view, we meet Nick and Dara, best friends and sisters. After suffering a tragic car accident,the sisters are estranged and we watch the story unfold between the two. Nick holds a ton of guilt over the accident. Throughout the book she and Dara do not interact, the rift between them too big to mend.

We also meet Parker, Dara and Nick's best friend. He's also the object of their affections. I loved Parker's character. He was sweet and endearing and very genuine. I also love that the romance didn't one up the plot line. We really got to know the characters without having to worry about them always being in romantic situations. But the romantic element was just the right amount.

Both Nick and Dara have pulled away into themselves after their tragedy. One of the things I had issue with was we really didn't see what their life was before the accident. When we meet them, they are so far removed from any friends they may have had, completely and totally isolated. The other thing I had issue with was the secondary plot. While there were some elements of the vanishing I understood having in the book, there were others that pulled me out of the story, giving me information I really didn't feel was needed to keep the story on track.

I will say that I figured out the plot twist fairly early on, but it didn't really take away from my enjoyment of the book. I found myself pushing on because I really needed to know how it all wound up (and of course if I was right!). The ending was a fairly nice wrap up, although I will say my happily ever after mind really wanted just a bit more.

Would I recommend this book? Certainly. I think Oliver has such a knack for really pulling her readers into her stories, grabbing on with both hands and not letting them go. I will advise that you should sit down and commit to reading this book all at once. I took a bit of a break and when I picked it back up, I had forgotten what had happened and it took me a bit to get back into it. If you're an Oliver fan, this book certainly will not disappoint!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
This was completely different than I expected. I was prepared for a great mystery story and this did not at all live up to that.

In general, I liked the overall arc of the story. I liked the Nick and Dara story (minus the Parker and Andre-related elements). I LOVED the Madeline Snow aspect. If the rest of the elements of the story would have been different (no/less Parker, no Andre-related elements), this could have been a really great book.

First of all: Parker. I quickly reached the point in this story that I just didn't want to hear about him anymore. At all. Not a peep about him. And that point was reached fairly early on. I didn't find him to be a likable or sympathetic character. Even if I might have, having romantic interludes/relationships with sisters is just not something that appeals to me. I hated the Parker aspect of this story. If his role in the book had been severely diminished, that would have been better. But everything from both sisters was Parker this and Parker that the whole way through. I was over it. Then after that massive plot twist near the end? I was SERIOUSLY over it. Come on. What was it about the guy that would have made him that much of a catch, anyway? Because I did not see it. Maybe his character could have been better developed as we really didn't get to know him all that well. Maybe the book would have been improved by having some chapters told from his perspective also in addition to Dara's and Nick's chapters. We'll never know because that didn't happen.

Second: Andre-related activities is what I shall call them to avoid spoilers. Completely unnecessary! Ridiculously disturbing! Added nothing to the story! If the excessive amount of exclamations is any indication, I feel pretty strongly about this. We get it, Dara was not a good girl. She snuck out, she drank, she experimented with some drugs. But this? Really? Why? To make the reader like Nick more by comparison? I just don't understand the purpose behind this at all. Lauren Oliver had already made Dara out to be enough of a failure and screw-up, this was simply overkill. Crikey.

Again, I didn't hate this story. I loved the plot twist. I loved the Madeline Snow storyline. With some reworking this could have been a fantastic book. I simply don't think it is as it stands.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
betsy albright
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“The truth is this: it doesn’t take any skill to almost-die, or to almost-live either.”

This was an intriguing story about two sisters separated by a dangerous accident, and their relationship before and after it happened.

“Dara is bored to tears alone one Saturday night.
Dara is hopelessly scarred for life.”

I really liked Dara and Nick, and it was so sad the way they were no longer talking after the accident. It seemed like they were really close before, and for them to be so distant with each other afterwards was really unusual, and it was obvious how much it was affecting Nick.

“Want to play?”
These are the three words I’ve heard most often in my life. Want to play?

“Happy birthday, Dara,” I say out loud. I fish my phone from my pocket. No surprise, she never texted me back.

The storyline in this was really good, with Nick and Dara not talking, an obvious animosity between them, a missing little girl, and an element of mystery over what happened between the girls to cause them to fall out so spectacularly.

“I can see the faint imprints of footsteps in the mud. Looking up I think I see a flash of skin, a bright spot of colour, a flicker of dark hair moving through the woods that crowd up against the back of our house.
“Dara!” I call out. Then: “Dara!”
But she doesn’t turn around.”

There was a little bit of romance, but not a lot, and this also played into the animosity between the girls, as it seemed like there might have been a bit of a love triangle going on between the girls and the boy next door.

"Dr Lick Me – I’m sorry, Lichme – says I should spend five minutes a day writing about my feelings.
So here I go:
I hate Parker.
I hate Parker.
I hate Parker.
I hate Parker.
I hate Parker.
I feel better already!"

The ending to this was surprising, but something was also revealed that I had guessed at very early on in the book, not that this spoiled the book at all for me.

“Tonight Dara and I wake the beast together. Tonight we ride the Gateway up to the stars.”

Overall; gripping tale about two sister’s torn apart by an accident,
7.5 out of 10
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda m
Author Lauren Oliver paints well developed and absolutely readable characterizations. These characters are living and breathing teen sisters who capture the reader's heart from the outset. We get Nick's and Dara's point of view in alternating chapters peppered with blog posts. This is both a touching and feeling look at sibling relationships and a spellbinding mystery surrounding a young girl's disappearance. The author does take her time in getting to the real point of the story, but in doing so, she adds depth to the theme of sibling relationship.

The ending is a bit of a shocker, but it's done smoothly and believably. I do give this a high recommendation.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
louella nelson
I expected much better out of Lauren Oliver. Let me say I absolutely love stories that have this twist and while I did not go into the book knowing it was going to be one of THOSE books, I did figure out the twist way too soon for it to be enjoyable. It wasn't a bad story but it has been done much better.

What the book was about:
Two sisters having been in a recent accident and having to deal with how it has affected each of them and their relationship.

What I liked:
The general premise of the story. I always love Lauren's ideas. She is really imaginative and I will of course always keep her as a potential book buy, but certainly not at my top. Pretty decent writing, if a little too easy and sometimes a little less then what i was expecting but some major editorial mistakes at the beginning of the book but not as much in the middle or ending.

What I disliked:
I also had trouble with how Lauren Oliver tends to portray teens. Always drinking, smoking, and using drugs. I just finished this and her other book Panic, and both had very heavy teen usage of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. I don't know about some people but not every teen at school does these things, but she made it sound like every teen at school does these things regardless if the character liked to.

The plot twist I knew not even half way through the book. so that was disappointing. The story wasn't as well portrayed as some others of similar themes.

I don't know but I rushed through this one because it wasn't as gripping. I don't hate it, but it was not a good one to me.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lora logan
My Thoughts: I adore Lauren Oliver! I always seem to find myself reading her books and enjoying them.

Vanishing Girls was a difficult read for me. I didn’t get immersed like I usually do. We are introduced to Dara and Nick. Sisters. They used to be close but now Nick finds herself drifting from Dara. Ever since the accident the two sisters just can’t connect to one another. And we also meet their friend Parker. I really liked Parker and the place Nick worked with him. It felt very laid back and enjoyable there.

I think I liked Nick more than Dara. But even she at times got annoying. I just didn’t connect very well with the girls or the plot. And, the plot confused me at times. I understand why now but it seemed like it jumped around too much for me to really keep track of what was going on. And it showed us some of Dara’s writings too and I just didn’t care about what she said. HAHA!

I finally figured out what was actually going on about ¾ of the way through and things came together. But by than I was almost done reading.

Overall: I can see where some people will love this book and give it 5 stars. For me, I just had a hard time with it, BUT I still adore Oliver! I have enjoyed the rest of her books so far so hopefully this was just a miss with me and I’ll be right back to loving her next one. Maybe it was just my reading mood or I just have a hard time with mystery or books that deal with this subject.

I did finish it and I thought it was just okay.

Cover: I do like the cover. Very neat and I’d definitely pick it up to see what it’s about.

What I’d Give It: 3/5 Cupcakes
Taken From Princess Bookie
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carolyn good
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before. Before the fight, before the accident, before Dara was left broken and angry and unable to forgive Nick for driving that night, for causing the accident.

Now they avoid one another, they barley talk let alone share secrets like they used to.

So when Dara goes missing Nick thinks she's just trying to get attention, play games, that is until she realizes that her disappearance might just be linked to the disappearance of another girl, this one nine years old.

"Vanishing Girls" draws you in and hangs on to you with all it's might. It's the perfect blend of darkness and light. Of hope and utter despair.


The day I picked this up was the day that Lauren Oliver happened to be doing a signing at my local bookstore. I swung by and picked it up around 11am thinking I would read a least a few chapters, just enough to acquaint myself with the story and the characters so I wouldn't be completely lost during the Q&A portion of the signing.

I finished it 3 hours later.

I can't even describe how much I LOVED this book.

The characters are developed, the plot is spectacular and the setting is breathtaking, the story as a whole is amazing but even if you break it up into different pieces it's still worthwhile.

I loved how the story centered around sisters. Both so different yet so alike.

Weaving in Madeline Snow's disappearance really kept the story going and added a note of desperation to the storyline.

I adored the setting of the ammusment park and it's array of unusual and original characters.

I can honestly say that this is my all time favorite Lauren Oliver book, it's dark and twisted and intense to the point of cause the reading extreme pain and disbelief.

The moment I finished it I wanted to start it over again from the beginning.

If you're looking for a thrilling story that will keep you up late at night thinking about it then look no further because "Vanishing Girls" is that book!

Until next time,
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I enjoyed this read. It wasn't quite what I expected but I liked it. I went into this book for the mystery and yes there was mystery but that wasn't really what the book was, a mystery. It felt and read more like a realistic fiction and I think that many readers who read realistic fiction will enjoy this book too. I didn't quite get what I was expecting but I still liked the book.

Dara and Nick are sisters not even a year apart, they are close, they do lot of things together. A car crash changes everything. The sisters no longer speak. Nick is miserable, and Dara plays the avoiding game and then the disappearing game. Nick sets out to find her and discovers many truths... about a missing little girl, her sister's avoidance and disappearance, and even a bit about herself.

I really truly was not prepared for this book. I went into the read expecting a mystery and yes there was mystery but it was so much more. It had a realistic fiction feel. I wasn't expecting this but I liked it. I actually loved the tone and the writing style. I was curious from the very beginning and had a real need to fix the characters and find out the truth.

The characters were annoying at times but after what has happened in their lives I really didn't expect anything more out of them. They were pretty screwed up. I didn't particularly like them but I connected with them. It was more of a "I want to slap you connection" but I enjoyed disliking them. I felt that in the end something would come out their issues and I was right. In the end there was growth and there was hope. SO I enjoyed my relationship with the characters.

I did not enjoy the parents involvement in this book. There was so much going on and so little being address by the parents. I know this was a ya book and parents aren't always involved, but I feel that this book thy should have been. It was a story about family, loss, secrets, and some pretty dark stuff. I think parents needed to be involved.

I loved the story. The story was good and I was a bit disappointed I figured out the mystery out before it was revealed. Of course this book had more than one mystery. That was one of the great things about this story. I only figured out one mystery, the others not so much. This story was, in a way, three stories intertwined. It was told in pieces from present and past. I love these stories, It adds so much. I also loved the blog entries, journal entries, and news stories that were added to pieces the story together. It flowed very well.

The only piece of this journey that really held me back was the main mystery, figuring it out early brought down just a tad for me. I liked the story, enjoyed it very much but I think I would have been wowed if I hadn't picked up on the things that gave it away.

I liked it, A well done story that was beautifully written.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ryan sult
Nick (Nicole) and Dara are sisters who were inseparable when they were younger, but became more competitive as they grew up...especially when it came to Nick's best friend, Parker. Nick was the nice, obedient sister. Dara was the sister who drank, did drugs, ran around with boys, and became Parker's girlfriend. But Dara was also hiding a secret. And one terrible night, Nick and Dara got in a horrific accident that left them completely at odds with each other.

Nick and Dara's parents are divorced. Nick has been living with her father, but he's decided she needs to move home with her mom to work out some of the struggles she's been having since the accident. Nick is worried about seeing Dara again, but as Dara's birthday looms closer, Nick wants to try to make amends with her sister.

Around the same time Nick moves home to Somerville, 9 year old Madeline Snow disappears. The whole town seems focused on finding Madeline. Nick's mom is constantly watching it on the news. But Nick is focused on trying to mend her relationship with Parker and planning something big for Dara's birthday.

Dara's birthday finally arrives and Nick is excited about becoming friends with her sister again. But when Dara doesn't show up for their family dinner and then seems to have disappeared later that night, Nick goes out on her own to search for her sister. She discovers that Dara's disappearance is somehow linked to Madeline's, but an even bigger revelation confronts Nick that evening and threatens everything she thought she knew to be true.

Nick and Dara were both messed up by the choices they made and the things that had happened to them in their lives. It reminds me of the saying that you are free to make the choices you want, but you are not free to choose the consequences of those choices. Unfortunately, Nick and Dara both had some serious consequences to the choices they had made.

The first book genre I fell in love was mysteries. I think that's why I enjoyed Vanishing Girls so much. Lauren Oliver's writing is amazing. She doesn't just tell a story - she paints a portrait of the characters' lives. If you love a good mystery, you will love Vanishing Girls. It's one you'll want to reread as soon as you finish it.

One more thing - Lauren Oliver wins the prize for best character name ever. Nick and Dara's therapist is named Dr. Lichme. Or Dr. Lick Me, as they refer to him. LOL

Content: Language, underage drinking & drug use
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kathy b
***I received this book as a gift

Vanishing Girls is about sisters and the growing pains that cause a divide. Memories of times when things were easier, when things like boys, and finding themselves didn’t interfere with their love for each other were poignant and heartwarming. The pangs of sadness radiated from Dara and Nick, deep and nostalgic. Despite everything, the Grand Canyon between them, they remember and they miss each other so badly it’s a physical ache. The gulf is wide and vast and they both struggle to overcome the space between, to figure out where it went wrong. The dynamics between older and younger siblings, popularity, attractiveness all come into play.

Madeline Snow’s disappearance propels the story forward, a mystery that grips the small town and overwhelms everyone’s thoughts. The police blotters, parents preoccupation with the search and community unity added a sinister, mysterious tone to the story that kept me in suspense. On the downside, I cared more about what happened to Madeline than the squabbles between Dara and Nick because in comparison, it was pretty weak.

The twist was unexpected and heartbreaking. Suddenly every bit of space makes sense in an in your face revelation.

The story felt fragmented and random. Pieces connected but didn’t fit with the overall story arc and the big mystery of what happened leading up to the accident was never truly revealed. There are pieces of the puzzle that at the end were still missing.

Pacing was slow and parts lagged even with the varying POVs, journal entries, etc.

The ending drama was resolved quickly and read like summary. I would have liked to see more of what the after effects were, not just the verdict of the crimes but the healing process.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
karrie s
I honestly had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I just wanted more Lauren Oliver genius and I found that. I was very surprised by this book.

This book focuses on two sisters, Dara and Nick. After a car accident, the two sisters have drifted apart. Dara has always been known as the party girl, while Nick has always been the good girl. Now, Dara is tired of how Nick is the favorite and Nick just wants to be able to talk to Dara again. At the same time, they're family is in shambles and no one can seem to understand why the sisters are acting the way they are. Then, Dara disappears and Nick is desperate to find her. Throughout, we will find out what lead to the accident, and along with Nick, we will find out the secrets that Dana kept.

The way this book is organized is confusing at first. Not only do we get points of view from both sisters, but this book also has 'Before' chapters and 'After' chapters. They aren't really labeled as such, just with the date, so it takes a bit of thinking to realize where you are in the timeline. I don't really know if the Before chapters were really that necessary, though we didn't get much of them. I kind of feel like we could've have been given that info in the 'After' chapters, but it's not that big of a deal. This book also has little news stories added in, which I actually did think were very nice and gave little hints of things that would be important to the plot.

This book overall has a very interesting feel to it. It's described as a 'psychological thriller', but I think this book has strong contemporary aspects. In the beginning, the only main mystery is what lead to the accident, as neither sister mentions it, and little mentions of the missing young girl. The thriller aspect may come later, with Nick trying to find her sister and discovering her secrets, but for some reason it doesn't have a strong thriller vibe until the very end. I must say, though, that there is a lot of mystery involved in this book. Overall, this book has a major focus on the sisters and their broken relationship.

Lastly, I need to mention that there is a plot twist, one that I both love and hate. I love it for the same reason that I hate it, if that makes any sense. I generally love plot twist because they surprise me, screw up my mind, and are twisted genius. I love this about the twist, I REALLY didn't see this one coming. While I liked that, there wasn't really anything to hint at it. I look back to find hints and all it does is confuse me. So, while I find the genius in the twist and it's one of the best I've seen (We Were Liars still tops it, though. Nothing can beat that one), I need to be able to wrap my mind around it and I'm still shaking my head in confusion.

Overall, I did very much enjoy this book! Lauren Oliver is a wonderful writer and she wrote a fantastic mystery involving two sisters! I have a love/hate relationship with the twist, but I really do think that this book is worth reading!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mary cecilia
I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. None of my opinions are altered by that.

Lauren Oliver, you have surprised me again. After Panic, I was sure she was going to be able to impress me again. Well, I am not wrong. Vanishing Girls was honestly such a great read, I don't know why I waited this to actually get to it. I loved the characters and the plot and everything. Even though I loved this book, it was kind of hard for me to keep up with and a lot of the times I felt myself having the need to skip ahead.

Ahh the characters. This book actually takes place in a sequence of Post and Pre Accident Nick and Dara. There are a few news articles, diary entries, and text messages as chapters as well. I loved reading from Nick's perspective. It was great to see how she handling things after the accident, adjusting to things, and getting her life back to how it was before. Dara, on the other hand got a bit annoying. Maybe it's the fact that I can relate more to Nick, but I found Dara to be a bit of a diva. I always felt like her and Nick were in this competition and most the time, it was between Dara and natural-winning-Nick who wasn't aware such thing. From seeing who could have the most fun at a party to impressing their parents. Nick, at one point, did catch on to this competition and was able to beat Dara in her little game aware or unaware. Dara was basically EVERY cliché teenage rebel. Drugs, parties, drinking and all the sha-bang. Even if these two didn't seem very friendly to each other when they were older, when they were younger they were so cute. It was just like how all siblings are, where the younger one is always nagging to play with the older one. (<-- Me and my sis back then)

Like I mentioned above, the plot of this book was great. I loved the concept of it and how Dara goes missing, which may be related to the fact that Madeline Snow is missing as well. It was just so mysterious because with Madeline, there were so many aspects of her disappearance that kept you wanting to know more. That is the same that went for Dara's disappearance. I was always wondering what had happened to her and I really think that added well with the post-accident thing.

Now how did I feel like I was jumping around with the text? Usually when I read I am able to stick to the text and not get ahead of myself. I haven't read so fast my brain can't keep up with my eyes in a long time! I've been better with sticking with the text but this time I just kept reading ahead. There were just too many sections of big boring description...

I gave this book 4 stars because even though this book got a little jumpy at some points, I loved the plot and characters.

Full review:
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
na a pavlica
I was very excited to get my hands on another Lauren Oliver story because … well Lauren Oliver means you’re guaranteed a compelling and beautiful story with some twists and turns, and that’s exactly what I got.
Dara and Nick were sisters and inseparable … but then the accident happened and it left Dara scarred and the sisters completely estranged and a family broken.
When Dara disappears on her birthday, she’s convinced that it’s linked to the disappearance of another little girl in town who vanished. Now Nick has to find Dara before it’s too late…. What she finds is a world of secrets and suspicion that will leave you guessing until the very end.
Upon finishing this book, I thrust it at my sister and said “READ THIS” so that I can talk to you about it and we can discuss all of the things. It just so happened that she was traveling for work and had time to read… I ignored her questioning text messages where she needled me to give up clues and make comments because I honestly didn’t want to spoil any twists that are in this story… which leaves me with quite the conundrum in also writing this review.
I’m not going to tell you anything about it, but when you finish, come find me and we’ll chat. What I will say is this. Oliver can tell a dark and twisted story. I found myself entranced with this story of dysfunction and sadness and while I knew that something was going on, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it… until I did and that was the genius of the story itself. Everything just sort of slid into place once I got to a certain point.
I’ll be honest, when I finished, it made me think a bit about another story I read last year and really enjoyed, but there are only slight resemblances. Oliver’s take on this is unique and suspenseful and a book that once I started, I just couldn’t seem to put down.
If you’re a suspense fan and love stories that will keep you guessing to the very end, definitely grab this one upon it’s release!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Honestly, I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. I really like Lauren Oliver's work because she has this way of describing places that makes everything seem really real and her pacing is usually really good (a lot of books move way too slowly) and the way she describes situations and people, you really /feel/ it. You fall in love with the main character's crushes and feel their panic, their heartbreak. And I think that's the mark of a good author.

This book is no less stunning in all of the way that make Lauren Oliver awesome. And that's of course part of why I liked it. But I also liked it for what it was: a completely surprising, unexpected and real story. People are never perfect and neither are Lauren Oliver's characters. They're full people with insecurities and problems, just like the rest of us. And I find myself rooting for the relationship between Nicole and her sister, Dara.

As the story unfolds, in addition to caring deeply for the characters, I found myself completely submersed in their world. So much so, and the book is so artfully arranged, that I was completely taken by surprise toward then end when I realized what was going on. It's like all the clues going back suddenly leading up to that moment should have been more obvious. But they are so subtle, growing more and more obvious as the story progresses that the idea hadn't honestly occurred to me. And there are so few genuinely surprising things that happen in books these days. Like Nicole, I found myself unwilling to believe the truth, even after it was presented as undeniable. And I think that's part of what makes this book even more compelling.

Brilliantly written. Well-paced. Interesting to read. It surprised me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
steve coughlan
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!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sheri schuttler
I am the sort of Lauren Oliver fan that if there was an announcement that she was writing a math textbook, I would preorder that textbook despite not really understanding math. In short, I am a Lauren Oliver fan girl. So, know that I do have certain biases. Vanishing Girls is Oliver’s latest addition to the young adult section. What I truly love about her books is that it’s never the same book repackaged with different character names and maybe a new setting. Instead, each book you get with Oliver is something different and new. I like that she’s willing to try writing so many different types of books and genres. Vanishing Girls is a contemporary mystery. It’s a book that you should certainly put on your to be read list if you enjoy suspenseful and thrilling reads.

Vanishing Girls is about two sisters – Nick and Dara. There was an accident in March, where Dara was seriously injured. Nick was driving. Dara refuses to speak with Nick. What this book does is go back and forth between Nick’s point of view and Dara’s point of view as well as in timeline – describing the time leading up to the accident and the time after the accident. Meanwhile there’s a few different plot threads going on. Nick is spending her summer working at this cheesy place called Fantasy Land, or FanLand for short. One of her coworkers is her childhood best friend, Parker, whom is the source of awkward feelings seeing as how he used to date Dara, thus ruining Nick’s friendship. Meanwhile, Dara and Nick’s mother and community is obsessed with the disappearance of a little girl named Madeline Snow. This girl’s disappearance is closely linked with the disappearance of a central character in Vanishing Girls. Oliver masterfully weaves the various plot threads into a read that blew my mind.

Nick is the older, more responsible sibling. She is a little bit plain and unassuming when compared to Dara. She’s also the one who has strong scholastic achievement and is really excellent at field hockey. Anyways, Nick has had a rough time since the accident because she desperately wants Dara to talk to her again and wants that closeness again, yet Dara is just so mad at her that she refuses any sort of contact. When I began Vanishing Girls, I thought that Nick was a bit boring compared to Dara. She comes across as a safe character who never leaves her comfort zone. However as with many books that I love, Nick begins to develop as a character and she becomes interesting. I can’t go into how, just know that I ended up feeling empathy and interest for her.

Dara is the younger sibling. She’s wild and sort of a rebel. She wears all kinds of garish clothing and makeup. She’s typically the center of attention and the life of the party. Dara has no qualms about drinking or doing drugs. She’s the type of person who consistently tests her limits. After the accident, she’s different. She is scarred and so she feels ugly. She stops going out and partying. She becomes sort of a recluse. Her friends really have nothing to do with her anymore either. Dara feels betrayed. Her chapters and diary entries are quite compelling. It’s fascinating to me, how Dara and Nick are jealous of each other and yet they are so incredibly different from each other. Dara feels like Nick can’t let her have anything that’s just her own and Nick feels overshadowed and pushed to the side by Dara.

If you are into books with unreliable narrators, I think you will really enjoy Vanishing Girls. This book is unreliable narration to a T. I won’t spoil you beyond that. Just know that the various plot threads all do weave together at the end to create what may as well be a literary mosaic. When the elements like Madeline Snow’s disappearance, Nick and Dara’s animosity towards each other, the divorce of their parents, Parker, and FanLand are viewed separately, it might not seem like they have anything to do with each other. Yet, when you get the whole picture and view it all at once, it becomes this excellent picture that artfully comes together.

I think that if you are the sort of person who hates big twists or feels betrayed by a twist, you might not love Vanishing Girls. However, if you are oblivious like me and forget even what the back cover mentions, you’re going to love Lauren Oliver’s latest book. For me, I was won over by the portrayal of two sisters and what exactly the bonds of sisterhood mean. I loved this book and it’s focus on family — especially a family that is as broken as Dara and Nick’s (also – this is another plot thread that is perfectly explained in the book).
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aji purwoseputro
Lauren Oliver has always been one of my favorite authors because she really knows how to capture the beauty of life. Vanishing Girls is the most accurate, wonderful depiction of a relationship between two sisters and is such a heartbreaking literary experience. This is a lyrical, gorgeously written novel that I couldn’t stop reading and I fell in love with both Nick and Dara almost immediately. I can’t express the avalanche of emotions I felt while reading this book, but I just know that it was something special.

Nick has always been a shadow compared to her sister Dara who’s much more outgoing and wild. Despite their incredibly different personalities, the sisters have always been close until the accident that tore them apart. Now the sisters are distant and Dara becomes a mystery to Nick, then Dara and a girl named Madeleine Snow goes missing. Nick will do anything to get her sister and Madeleine back, even if it means finding out the truth.

It’s rare to find a book in which there’s a positive female friendship, especially in YA. Most YA books are big on slut shaming and displaying female relationships as something negative and horrible, so it’s a relief to see such a refreshing relationship. Oliver claimed that Nick and Dara are based the relationship she had with her sister, something that I totally can see. The sister relationship is totally on point in this book, capturing both the highs and lows of such a bond honestly. Oliver really shows the strength of family and how there is no more powerful unifier than blood.

Despite everything, I really liked Dara even though she makes one questionable decision after the other. Between smoking, drinking, making poor decisions at parties, Dara continues to make mistake after mistake and yet, she’s my favorite character in this one. She’s one of the realest teenage characters in YA because she acts like a honest-to-god teen. She’s far from perfect, wears her flaws on her sleeve and is looking to fit in, to be loved. I also felt for Dara because it’s not easy being a twin and she desperately wanted to be see as someone so different from Nick that she lost sight of herself.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I’ll read ANYTHING Lauren Oliver writes. Her prose is as perfect as always, but I missed her flowerly language that she used in the Delirium series. Here her writing is still gorgeous, but it’s much more practical and less purple, something that was a bit disappointing. It’s still incredibly easy to get lost inside VG because she writes like a master and knows just what to say to make readers’ hearts flutter.

Vanishing Girls is one of those books that rely on a big twist at the end and this can make or break the book for readers. I wasn’t exactly pleased with this ending nor was I particularly angered by it like others. I’ve seen this ending before and in some cases it’s worked, but here it just felt odd and made the ending feel lacking.

Between Panic and Vanishing Girls, I’m really so happy that Lauren Oliver has returned to her contemporary roots. I’m super excited to read Before I Fall and Oliver’s middle-grade offerings because I can’t get enough of her writing. Vanishing Girls is an emotional, well-written novel that will overcome readers with emotion from start to finish. Fans of her previous books will find themselves immersed once again in Vanishing Girls.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
summer bond
I had high expectations for this book. I adore Lauren Oliver, and I fully expected this book to be amazing.

It was and it wasn't.

The book is about two sisters: Nicole (Nick), and Dara. Nick is the good girl of the family. She follows the rules and listens (for the most part) to her parents. Dara is wild and messy and very, very alive, always wanting to live her life to the fullest.

Dara and Nick used to be super close, until Dara stole Nick's best friend (Parker), and they had a fight. Now they're barely on speaking terms, and when they do speak it tends to revolve back into fighting. It's one of those relationships were each sister would kill to be each other, because both think the other is better, prettier, more loved by everyone.

The way Lauren Oliver described everything was amazing. She is the master at somehow managing to perfectly describe something...anything, with only a few words. I hope hope hope I'll be able to do that someday, because right now I feel overly descriptive.

My problems lay with the plot. Oh, there's a car accident? Let's give you a post on a website and say no more about it. It seemed to kind of jump around, it would mention one thing than not touch back on it for a while.

But the ending...oh, the ending. Outside I looked completely normal, but inside I was like this.


I was crying internally. It was perfect and it was awful and it was very, very interesting.

So, this might not be the best Lauren Oliver book ever, but it's worth a read and it's been out long enough that there shouldn't be that many holds on it at the library. You really have no excuse not to.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
megan story
Vanishing Girls sucked me in from the beginning. We start the story with a short scene between Nick and Dara, learning that they have always been close despite their varying tastes. Having a wonderful relationship with my own sister, I found it fascinating that after a car accident these two could not be further apart. And not in the snide remarks and dirty looks kind of way, but the full on avoiding kind of way. Nick has even moved out of her mother's house and moved in with her father in attempt to give Dara space and time apart.

I am sometimes wary when authors have dual narratives, that are equally dominate, as I've seen it work wonders and I've seen it crash and burn - either one voice is too strong or neither voice is great. In Vanishing Girls both narratives are strong and allow us to get to know both Nick and Dara, along with the pain they are both holding on to, both individually and as a unit. I was drawn to both of these girls, hoping they would find their peace with one another and move one from what happened that fateful night.

The other aspect of the narrative that I enjoyed, which others may find confusing, is it jumps around in time - but I didn't find it difficult to keep straight. One chapter may be after the accident, while the next takes place beforehand, then we read a diary entry before heading back to present time. It added to the story and is a driving force.

Not only is the plot compelling and tense, but Lauren's writing is beautiful. She knows how to pull her readers into the story and hold them in there. I didn't find myself wavering or pulling away from the story because the world and characters she has created are wonderfully written. A thrilling read about the relationship between two sisters, the secrets between them, and finding the strength to forgive, Vanishing Girls will keep you flipping pages until the very end.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lauren schuman
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Two sisters desperately trying to create their own personalities but realizing far too late that they are more similar than they would like.

Opening Sentence: The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train and take time to chase butterflies through grassy fields or see rainbows in puddles of oil slick on the highway.

The Review:

If you have any siblings, regardless of your relationship with them, you’ll find something in common with Nick and Dara. They were inseparable until Dara started dating Nick’s best friend, Parker. That’s when things changed for the worst. Especially when everyone, including the sisters, knows that Parker chose the wrong sister.

You see, even then, I knew. It wasn’t a trick. It wasn’t a show. Sometimes day and night reverse. Sometimes up goes down and down goes up and love turns into hate, and the things you counted on get washed out from under your feet, leaving you pedaling in the air.
Sometimes people stop loving you. And that’s the kind of darkness that never gets fixed, no matter how many moons rise again, filling the sky with a weak approximation of light.

Vanishing Girls isn’t just about two sisters fighting over a boy; it’s also about siblings trying to forge their own identity, life altering events and a mystery surrounding a missing girl. Madeleine is the name of the girl that has ‘vanished’ and I wonder if Lauren Oliver realised that in 2007 a little girl called Madeleine went missing and has never been found?

5. I’m super, extra, mega grateful that no one knows what really happened. That no one will ever know. They say that you’re supposed to tell the truth. Dr. Lichme says that, anyway.
But don’t they also say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you?

Although Vanishing Girls is an average read, my low rating is because I expected so much more from the likes of Lauren Oliver, particularly because I was a huge fan of her Delirium series. This story was okay but not great.

I did not like Parker at all. Firstly, you don’t date your bestest friend’s younger sister, and secondly, if you do, then it’s because you’re very much in love with them, not because you were too chicken to ask your best friend out! And you don’t forget your best friend whilst dating her sister. Also, for future reference, no one likes a cheater! Parker broke possibly every single BFF code possible and still both girls were gaga over him?!

“It’ll be just like old times,” Parker says, and I feel a hard ache in my chest, a desperate desire for something lost long ago.
Everyone knows you can’t go back.

Nick and Dara are likeable enough and although I understood their roller coaster sisterly bond, I could not connect with either sister. I get that the story surrounds a tragic accident and things like that have serious repercussions, but there was so much doom and gloom that it became a drag to read.

Memory is like that too. We build careful bridges. But they’re weaker than we think.
And when they break, all our memories return to drown us.

The changing format of the chapters was probably what kept me reading. Some chapters were in the form of diary entries, others were news articles, letters from the doctor, and so on. After a while though, this constant change became frustrating because it wasn’t always clear which chapter was a flashback and which was the present, plus it alternated between the sisters’ perspectives so that added to the problem.

To conclude, I wasn’t invested enough in this story or the characters to fully enjoy Vanishing Girls.

Notable Scene:

That’s what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you’re supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you’d rather stay in bed and do nothing.

The truth is this: it doesn’t take any skill to almost-die, or to almost-live either.

FTC Advisory: HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Vanishing Girls. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The psychological suspense novel is the new “it read,” captivating the minds, hearts, and breath of readers across the country. For bibliophiles who cannot get enough of these gripping stories, Lauren Oliver presents Vanishing Girls, a novel geared to the young adult crowd, but one that will also easily be picked up by adults looking for lighter thrills and chills. Coming in at just over 350 pages, Vanishing Girls is long enough to languidly unravel the suspense without shortchanging the reader – a crime of which many young adult novels are found guilty. Never fear - there’s something here for both teens and adults alike.

Vanishing Girls follows two sisters, Nick and Dara, close in age, yet far apart at heart due to a mysterious car accident, which found Nick at the wheel and Dara injured. Now months later, both Nick and Dara are recovering mentally and physically. It seems some confrontation between the sisters spurred the wreck on that rainy night. Did they fight because of Parker, Nick’s best friend from childhood whom Dara has fallen for? Or did the sisters’ inherent differences – Dara always finding herself in trouble, while Nick carries the label of “the good girl” - cause the conflict? Whatever the cause may be, this clash between Nick and Dara has carried over into present day, which finds the sisters not speaking.

While Nick and Dara have essentially vanished from each other’s lives – they avoid each other at all costs - another girl in their community goes missing from those who love her. Madeline Snow, a 9-year-old blonde has disappeared out of the backseat of her sister’s car while getting ice cream late one night. As Nick struggles to accept her sister’s rejection of their relationship, she becomes more involved in the Madeline Snow case. Could there be a connection between Madeline’s disappearance and the event that wrecked Nick and Dara’s relationship forever?

Told from the point of view of both Nick and Dara, and vacillating between past and present day, Vanishing Girls mixes things up just enough to keep the reader turning the pages. The story flows smoothly across the pages, and the characters come to life as the tale unfolds. Any reader with siblings will recognize the tension that comes from having a “built-in friend from birth,” and the difficulties that arise when you discover that you don’t make for such great friends after all. The feelings that Nick experiences as she realizes that blood runs thicker than water are heartfelt, aching, and true. This is as much a story about the connection between two sisters, as it is a mystery to unravel.

Vanishing Girls Novelist Appeals
GENRE: Mystery stories
STORYLINE: Intricately-plotted
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
billy renkl
Lauren Oliver is a writer that I'll always try to check out because the first book that I ever read of hers knocked me out. Given the content, it is hard to say that I liked it but it stayed with me for a long time so when I saw this book, I snatched it up.

"Vanishing Girls" is in a similar terrain to "Before I Fall" in that it is about a young women. In this case, it is about two sisters, Dara and Nick (Nicole). Only a year apart, the sisters are involved in a car crash that seemingly leaves one (Dara) scarred. Interlaced with the story of the two sisters is the disappearance of a young girl named Maddie Snow.

It has all the ingredients for an interesting story and in some places, it is interesting but the pacing can drag at times. The timeline isn't linear which sometimes makes it hard to keep track of. There is a twist although it isn't particularly hard to figure out and that may annoy some readers but for me, it was a reasonable one.

I'm not really sure what it was about the story that fell a bit short to me. I think maybe the clutter of the various viewpoints, blogger entries, emails, etc kept interrupting my reading rhythm. I'm not sure but I did feel like I never did get into a comfortable rhythm so maybe I never really connected to the story.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Vanishing Girls
Lauren Oliver

Key characters...and what is going down with them...

Dara and Nick...sisters...are the main characters in this book...boyfriend/friend Parker plays a lead role, too.

Pretty much this is one of those books that you don't want to know too much about. The girls are 17 and 16 when a traumatic event occurs that really sets the pace for the entire rest of the book. The girls' parents are of the girls is much more of a partier than the other...and then the "event" occurs. Nick stays really messed up because of it as she tries to deal with her new reality...whatever that is.

What I thought about this book...

To be perfectly honest I thought that this book was just ok. I didn't really care about Nick or Dara...or the parents who couldn't pull it together for them. I know that I read a book that reminds me of this one earlier this year so perhaps that is why I didn't love this one. It's not bad...but for me just ok.

Why you might want to read it, spite of me...

As I said is not a bad or uninteresting book...I just didn't have that connection that I need n order for me to really love a book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ann van
This wasn't a hit with me, unfortunately. Its an interesting idea, but the execution wasn't there. The narrative is hard to follow at times, flipping between a Before and After but not necessarily in a super easily laid out way. Though these somewhat confusing elements tie up pretty well in the end, it still was a bit too muddled for me. Reading this was a bit of work as a result, which did take away from my enjoyment of it.

All that aside, this is an interesting story with a really awesome sibling and family element to it. It's stand out in some aspects as a result of this, and certainly is provoking. I loved the tenuous relationship between these two sisters, and especially after the accident, watching them both suffer in their own ways.

This is one of those books where trying to really go into detail of the different things that impressed me with this book would likely spoil something. Suffice it to say, it's probably a confusing book, but fairly worthwhile in the end. There is something masterful in the way its wrapped up, and don't let the disconnect, especially at the start, turn you off from it. Though parts of this lacked for me, it still is an interesting story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Lauren Oliver, author of the Delirium trilogy and YA bestsellers BEFORE I FALL and PANIC, will have readers grabbing up copies of her latest page-turner, VANISHING GIRLS.

Sisters Dara and Nick are as different as can be. Where Nick is thoughtful, introverted and measured, Dara is outgoing, spontaneous and careless. In spite of these differences, the two sisters couldn’t be closer. Nick has spent her entire life watching out for Dara, and with their parents’ recent divorce, Dara’s welfare is solely on Nick’s shoulders.

Following a mysterious accident, a rift develops in the once inseparable duo’s relationship, and the sisters are soon leading separate lives. While Dara is off doing her own thing, Nick begins work at local adventure park Fantasy Land, where she rekindles her friendship with her old best friend, Parker (coincidentally, also Dara’s ex-boyfriend). Nick makes several attempts to reconnect with her sister, and plans an elaborate surprise for the night of Dara’s birthday. However, things begin to take a sinister turn when Nick sees her sister looking despondent and scared as she boards a bus heading in the opposite direction of her birthday celebration. Nick announces Dara’s change of plans to her family and finds a mysterious note within the pages of Dara’s diary that proclaim: “I MADE UP A GAME. IT’S CALLED CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.”

Furious and convinced that her sister is merely seeking her attention, Nick angrily commences the search for Dara. However, as the pieces come together, Nick realizes that the circumstances of her sister’s disappearance indicate that this vanishing act is not within the repertoire of Dara’s usual antics. Recently, a nine-year-old girl named Elizabeth Snow also vanished under mysterious circumstances, and Nick believes that there is some untold connection between the two cases. Nick’s travels unveil a seedy underworld that keeps readers reeling until the very last page.

The mark of a truly great read is one that has you walking away with the plotline stirring in your mind. This is the case with VANISHING GIRLS. The plot twist at the end of the novel is a truly satisfying mix of suspense, shock and bittersweet tenderness. In VANISHING GIRLS, Oliver weaves a psychological thriller that is a perfect treat for both mystery and romance readers alike. I wouldn't be surprised if this novel were to vanish (pun intended) off bookshelves everywhere.

Reviewed by Christi Sheehan
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer starkey
This is definitely Oliver's best book since Before I Fall, and I had trouble putting it down.

This was a mystery, a thriller, and a book with some psychological elements all mixed in. It had an exciting plot with quite a few threads going on that tied together quite nicely.

My favourite aspect of this book was the tension and the creepiness that hovered over me the whole time I was reading it. Even when I was lying on the grass reading it in the sun, I felt like there was a cloud hanging over me and tension was consuming me--there was just the aura that something bad was around every corner.

It actually reminded me from the first few chapters of Ellen Hopkins' Identical and because of that perhaps this book was less intense than it could have been.

The way Oliver weaved Nick's point of view in with newspaper articles, diary entries, text messages, chapters from the past, and other various pieces was very clever and well organized, adding without being distracting.

I really loved Nick. Even though I kept thinking she was Parker due to my horrible memory for names mixed with the stereotypically male nickname for Nicole. She was really well rounded, and though people--Dara especially--thought she seemed perfect, it was very apparent that there were cracks and that she herself could see them.

Some scenes, once knowing everything, were incredibly perfect and used the very clever diction I admire Oliver for.

Oliver has crafted a really clever book and while it was nowhere as strong as her writing in Before I Fall, I'm excited to see what she comes up with next.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The relationships between sisters can run the gamut of best friends for life to wanting to choke the life of out each other. With Dara and Nick, it runs somewhere in between. They are only eleven months apart with Nick being the elder. Nick also wears the title of perfect older sister to Dara's rebellious little sister. They each feel they have very defined roles in their family. There are a lot of underlying issues both sisters have with each other not the least of which is resentment. Nick resents Dara for having to clean up the messes her rebellions make and Dara resents Nick for always being first and best.

The sisters' relationship is not the only one explored but it is kept central to the story. The secondary relationships allow the reader to see how Dara and Nick relate to the people in their lives. So much of the push of the story hinges on the finding the truth of what happened on the night of the accident. Through experiencing memories of before the accident, we see how Dara and Nick's relationship had begun to deteriorate with neither one of them knowing how to fix the ever growing rift between them. I loved how even while you feel the animosity between them, there is still the underlying love they will always have for each other.

The plot twist took me by surprise and being surprised took me by surprised. (You know what I mean.) I usually, but not always, figure out what the twist is, or have some clue before the big reveal but not this time. This time when I read the plot twist my reaction ran along the lines of "wait...what?" I had to re-read the section in order to absorb what had happened. A shrink might say I didn't see it coming because I didn't want it to be true. Whatever the reason, I didn't like it and I'll leave it at that.

Even after my reaction to the plot twist, I still enjoyed the overall story. Oliver can write, there's no denying it. She is able to make her characters feel an array of strong emotions all while conveying those emotions to the reader, making this story a page turner.

Rating: A-
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ernie joselovitz
Contemporary Young Adult Suspense, Romantic Elements

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable. That was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the sisters estranged.

Nick thinks Dara is just playing around when Dara vanishes on her birthday. Madeline Snow a nine-year-old girl has also vanished. Now Nick is becoming increasingly convinced that both disappearances are linked. Nick has to find her sister before it’s too late.

This is an amazing book that has so many twists and turns that the reader will be taken on a roller coaster ride. Just as the reader thinks they might have an idea of what is going on another twist is thrown in that will have reader wondering if they have any idea of just where this story is headed. It will also have readers wanting to read other books by this author as this one just doesn’t let the reader go until the very last page. This is a must read for any reader that enjoys psychological thrillers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
carol eyler
** spoiler alert ** 3.75 STARS

okay. I won't include any spoilers, but initially I went into this novel expecting something else. a different story of sorts. what I got was a wonderfully crafted tale about sibling relationships and discovering your own thoughts. with that being said I loved this book, but only for the first 3/4 of it. when I got to the "twist" that's when the s*** really hit the fan. I not only could have guessed from the beginning (and I did in the first 60 pages) I just didn't want to believe it was that kind of story and I kept looking for clues to lead me to a bigger and better climax. I have seen it done countless times before and I was hoping for something better and more satisfying. (classic example: the horror film "The Uninvited," I think that movie did a great job of displaying the twist) sure, this novel was amazing in the first three parts, but it saddened me to see the last fourth wasted on a twist that could have been infinitely better with what was going for it. (the couch, the sex, the other girls! it could have been unforgettable!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Sisters Nicole and Dara have been close their whole lives. As "Vanishing Girls" begins, though, the effects of a serious car accident have driven a wedge between the girls. Nicole was driving but unhurt; Dara was seriously injured. Both girls are reeling from their parents' break-up and both are seeing a psychiatrist to help them work through their issues. The book flips back and forth through time, focusing on the time before the car accident and afterward. As Dara's birthday rolls around, the community is obsessed with the disappearance of a young girl. Then Dara disappears on her birthday. Nicole is driven to find her, and to re-establish the bond that the sisters shared when they were younger.

This was the first Lauren Oliver book I've read, so I have no basis for judging whether her writing is better or worse than in the past. From my perspective (a mom with three teenagers, one of whom is a daughter) she does a good job of capturing the feel and sound of teenage girls. The characters felt real, and the plot sucked you in right away. The biggest issue that I found with this particular book was that a major plot point seemed somehow derivative and not the shocking game-changer that it was intended to be. This is probably because other recent books have done something similar (and done it better), robbing the plot point of its shock value.

So I'll reserve judgment on Lauren Oliver for now. This book was very compelling and enjoyable, and the characters and setting felt real to me. If the plot felt like it had been done before, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and check out some of her other books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
beth cavanaugh
** spoiler alert ** Nicole Warren and her sister Dara got into an car accident a few months ago, and Nicole is moving back in with her mother is summer. Nothing is the same as it was before the accident her parents are n ow truly divorced, Dara won't speak with her, and her relationship with Parker her former best friend has been strained wince he dated Dara before the accident. Nicole's mom gets her a job working at Funland, a local amusement park, where Parker is also working this summer. Throw in a missing girl, Madeline Snow, the mystery of what happened to her sister before the accident and what happened the night of the accident and things get really interesting.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
adam howe
Lauren Oliver’s book are either the best or total letdowns. When I picked up Vanishing Girls, I expected to love it. The mystery, the shattered sister relationship and the subtle–but totally there–romance seemed like the book for me. However, when I read the last page, I shut the book thinking, “Meh.”

Don’t get me wrong — there’s definite suspense in this book as you are desperate to figure out what could possible possess Dara to flee or was she really kidnapped? The ending leaves you disappointed in more ways than one. Not only did it lack an epic conclusion you’re dying for, the “twist” made you scratch your mind in disbelief. Not ANOTHER book with the surprise twist leaving you with the sour taste of disappointment (I’m talking about you, Burn for Burn) .

If you like psychological twists, than maybe you’ll be able to tolerate Oliver’s ending. The plot followed the same style of many other YA novels, with the main character unable to remember key details from important nights. Suddenly, the character can magically remember (or perhaps, just reveals it) vital memories that are the key to discovering the truth. Not that Oliver doesn’t write those scenes well, but the theme of teenage amnesia is overdone and tired.

Nick’s character was sweet but I didn’t connect with her. I didn’t worry about her safety during the intense “action” scenes. I didn’t sob when she discovered the truth. She was sweet and she had minor character growth but I wasn’t invested. In fact, it’s safe to say that I wasn’t invested in any of the characters. Dara’s old behavior seemed like the stereotypical teenager and the sister’s jealousy of one another seemed like another overdone concept in YA novels. Overall, the characters were typical stereotypes plucked from any contemporary YA novel.

Perhaps the best part of the book series was reading about Nick’s awesome job at the old amusement park. It doesn’t matter if you worked at an amusement park in your life, it’ll strike major feelings of nostalgia for your first job. Other than that, the book was mediocre and unfortunately in the ‘Lauren Oliver Letdowns’ pile.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
freya su
Really 3.5 stars

Nick (Nicole) and Dara have been in an accident that almost took Dara's life while Nick was driving. Dara, always the popular and party-girl of the family, now has new insight after this accident. Their neighbor and best-friend-boy-next-door, Parker, has always been there for them. He did hook up romantically with Dara and this left Nick out. Now Nick and Parker are working together at FanLand, the local amusement park for the summer. Dara still has strong feelings for Parker but now Nick is discovering that Parker, while in love with Dara, does not love her.

The recent disappearance of a local nine-year-old girl is the only thing the entire town is paying attention to and all any one talks about, including their newly divorced parents. As the story winds back and forth between the accident, the missing girl and the relationships, we find out exactly what makes Nick and Dara tick. Told in alernating view points between the girls, you can see how their relationship developed and was broken and how they are trying to put everything back together after physical and mental damages.

Yes, that twist, I mentioned. It has nothing to do with the missing girl, although that is resolved. I think a lot people can easily guess at the twist if you caught the E, Lockhart quote in the book. I love Lauren's work but this one just didn't catch me at the right time. I did want to smack that plot twist right off the page and in a way I knew it was coming. Parents: there is language, sexual situations, drinking and drugs.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kexiah js
I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by a six-member cast. The narrators did a nice job, but there's only so much they can do to save a story. E. Lockhart was quoted on the cover of the Playaway unit calling it a psychological thriller, one of my favorite genres, so I was excited to read this. By the way, I enjoyed We Were Liars much more and I think Lockhart did a better job with that twist than Oliver did with this one.

The summary of Vanishing Girls sounded compelling, but it was actually very boring, in fact, I zoned out a lot while listening to it. The most poignant moments still sounded emotionless and it was definitely the writing, not the narration. She struggles with her emotional expression and her imagery.

A lot of her stories sound interesting, but after reading this one, I'm not sure if I want to read them. I'm concerned that they'll leave me feeling as disappointed as this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
My sister and I are separated by several types of distance. There is the obvious physical distance: I live in Houston and she lives in Dallas. The thing about physical distance is that’s an easy fix. I could drive to my sister’s house in less than four hours. And I have. Twice. Once for my mom’s funeral. The other time for my sister’s wedding in 2012. Here’s the part that sucks: I haven’t seen her since.

It’s those other types of distance that have really kept us apart. There are the years: she’s over five years younger than me. When I went away to college she was still in elementary school (it’s a long story, just go with it). Needless to say, we didn’t have much in common when we were younger. Genetics, mostly. There’s where we are in our lives: she’s fairly newlywed, and I’m just as fairly newly a mom. The distance that (I think) is truly keeping us apart at this point is that I’m not at all the sister she grew up with. That’s not a bad thing. I wasn’t a very nice person. And I think that’s the problem. If I’m not the bitch anymore, where does that leave her?

There is a point to the above ramblings about my relationship with my sister. Vanishing Girls is about sisters. About sisters who are so close that when an accident creates distance between them, they are completely lost. I can’t relate. At all. But I want to. So much.

Lauren brought Dara and Nick’s relationship to life in a way that made me hate them a little. For being so close. For loving one another so deeply. But I needed to hate them in order to care about them, to be invested in their joys and sorrows. I love the use of texts, journals, photos, and other media outside standard prose to tell the story. I don’t think it would have been possible to do the story justice without those outside perspectives. The prose alternates between the two sisters, and it’s painfully lovely to see how they see one another. They both want so much to be the other sister.

Vanishing Girls is ridiculously intense. Fortunately there is a secondary storyline about a vanishing girl. It breaks up the gravity of Dara and Nick’s relationship, although that’s not the true purpose of that disappearance (I can’t elaborate without a spoiler). About half the book is set in a mildly decrepit amusement park called Fantasy Land (yes, it sounds like a strip club, so it goes by FanLand), which also adds a little brevity. There’s also a tiny bit of romance. And the best part of any Lauren Oliver novel: the slightly open-ended ending.

This review appeared originally here: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I've enjoyed many of Oliver's previous books - starting with the Delirium books and both her adult and other YA books. So, naturally, I looked forward to reading this one - especially since I at first thought that the sisters would be twins (they are "Irish" twins instead - born only eleven months and three days apart). Like all of her books, Oliver immediately sucks the reader in and this one quickly becomes hard to put down. She uses different media - computer messages, newspaper articles, pictures (or some kind of artwork to come) and journal entries that lend this an even more realistic sort of edge.

It is hard to stop reading and though Nick (short for Nicole) and Dara's relationship is not the first of its kind in fiction, and the bigger twist to the plot is quite easy to see coming, the book is still a fast and pretty fun read. But, it is definitely aimed for the older end of the YA readers - in the first party scene, there is underage drinking, drug-use, nudity and swearing. So, I think that despite the youth of the characters, this will cross over well to appeal to adult readers as well. It isn't my favorite of her books, but it's certainly an entertaining and fast-paced read. I am looking forward to seeing what she writes next!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
angi m
Review also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.

Vanishing Girls is without a doubt my favorite Lauren Oliver book so far.

In this novel, follow the story of sisters, Dara and Nick. They are inseparable until a car accident put a rift between the two of them. After, the disappearance of a nine-year-old girl, Dara vanished. And Nick is convinced, maybe the two disappearances are somehow connected to each other.

There is nothing new about the concept of this book. I’ve read a handful of stories before that have the same structure, but that is necessarily not a bad thing. Because Oliver did a magnificent job in keeping her readers guessing. This is a well-crafted mystery-thriller book. That have plenty of twists and turn. There are a lot of things I haven’t anticipated.

Vanishing Girls is a character driven book. I have sisters and I love books that gravitate towards family, especially the dysfunctional kind. The relationship between all the characters is the core of the story itself. And Oliver skillfully created the unmistakable tension between the sisters and their parents.
Prepare your tissues everyone, because this book will prompt you to reevaluate your life choices.

Vanishing Girls is life jarring, profound and a poignant read. Fans of We Were Liars will surely devour this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ren e r
Lauren Oliver is a genius. A genius. This book is a masterpiece. It is a work of art. It is so... AHHHH you just never see it coming. She is the rare type of author that, after not being able to put this book down, I immediately had to reread it when I finished. And it was entirely different the second time. Every time you read this book, you will go deeper, uncovering more layers and a new appreciation for Ms. Oliver's brilliance.

I don't know how she does it. Everything was so well done that I never suspected a thing; it all just fit perfectly.

That being said, I couldn't love it. This book deals with some seriously heavy issues and it doesn't leave you feeling good which is the only kind of book I can truly love. Lauren Oliver, I implore you, use your powers for good! Give me another Delirium, another good conquering evil, another innocent love. Give me triumph, give me weightless, give me unbroken. I beg of you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
don casto
I've been hearing about the buzz about this book from some YA sites for awhile and I was definitely intrigued. This is actually my first Lauren Oliver book, although "Panic" is in my To Be Read pile. I'll definitely be a Lauren Oliver fan after reading this book

The book is about two sister, Nick (Nicole) and Dara. It skips between before an accident involving the girls and after the accident. The girls are really close but there is a lot of emotional and upset feelings underneath the closeness. It's hard to say much about the plot without potentially giving away the twists and turns. There is definitely a big twist in the book. I had correctly guessed what the twist was early on. The scenes in the book reminded me of a movie that was once the talk of Hollywood and the nation and also of a book called "Switched" in the Fear Street series (yes, R.L. Stine's cheesy book series). But knowing where the plot was headed didn't make want to stop reading it. I actually stayed up later than I should have to finish the book.

I would definitely recommend this book. If you're a fan of Lauren's other books or thriller fan, you're going to like this one.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sarah hannah
DNF’d @ 25%

Let me start this DNF review by saying up front that I have been in a reading slump. February was a slow reading month for me, and March was too. So far, April has been better, but not off to the best start. I started reading Vanishing Girls in February. By February 9th I’d read roughly 12%. At this point, I just wasn’t “hooked” into the story so I put it aside for a while. I loved Delirium. I really enjoyed Before I Fall. But my other experiences with Lauren Oliver’s writing have all been mediocre. I wasn’t blown away with Pandemonium or Requiem, and my experience with Panic was that the idea for the story was better in theory than execution. So while I’ve really enjoyed some of Lauren Oliver’s past work, I’ve also had some experiences that were underwhelming as well. I wanted to like this book, and I don’t think my mood contributed too much to my initial impression of Vanishing Girls because I feel like this book is part of what started my reading slump rather than the slump really affecting my feelings toward the book.

I liked that the description of Vanishing Girls gave this book a more mysterious and suspenseful air than I normally read. And I really loved the letter from Lauren Oliver at the beginning of the copy I received discussing how this book was the first time she’d ever really explored the sibling dynamic. Having a sister myself I thought that this story might be one that I would be able to connect to easily.

That being said, April rolls around and I haven’t made much progress on Vanishing Girls, but I feel the pressure because it’s a review book and I'm already outside of 30 days of the publication date. I need to get this read and reviewed. So I decide to just try to force myself. I’ll do it 5 or 10% at a time if I have to. Read 5-10% in Vanishing Girls, if I’m still not feeling it then put it down and read something else. But the further I prodded along, the more frustrated I found myself.

Here are my issues. First of all, this story isn’t told chronologically. It’s flips to the past and back to the present and there are dates thrown in at chapter headings that I’m sure I was supposed to keep up with that were meaningful, but I couldn’t keep track. Though occasionally I’ll find a book that jumps around chronologically that I still enjoy, typically this is a source of frustration for me because I feel like I’m following one storyline only to get yanked from it and put into a different storyline.

Second, Vanishing Girls doesn’t only jump around chronologically, but it also swaps narrators. Normally multiple narrators aren’t an issue for me. I usually enjoy being able to get inside multiple heads and see the story from different angles (as long as there are too many narrators). But in this case it did. I didn’t enjoy Dara’s narrations which leads me into my next point.

Lauren Oliver said she delved deep into the sibling dynamic. Well that may be true, but so far all I saw was sibling rivalry (I’m sure this changes some as Nick seeks to find Dara, but I just couldn’t get there). Nick is what both sister would describe as being a good girl. She’s a rules follower. She worries about Dara because Dara’s well…not. And you can see that there’s some resentment on her side because Dara starts dating Nick’s best friend and various other issues. Dara is the wild sibling. She wears lots of makeup and skimpy clothes. She drinks. She swears. And she generally rebels when possible. Dara, of course, has resentment for Nick too because Nick is “the perfect” sister. I just didn’t enjoy this dynamic. While that’s authentic and real, it put me in a situation of really not liking Dara very much. Maybe because I relate more to Nick. But I just found myself resenting Dara as Nick does—especially since Nick had more narrations within the 25% that I read—which made reading Dara’s narrations even more painful/frustrating.

Also, the description mentions an accident that leaves Dara and Nick estranged. Apparently before the accident they did everything together—even though they are such different people and already had some resentment towards each other. So this accident is hinted at and mentioned, but even at 25% you don’t really have any information about what happened. I know that this was intended to build suspense and curiosity and get the reader interested and invested. But for me…it just didn’t. Because of the other frustrations I already mentioned, the things that were supposed to make me curious and want to dig deeper just ended up frustrating me and had me wanting to put this one down. Eventually, at 25% that’s what I decided to do.

So all in all, I feel like Vanishing Girls started my reading slump. I didn’t enjoy the jumps on chronology. Even though I typically like multiple narrations, I struggled with connecting to Dara’s character and therefore struggled through her narrations. And the events intended to create suspense only served to further my frustration. I truly hated to DNF this one because I’ve enjoyed Lauren Oliver’s writing in the past, but I can’t tell you the relief and the weight off my shoulders that I felt once I made the decision to do so. This just wasn't the book for me. Have you read Vanishing Girls? What did you think? Let me know!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Sisters Dara and Nick used to be the best of friends. They were born less than a year apart so they did and experienced everything together including their parents' divorce. Parker completed their trio and was also close with them since childhood. Then they got older and things got weird. Attractions formed; moments were awkward; and Parker ended up dating Dara, much to Nick's chagrin. Then the accident happened. The details are fuzzy, but Dara wasn't wearing a seatbelt while Nick lost control of her car. Dara is now scarred physically and emotionally while completely separating herself from her friends and family. Nick doesn't know how to mend their relationship and makes big plans for Dara's birthday, but Dara disappears. This is shortly after another girl disappeared and is still missing. Nick is convinced the two disappearances are related and she's determined to save her sister.

With every Lauren Oliver book, I can guarantee that I will read the book quickly and be sucked immediately into the story. She just writes interesting characters that I may not like, but I need to know what happens to them. I like and can relate to Nick. She's the more sensible of the two sisters and always feels the need to save Dara from herself. Nick is the one who is reliable, the "good" sister, and is hardly ever in trouble. Dara, on the other hand, is constantly going to parties, getting high or drunk, blacking out, and generally being irresponsible. Dara annoyed the crap out of me because she was so desperate for attention, but she still had my sympathy. No one deserves what happened to her and it's shame that she cut herself off from everyone. She seems to realize how destructive her behavior was and learned from her mistakes. Both girls envy each other, but create a front to protect themselves. They also have a toxic, codependent relationship where Nick constantly takes care of Dara and doesn't let her solve her own problems or learn from her own mistakes. The book alternates between Dara and Nick's point of view both before and after the accident with website articles with comments, diary entries, letters, and e-mails interspersed between them. I love when authors include writing outside of the main characters because it provides a more complete picture of what's going on and makes it feel real. The subplot with the missing girl and that associated craziness felt surprisingly Twin Peaks without the supernatural stuff.

Despite the well written characters and twists and turns in the plot, this is my least favorite Lauren Oliver book. There is game changing twist at the end. I don't have a problem with the twist itself, but it felt dishonest. I understand that narrators can be unreliable but I guessed at the twist early on and dismissed it. I felt deliberately misled and kind of cheated. I prefer The Sixth Sense style twist where everything is consistent and it totally blows your mind on subsequent viewings over the High Tension style twist that has a lot of inconsistencies. This was more like the latter. I still enjoy Lauren Oliver, but Vanishing Girls just didn't live up to my expectations.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
albert enriquez
Maybe it's just me and unreliable narrators but the vagueness that the story and the characters relationships are written with is a giant red flag for me knowing I'm not reading all truth, that automatically takes me out of the story. Vanishing Girls is about two sisters, Nick and Dara and their relationship before and after a car accident. Also woven in but not really making much sense or believe-ability is the case of a missing nine year old girl. To say much more would give away the plot but I found the parents (of Nick and Dara) conversations very telling early on so that alerted me to the plot. Before I Fall is still and might always be my favorite Lauren Oliver book so I would recommend you go read that if you haven't already.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kimberly hall
I thoroughly enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Vanishing Girls - I read it basically in 2 sittings! It's so well written and put together in such a unique way that I had no idea that the twist was coming at the end, but it really pulled it all together. The characters are deep and rich and each chapter compelled me to read the next, and then the next, and then the next until I had finished the book before I knew it.

Oliver is such a talented writer and her writing always causes me to think. This story is primarily about the bond - now broken - between two sisters. There is a hint of romance woven throughout, but it really takes a backseat to the story of Nick (Nicole) and Dara. They are a year apart and have been inseparable their whole lives, until a fight and an accident tore them apart. Now Nick is trying to piece things back together again.

There is some foul language sprinkled throughout and the subject matter is somewhat dark, so I would recommend this to older teens and adults.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dicksy presley
Lauren Oliver has this uncanny way of thinking like her character -- the words and personality just seem so genuine. I lost myself as Nick, then somehow became Dara, all from reading those pages. Now, I've admitted that sometimes I skip to the end of the book. Thankfully, I've heard that this one has a huge WHOA moment, and I refrained from peeking this time. Such a good call --- sneaking a peek would have ruined the book, but also would have marred my reading experience with confusion. Vanishing Girls is the kind of book that sends shivers up your spine after you finish it, not during it. Why did I wait so long to read it?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I've been reading Lauren Oliver novels ever since high school, and I plan on reading any novels by her because I love her writing style. She uses a lot of amazing metaphors and reading her novels is like listening to a song.

I was not a huge fan of her adult novel, Room, but I loved this book the moment I started reading it (it may be my favorite of all her novels) just because of the characters,

I loved all of the characters that she brought to life in this novel and it thought that the duel POV was well used in this novel (and that is saying something).

A lot of people have been saying that the big twist in the novel is nothing shocking but I disagree, it really threw me and it explained what happened throughout the novel. I recommend not getting spoiled when it comes to this book.

I recommend reading this if you enjoy Oliver's writing style, this is one of her best novels.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I thought this book was really interesting and I enjoyed the plot very much. It is about two young sisters named Nick and Dara, who used to be best friends and very close, when a horrible car accident breaks them apart. This story tells about the older sister, Nick,trying to rebuild her relationship with her sister when girls start disappearing around her small town. Then Dara goes missing and leaves clues behind for Nick to follow and to solve the mystery of Dara's and the other girl's disappearances. I loved the mystery part of the story, but did not like the ending. It was rather hurried, confusing and left me disappointed. The whole book was a slow lead up the ending which is completely shocking and makes you confused about events that supposedly happened during the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
taja sparks
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book, but as I progressed it was interesting to read about the relationship between Dara and Nicole ("Nick"). They were more than just sisters, they were best friends. The book goes back and forth between the past and the present and shows us an inside to both sisters and the different situations they experience in their young lives.

There is a major twist at the end, one I definitely did not see coming and I still am flabbergasted at what reality is versus what I perceived based on the story I was reading up to that point. But I think it could hit home with some teens today.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Book #138 Read in 2015
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

This was a good young adult book. Nicole (Nick) and Dara are sisters that are less than a year apart in age but light years apart in personality. Nick is the good sister and Dara is the one who is always in trouble. The sisters begin to grow apart when Dara begins dating Parker, the neighborhood boy who has been Nick's best friend since childhood. On their way home from a party one night, there is a car accident and Nick tries to make it up to her sister....will she be able to? This was a good read though I guessed "the twist" pretty early on in the book....but it was well written and was an engaging read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jan mcgee
This book is probably the hardest book I’ve tried explaining how I feel about. I almost didn’t do this review because I didn’t know exactly how to explain my feelings but I did my best.

Let me first start by saying that overall Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver was a fairly good read. When I picked up this book I only knew what the summary says, this was a book about two sisters that used to be really close but then a bunch of things happen among them a car accident and now they don’t even look at each other. This book is the first ever Lauren Oliver book I have ever read and personally I don’t know if I like her writing style. It was really hard for me to get into the story. I felt like I kept reading a bunch of pages and a lot of things happened but to me they felt like they didn’t connect and it took a long time to get some answers (when I say a long time, I mean I looooong time, like end of the book long) Personally, I don’t like that, I get the idea behind keeping things hidden and trying to give it a mystery sort of feel but I think she went a little overboard. Most of the time I just really wanted to know what was happening and get it over with.

Another thing was that I felt like it was just a big mess, let me explain, this book has dual points of views, it jumps from before and after and it has pictures, diary entries and website post. This plot has so much going on that for me it was hard to keep up. Most of the time I was either trying to remember when/who was talking or I was asking myself or rather the book (yes, I talk to the book, let’s pretend its normal and move on) why what was happening was relevant to the plot.

I personally feel like the idea of the website post, diary post and all those little extra things where a nice and refreshing idea. I have never read a book with this kind of additions to it so it was a fun and I really enjoyed it.

Okay now comes the complicated part of this review. The ending of the book/ the big plot twist. I really don’t know what to say. In a way I liked it, I felt like it was good but at the same time I feel like this book had so much going on already that it could have gone in a different direction and still be good.

Like I said a fairly good read and I can say that I did enjoy it. I’m going to be looking at other peoples review and opinions so if you have a review comment leave a link below or if you have read this book let me know what you think.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I enjoyed Vanishing Girls. I easily connected with the protagonist, and I liked her outlook on life and how she dealt with the accident that left her and Dara estranged.

I really liked Nick’s determination when it came down to solving the cases of disappearing girls, and the fact that the book focused more on her and how she in particular developed and matured was different from other books I’ve read of late. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to read something that focuses in on the main character and her internal growth rather than a romance between her and a boy. I’m part of the target age group for this novel and I wish more authors would realize we aren’t all reading for romantic angst.

I struggled with the constant use em-dashes. The author has a constant use of dashes and very long, over the top descriptions that really don’t pertain to the matter at hand and can be super distracting from the original topic. Though she does a wonderful job manipulating the words into something beautiful, I don’t need to know how that smell reminds Nick of that time when she was a kid and happy and she was in a different place doing something else when really I need to know where she’s going to that day.

I both hated and loved the end, because it was a turning point for Nick and a place when she could breathe and move on with her life. I did have a major “How does the even work?” moment at the end, though, when something was revealed. I’ve re-read the book, hoping to see something underlying that I didn’t before, but I still remain confused on how the author manages to execute the two differing points of views for reasons I don’t want to reveal as it would ruin the ending. This confusion was the main reason this book didn’t rate higher.

Aside from that, though, Vanishing Girls is another good story from the author. I’m a fan of hers, and look forward to reading more of her work.

originally posted at long and short reviews
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
patti matula
This was my first Lauren Oliver. HOW? I really thought I’d read her previously to this, but I guess not. Anyway, I’m a bit of a mixed bag of feelings. The story that sort of steady, fun thriller pace that I enjoy. I was constantly entertained, and I read this fairly quickly. I was engaged with the characters through most of the book.

Unfortunately, I found the ending to be very predictable. Maybe it’s because of my prominent choice of reading material, but it just wasn’t a surprise to me. Still, I do feel it was the natural course of the story, and a good choice by the author. I am still very anxious to read more by her.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
john w
I have some mixed thoughts on this story. I was able to see what was happening before the twist came because it has been done before, too often. But Oliver is a good writer, this is the first book of hers I have read. I was caught up with the lives of both sisters, Dara and Nick and all the things that weren't being said between each other, the dynamic that changed after a terrible car accident. The plot blurb gives a different impression of the story, it isn't so much about Dara's disappearance which doesn't happen until 3/4 of the way through, but more Nick's trying to get to know here sister after the accident. The sisters' story was loosely tied in with the disappearance of a a nine year old girl. It made for a fast paced ending to the book.
The story wasn't brilliant but I was captivated enough to read this in a day.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jordan leidlein
This book is for some, but very much not for me. Ever since reading her amazing Before I Fall, her books have steadily declined for me. While this was intriguing enough for me to want to finish, the ending was cliched and I feel a cop out. The reason for this entire story existing was a terrible choice. The characters weren't likable, which left me frustrated, because nowhere do we really see them even acting like BFF close sisters. They're just always angry and SO broken, especially over a boy. Also, the summary is misleading, which I get because the plot itself is a hard sell. I gave this two stars because it was intriguing enough to make me want to know how it ended. This is the last book of Lauren Oliver's that I'm going to read -- I'm done.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brandy campbell
I'm a fan of the author, so I was excited to read her latest novel. And I found the book compelling. The characters seem real, and I was drawn into the very dysfunctional family that Oliver creates. The dual narrators of the story help to move the plot along the "before and after" storyline. And even though this is yet another car crash scenario, the story clips along at such a fast rate, dropping clues and details of the accident along the way and pulling the reader breathlessly to the ending. The unexpected ending.
And the ending is the reason that this is a four-star rather than a five-star review. It was cheap and negated the real characters that eighty percent of the book created. But if you can forgive the author that, you'll enjoy this otherwise stellar YA novel.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
A departure from quite a lot of YA I have read lately. This is more of a psychological thriller. I loved the different view points, as well as the semi-epistolary format that it's wrote in. The story of two sisters Nick, and Dara. They are best friends, but they let a boy come between them. Following a car accident, Dara goes missing, as well as another young girl from their town. Nick is convinced they are related. I won't give away anymore to the story, as there are twists and turns.

I enjoyed the story, but there were parts that just didn't make sense or were too rushed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
layan grey
Vanishing Girls is a dark, suspenseful tale of two sisters recovering from the accident that drove them apart. Written in two voices, you get a look at what each sister is dealing with after the accident and what they want from each other.

Like everything Lauren Oliver writes, Vanishing Girls is beautifully crafted. I love her descriptions of everything, from feelings to settings. Even though I felt like I knew where the story was going most of the time, there were still things I didn't see coming. Overall, I loved Vanishing Girls. It was a fun psychological thriller to read.

I think many YA readers are going to love this book. I would recommend it to readers that loved We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver was an emotional story on so many levels. There must be something in the literary waters, because I keep getting drawn to these emotional books lately. Dara and Nick hurt my heart. Seeing the two sisters at such odds with one another was painful to read. Vanishing Girls was almost a coming of age story through tragedy, because there was first loves, sibling rivalry, heartbreak, loss.. so many things that teens go through along with the added tensions of the accident. It will definitely bring out some feels.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
john k
Oh, how I wanted to love Vanishing Girls. The only book I've read from Oliver was Before I Fall and I loved it so much that I've been scared to check out her other works in fear that I would find them inferior. Well, unfortunately, that happened when it came to Vanishing Girls. It never quite lived up to its expectations and definitely didn't live up to its plot.

The Good: I'm a sucker for a sister relationship and I understand the turmoil that can come from those sisterly relationships. I have three older sisters and one younger sister close to my age (and a baby sister who's 16 years younger than me and so our relationship differs from the one I have with the closer to my age sisters), so I definitely identified with the feelings of love and jealousy that can happen, all too well. Naturally, my favorite part of Vanishing Girls was the relationship between Nick and Dara. It was very real. It showed (all too brief) moments of them getting along and moments of them being at odds with one another. I would have liked to see more of their relationship in the BEFORE parts since I think that would have added an extra element for me to be more invested in their relationship.

The Not-So-Good: Vanishing Girls was...awkward. The pacing was awkward. It vacillated between being an extreme page-turner (especially everything going on with Madeline Snow) and inducing fits of utter boredom in me (mainly FunLand since I've yet to figure out what the whole point of that was besides getting Nick to see Parker again). The writing was also awkward. Some of the similes were a bit much and so I spent a big chunk of the time rolling my eyes while reading them. The format was also awkward. Now, I've gotten used to multiple POVs since it seems to be the norm now. But this was multiple POVs in multiple points of time with diary entries, therapy transcripts, news articles, and apparently pictures or drawings (which I didn't get because I read an ARC of this) in the book as well. It did get to be a bit disorienting. I had to figure out whether or not the diary entries and therapy transcripts were taking place in the AFTER or in the BEFORE and that definitely took some pleasure out of reading Vanishing Girls.

The Ending: The main reason that Vanishing Girls fell flat for me was because of the twist ending. I do have to admit that I didn't see the ending coming (which I'm extremely disappointed in because I usually see these "twists" from a mile away and so I'm berating myself for not catching on until it was already there) and that was a refreshing change. However, I've always thought that these kind of twist endings work better in films than in books. For some reason, when it happens in books I just feel like I wasted time reading those books. I also feel that if I kept picking at the ending and seeing everything that happened in the novel with the ending in mind, I'd find plot holes that would cause time-space continuums, and that would serve no purpose other than piss me off. So, basically the ending was the farthest thing from a win and bumped what could have been a four star book, into three star territory.

Overall, I merely liked Vanishing Girls. For the most part, it was a page-turner, but the ending just killed it for me. And it bears repeating, but the writing and the formats were just way too much for me. I'm also now apprehensive about picking up Oliver's other books in fear that I'll feel average about them despite loving Before I Fall.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I think this is where Lauren Oliver and I will have to break up. As a whole, her books just don't work for me. That makes me sad because so many other people love all of her books and I wonder why I can't love her books.

I actually really enjoyed Panic, so I was hopeful that Vanishing Girls would be another fabulous read. Unfortunately I was let down in a big way. At first it starts off interestingly enough. I wasn't totally invested by it, but I wasn't totally bored by it either.

The problems start to rise to the surface when I realize that this book is written in dual POVs and it goes from past to present. Now I don't have an issue with either of these things separately, but when they all come together in one book, I get a little twitchy. I worry that it's going to be hard to follow or that the voices will sound the same.

Sometimes this format works, but in Vanishing Girls it did not. I kept getting confused when it would switch to past or present and then, since the girls' voices sounded too similar, I'd be confused as to who's POV I was reading.

That twist was obvious for me very early on and the only reason I kept reading was that I was hoping I'd be wrong. It seemed like it was too easy to figure out the twist, and I was massively disappointed by it. It seemed like Oliver just went for the easiest twist to do and she didn't even try to make it less obvious.

Both sisters were very flat and it seemed like there was very little in the way of character development. It was often hard for me to distinguish who was who. The secondary characters were equally flat and underdeveloped. I was woefully unimpressed by this book and by the characters in this book. I'll be giving this book 2 stars and unless you want your twist to be really obvious, I'd skip this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kate stanley
Nick and Dara have always been extremely close sisters. Born just eleven months apart, they've shared everything, including the pain of their parents' divorce. But during Nick's senior year, things change when Dara becomes involved with Nick's best friend, Parker. Suddenly Nick finds herself on the outside and she doesn't like what she sees. Dara's always been a loose cannon, and Nick's always had her back, but the relationship between Dara and Parker threatens them in ways Nick never thought possible. Things come to a head at a party, and Nick and Dara leave together. They never make it home, and Dara's physically and emotionally damaged in ways Nick cannot reach nor heal.

I love the way this novel unfolded, including the parallel story of the missing nine year old girl, Madeline. Told mostly from Nick's point of view, we feel her pain at the loss of her sister's love and friendship and her inability to fix their relationship. Meanwhile, Dara stays hidden, only sharing her viewpoint sporadically as she tries to cope with all the losses in her life. She blames Nick for her painful recovery and her breakup with Parker. It's a sad, twisted existence, and both girls suffer.

There's a lot of detail in this novel, and a lot of emotion packed into its pages. There's also a lot of drinking and references to drug use, but they play their own role in the story. My heart broke, and broke again, for Nick as she tries at first to avoid her sister and then to come to terms about the accident, and my heart broke for Dara, the wilder younger sister who lost so much. Events are revealed slowly, with Madeline's disappearance woven neatly throughout. I finished the book feeling as though I'd been pulled through a wringer emotionally, wanting to reread it again to see what all I'd missed along the way that would shed light on the relationship between the sisters.

Lauren Oliver has become a favorite author of mine, and with Vanishing Girls she has cemented her place on my Must Buy list. There's so much more to be said for and about this novel, but without being able to do so without giving spoilers, I will just say that you will be swept up into the lives of two damaged girls who need to find a way to make themselves whole again. Read it now. You won't regret it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Vanishing Girls is by genre a thriller, but its strength lies in its exploration of the relationship between two teenaged sisters, Nick and Dara. Just 11 months apart in age, Nick and Dara were once as thick as thieves, but then a terrible accident drove a wedge a mile wide between the girls. Dara, once the life of the party, was badly injured and her face was scarred, and now she and Nick no longer speak.

The story is told in a non-linear fashion, jumping back and forth in time to before and after the accident. The narration also switches between the sisters. There are also snippets of blog posts about a missing 9-year-old named Madeline, who was kidnapped out of her older sister's car, a story that's always in the background of the main plot, but still feels important. I really enjoyed the narrative structure, and it will keep readers on their toes. Nick's narrative feels relatively straightforward, but Dara's voice is a little harder to pin down. I didn't get as good a feel for her character, but that was clearly a choice by the author, since Dara is a slightly shadowy figure and that fits into the plot. Perhaps because of this, I didn't warm to Dara, at least as we see her through Nick's eyes, but that may also be because she’s a total drama queen.

I don't want to say too much about the plot, for fear of giving things away. Vanishing Girls is ostensibly a thriller, and there are mysteries (Madeline's disappearance, the reason for the breach between the sisters, Dara's own disappearance), but it's also and perhaps more importantly, the story of a family falling to pieces: divorced parents, two damaged kids who no longer speak, and messy parent-child relationships. And that's where the heart of the book lies, in the sisters' relationship (or lack thereof). The pieces of the story slowly come together to a devastating conclusion (there's a twist that readers may guess, but even if you do, figuring out how the story gets there is still very entertaining). Lauren Oliver’s writing style is lovely and compelling, and the book is very readable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ali zohdi
Here's what I've learned about myself over the last year: I'm the target reader mystery/thriller storytellers have in their mind when they set out to write their next whodunit. I tell you what, I'm a smart cookie, but I NEVER figure out the end of a book before it's written out for me in capital letters and highlighted with a yellow marker. I was browsing through some reviews of VANISHING GIRLS and so many people claim they knew the ending a million years before it came that I'm beginning to question my smarts. Maybe I'm not a smart cookie after all. More like cookie crumb brained, I guess.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, guys. In the first chapter, you get the sense that Dara and Nick are besties in addition to being sisters. Then you turn the page and learn that nothing could be further from the truth in the current day (This story alternates time frames, which I also love.) WHY?! You'll find out why fairly quickly, but then you'll wonder why these girls who were so, so close to each other haven't been able to work out the difficult time they go through. It's a family dynamic that I'm familiar with and am fascinated by.

When Dara disappears on her birthday, Nick is convinced it's somehow connected to another missing girl in the community. She believes that she can alleviate the mountain of guilt she's carrying around if she can piece the puzzle together and get her sister back. I was rooting for Nick and was completely snowballed by the ending. I honestly did not see it coming. So, there.

Sidenote: I read this book in the tropics of Maui a few weeks back. I gotta tell you, my senses were tickled while reading this. The smell of the ocean, the doves cooing, and the sun beating down on my face added an incredible smelltrack/soundtrack/feeltrack to my reading. It's actually kind of eerie how well it fit into the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan baganz
Absolutely loved it. I did not see the twist coming at all, I was left in such shock that I was thinking about the ending for a few days after I finished it. I re read the entire thing after the ending, you'll see what I mean if you read it. I felt myself empathizing and relating with both sisters (its told in alternating point of views). I felt that character development was really rich, the author did a great job painting me a picture of who everybody was. To me when you can connect to the characters, reading the story is more enjoyable and thrilling. This book has it all; mystery, psychological thrills, twists, romance, as well as what it means to have a sister. I loved every second of it. You will too, give it a try!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
wayne owens
A fun fast read, Oliver does it again with her characterization. This time, two sisters narrate the story in a non-linear timeline. I didn't think this was a psychological thriller until the very end when BAM things happened and totally shocked me. My mouth dropped open!!! I enjoyed that this was a sibling story and less of a romance (though I wish Parker was more developed as a character) because I would love more of these stories. Lauren writes siblings so realistically - it's no surprise she has a sister - and I also love how detailed her world here became. It all felt very real to me. Fans will NOT be disappointed. I sure wasn't!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Vanishing Girls is the story of Nick and Dara, sisters who were once inseparable, but are torn apart by tragedy. Sadly, I had a lot of trouble connecting with the characters in this book. The ever shifting time periods and points of view had me constantly scrambling to keep up with the changes. The underlying plot was good, but the delivery of the story was underwhelming. I had been looking forward to reading Vanishing Girls, but finished the book with disappointment.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tim lee
Nick (Nicole) and Dara are sisters. And they are also best friends. Is there anything that could change that?

I heard good things about Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall but I never got around to reading it, so when I saw Vanishing Girls (ARC) in my Vine queue I checked it out immediately. The chapters aren't numbered. Chapter titles show Dara or Nick's name, a date, and every now and then the time of day. This story alternates between the sisters points of view, but there are also diary entries, website posts and emails. Sometimes it was "before" the accident and sometimes "after" the accident. I had to pay close attention. The story didn't flow well, but the author didn't lose me. The profanity was a bit much. And it took the author so long to get to the point that if I wasn't obligated to write a review, I would have stopped reading. I must admit, the good part was worth the wait.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
4 1/2 Stars
This psychological thriller was so much better than her previous book, Before I Fall. While building slowly this one kept me turning pages right up to the twist I didn't see coming and carries through to the very last page. Well written with a compelling and tense plot. A really great mystery!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

First of all, let me say that I am a huge fan of Lauren Oliver. I first fell in love with her Delirium series and I was also a fan of Before I Fall and Panic. I have loved everything she has done . . . until now. That is not to say that I hated the book, but I didn't love it either. The book did not hook me immediately. The pacing was extremely slow. The premise of the book suggests that a major plot point was that Dara vanishes on her birthday. However, this did not happen until more than halfway through the book. My Kindle does show percentage read and I looked at it when Dara vanished. I had read 53% of the book when it finally happened.

So what was going on up until that point? Not a whole lot. It mainly bounced around between Nick and Dara's POV's, before and after, along with clips of news articles online and excerpts from Dara's journal. Sometimes Oliver wouldn't even specify whether it was an event before or after the accident; she just gave a date. This made it even more confusing. Maybe it was all this switching between time frames and POV's that prevented me from fully connecting with any of the characters. I didn't really care that Nick and Dara were't talking after the accident. And I didn't care that much about Madeline Snow. She was a secondary character and her disappearance didn't seem to effect any of the major characters for a large part of the book. I basically spent the first half of the book waiting for something, anything, to happen.

When Dara finally did disappear, that's when I was hooked. Nick started piecing the facts together about why Dara had been acting so weird since the accident (a mystery I didn't even know existed until Dara's disappearance) and what connection she had to Madeline Snow. The pacing picked up pretty quickly at that point and I was on the edge of my seat. And two words about the big reveal: BLOWN AWAY. I am not kidding when I say that I did NOT see it coming. I will not give away any spoilers, but I will say that a lot of stuff clicked into place for me once I knew what was going on. Even though it was a pretty big reveal, I still couldn't get over the first half of the book. And then immediately after the big reveal, the pacing immediately slowed down a bit and dragged. That is mainly a result of the fact that the author decides to show emails between a few of the characters and news articles instead of personal reactions and emotions by the main characters. Once again, this huge thing happens and I found it hard to care because of a lack of connection to anyone in the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lucas worland
I was quite eager to read Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver as soon as I heard of it. Lately psychological thrillers have been great for the YA genre. I love trying to decipher what we are not being told. With Vanishing Girls I think maybe I guessed things a bit too soon, but it was a book that really captivated my attention and had me devouring it in less than a day.

This is very much a book about two sisters. Two sisters that are close in age and were best friends growing up. Once they became teenagers their differences began to show. They each had their own tastes and personalities and they didn’t always fit together so well. Dara was a wild child and Nick was a good girl. But they still loved each other fiercely and had each others backs. Then a devastating accident happens.

The book is told from Nick and Dara’s points of view. We get mostly the summer after the accident but we get journal entries and a few chapters that are from before the accident happened. It was a little rough in the beginning because I kept not realizing when the times were changing. They are labeled, so just pay attention.

To me this felt like Nick’s story mostly. We get her POV the most and she’s the one I connected with. I found myself angry at Dara and her behavior. The way she treated others. But through her journal entries we do see some of what she’s thinking and that helps us understand her a little better.

There are a lot of different twists. The first thing is that there’s a little girl missing. We know there’s going to be a connection at some point in the story, but we don’t know how or why. People keep bringing it up, it keeps showing up on the news, etc. Everyone is obsessed. So we spend a lot of time trying to figure out who might have kidnapped this girl. Each character we meet we try to see if it was them or if they knew more. Then we have the twists with the sisters. There are quite a few things right here. There’s a romance that’s a little weird and takes some time to figure out. There’s also these big secrets that Dara is keeping. How things relate, you just have to keep reading to see.

I was surprised that we didn’t get any pieces coming together until the last quarter. I had thought of what I figured was the situation but then figured out it couldn’t be that because of some things. But then it turned out I was right after all. So I think that maybe how things wrap up is slightly awkward in some sense. I wanted to go back and reread it to see if I read it differently the second time through, but I didn’t have time for that. I guess I could say she got me. But I’m still scratching my head on it.

I did enjoy this book a lot. It’s been harder to get into books lately and this one sucked me in immediately. I loved the guessing game and trying to piece it together and in the end I was maybe confused about how that could be, but I think I’m pretty happy with the ending so I definitely recommend this one.

This book does have some fairly mature content. There’s drinking, talk of drug use and sex. There’s also bad language. It’s one I would recommend to mature YA readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
monique jackson
Vanishing Girls is about two sisters who are best friends until a car accident changes everything. The accident really shakes up their world. This is a story about how the two sisters must overcome the changes that happen in their lives resulting from the accident. And intertwined in the plot is a little girl, Madeline Snow, who goes missing and the reader has to figure out how the sisters are connected to the girl. The plot gets more complicated when after Madeline goes missing Dara goes missing as well. Nick has to figure out what is going on with Dara and Madeline while coping with the aftermath of the accident. What is really neat is throughout the book there are news articles, diary entries, and other information to help the story unfold. I’ve been reading a lot of books like this lately, and I love LOVE how it makes everything seem more real.

I thought I knew what the mystery was going to be in the beginning but I DEFINITELY didn’t realize it was going to be that kind of ending. I am kind of disappointed because I did figure out it before it was revealed, I think since this type of plot has been done a lot. If I think back to the first bit of the book it is pretty obvious, but as I was reading I knew something big was going on I just could not figure it out at first. That’s awesome right? But, the thing is, I must say throughout the middle of the book I was constantly trying to figure out what was suppose to be so thrilling. A lot of drama was going on until the last 100 or so pages.

I actually really loved the bond between the two sisters. I liked how they are different like night and day, however, at the same time they have so much in common. Being an only child myself, I loved reading about the incredible bond that they have. The book is wrote mainly in Nick’s perspective, and I thought she was a great older sister who’s always there for Dara. There is a love interest, but it isn’t a huge part of the plot which was nice!

I love Lauren Oliver’s writing, but I think with Vanishing Girls the writing wasn’t convincing me I was reading a psychological thriller. And I think that’s the case since the middle was kind of slow and drama filled. I really loved the plot and twists, but this was a character driven story which slowed things down. I think if it had focused on the plot a little more and a little less on the characters then Vanishing Girls could have been an amazing psychological thriller. Even though I wished it would have been a little more thrilling I still enjoyed it! Sure, I had a few problems with it, but it was still pretty good! 4 Stars because it had its slow moments and wasn’t as thrilling as I would have liked.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
steve clark
*I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review*

First Thoughts

I am completely devastated right now. My heart feels like it has been shredded into pieces. Vanishing Girls is not what I expected at all; not that I even really know what I expected. I've always enjoyed Lauren Oliver's work, but this is the first time she has ever made me feel downcast and broken.

Vanishing Girls maintained this sort of ominous feel that almost hurt to read. You know a mind-blowing plot twist is going to happen, you know you're going to shed some tears, and you know you're going to sit there for a while hugging your pillow in deep thought-- still, you can't stop turning the pages.

The plot hit home for me. I have a younger sibling that went through a reckless and impulsive phase, like Dara, and I worried myself sick for him all the time. I'd want to curl up in a hole and die if my situation had turn out like Nick's.

What I Enjoyed

Knowing, but not knowing.
Lauren Oliver is so sneaky in this one! At the 50% mark, I had a realization of what the plot twist might be, but then the next chapter had me second guessing myself. This back and forth debate with myself kept on until the last few chapters.

The realism.
Lauren Oliver hit the nose on the head with this one. She perfectly portrayed the trouble some teens get into when they're bored and I loved her accurate representation of a broken and traumatized family trying their best to hold it together.

The book made me think.
The beginning of the book is actually a letter to the reader and it says something about how two people can grow up under the same roof, live with the same parents, and be expected to abide by the same rules, yet become remarkably different. I pondered this for quite some time.

Memorable Quote

That's what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you're supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you'd rather stay in bed and do nothing.

Recommended For

Those who enjoyed reading We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Fans of psychological thrillers and mysteries.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
maggie brooke
Nick and Dara are sisters. Dara is younger, prettier, and likes to party. Nick is older, more buttoned up. But they were still the best of friends until things started getting between them, especially the ways they reacted to their parents' acrimonious divorce and Dara's relationship with the boy next door (and Nick's best friend) Parker.

And then, of course, there was the accident. The accident that Nick can't remember, and has led to Dara avoiding her.

VANISHING GIRLS has a slow start. It moves back and forth in time, through direct narration and diary entries, as well as snippets of news blogs. It can be disorienting (which is quite on purpose, as the climax of the novel proves). I want to reread VANISHING GIRLS knowing the ending so that I can spot the pieces moving into place, but it didn't entirely grab me at first.

The central mystery brews in the background for a long time. The biggest news story in the town is the disappearance of Madeline Snow. Dara and Nick pay about as much attention to it as you would to any big news story, when the pieces start to fall together and Madeline's disappearance turns out to be very pertinent to their lives. VANISHING GIRLS best trick is hiding the true mystery from the reader until secrets start bursting forth. It's a terrific use of point of view.

I expect that Lauren Oliver's fans will be thrilled with VANISHING GIRLS. It's a clever, feminist mystery with a central sister relationship that feels wrenchingly real. As her author's note says, she's really exploring the way siblings can define themselves in opposition to each other in order to carve out their own space. I think she succeeded.

While the beginning is a bit rough, I'm glad I kept reading. Once Dara disappears, the story kicks into full gear and the revelations just keep coming. The surprisingly bittersweet ending was quite satisfying, and as I said, tempted me to start right back over and see what more I would notice the second time around.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kyle ratcliff
Vanishing Girls left me with a good taste in my mouth, it captivated me from the first chapter and didn't let me go until the mystery was solved. Although from the first quarter of the book, I had my theory of what was really happening (and I was right), but still I was very intrigued by the plot.

The main characters of the book are a 17 years old Nick (Nicole) and 16 years old Dara, two sisters, that all their life had been very close and sort of best friends, until the night they both have a car accident and while Nick was driving, she had only minor injuries, while Dara ends up with facial scars and other serious injuries, that night is their breaking point because from that day they don't speak to each other again and Nick goes to live with their father and Dara stays with their mother.

The story is told from dual point of view, both Dara's and Nick's, but the latter is the main voice and through her we see memories of the months preceding the accident, plus Dara's journal entries, we get the picture of their problems and life before the accident.

There is a subplot about a 9 year old girl, she disappeared mysteriously and is mentioned through the course of all book, but it is not until the last chapters that her disappearance has some relevance and is intertwined with the main plot.

Overall, I really enjoyed Vanishing Girls, it's a good thriller that its last chapters had me on the edge of my seat and has a very interesting twist (but it isn't unexpected, because I saw it coming), but I didn't lost interest in it. This books has mystery, suspense and drama surrounding the sisters, plus I get really care for what happened to them (which is important for me). I do recommended this Young Adult thriller.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Nicole, better known to family and friends as Nick, has always been close to her younger sister, Dara. Dara has always been good at everything. Dara even manages to snare John Parker. Nicole considered John her best friend and secretly had a crush on him.
After a horrible car accident, everyone's lives are drastically changed. Dara is scarred, her friends disappear and her parents separate.
In an effort to get away from the ongoing drama, Nick takes a summer job at FanLand, an old-fashioned amusement park. She likes her job, but is nervous when she finds out John Parker works there, too.
Dara seems to vanish on her birthday. Nick is very concerned because a younger girl, Madeline Snow, has recently disappeared.
The targeted audience of VANISHING GIRLS is young adults. I am way past that age group, but I was totally engaged with this novel from the first page. The universal themes of sibling rivalry and family issues affect us all no matter what our age.
Told in alternating chapters by Dara and Nick, the reader slowly learns the details behind the car accident and the sisters' relationship. The author states that she drew on her relationship with her own sister in developing Nick and Dara.
Lauren Oliver is excellent in creating suspense. The reader will want to set aside some quiet reading time because once you start VANISHING GIRLS you won't want to put it down.
Lauren Oliver has written other young adult novels and an adult novel, ROOMS. I am so glad to see quality young adult novels being written. When I was young, there was not much between juvenile novels and adult ones.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suzie lutz
Dara and Nicole are sisters.
Parker, Nick, and Dara are friends.
Everyone can find something to relate to in this story since it deals with change.
It is an intriguing story about loss and separation. The story is full of mystery.

I'm searching for the hidden meaning behind the lies. This means something. The story is leading to something that is going to shock me.

I'm reading at a rapid pace trying to get the answers I've been waiting to discover.
A game. Desperate for attention. Disappearing to see who comes looking.
A place to forget your problems for the day. Many layers built into the story.

This story is hard to summarize because in order to do so would mean giving away parts of the story. I don't want to reveal any spoilers so I'm just going to say that's is a cleverly crafted story that unfolded slowly. Pay attention to the dates. Take notes of the before and after. Remember which POV you are reading. Stay focused on the clues. Most importantly free your mind and let yourself absorb the beauty of the words written.
The story has many layers. The town searching for Madeline. Nick working at FanLand. The car accident. The parents divorced. Dara sneaking out to party.
All important layers that help build the foundation for the mindset of Nicole and all the changes she encountered.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amber enneking
This book was AMAZING! I read all sorts of genres of books, and didn't really know what to expect with this one. I started reading it on a Tuesday morning on my commute to work and finished it by the end of the week. I literally could not put this down and wanted to do nothing but read it. I am not good at guessing twists, some people claim the twist in this book was predictable, but I did not see it coming and was very surprised which made it even better.

Her writing is beautiful and very descriptive. I enjoyed the perspective of this book and the fact that there was a mix of mediums, journals, emails etc. Very exciting, definitely a page turner, fell in love with all the characters.

5 stars, am going to read more of Lauren Oliver's books.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kathryn harding
I picked up a copy of this book going into it know it would probably not be a serious read but more of a guilty pleasure one. You know the kind that can kind of be described as cotton candy...light and fluffy. Yet, I read this book more than half way. Which is more then I usually go when I don't like a book. The reason that I went so long reading this book is because I did have hope that it would be that guilty pleasure read that I was craving. It did not turn out to be that way. None of the characters in this story were interesting. Thus I did not want to get to know them or their story. Nick and Dara were catty and needed to grow up. This was a big turn off for me. Plus it seemed that the storyline was not going anywhere like with the disappearance. There was not that much focus on it or really what happened to Dara that changed her and Nick's relationship.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andrea kerr
This book had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning. It took me a little over two days to read it because I did not want to put it down. I couldn't decide who I liked or hated more between Dara and Nick and loved that this story kept me going back and forth. There is a twist at the end, which seems to be pretty popular these days, and it makes you want to go back and re-read some chapters to see how you missed it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This novel tells the story of sisters, Dara and Nick. They hang around with each other and are close until a car accident has consequences for both of them. It is told by both sisters and I liked them both. It is good and kept my interest throughout; however, would have preferred a different ending. That being said, Vanishing Girls is very readable and I think you would enjoy it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amanda jane williams
I think the targeted age group readers will love it. BFF sisters 16 year old Dara and 17 year old Nicky have a pretty terrific relationship until Nicky loses control if the car they are in and their lives are changed forever. Really, telling you more will spoil the reading for you - I am glad I didn't read reviews first. The author is a master of compelling prose.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dodol surodol
This was a pretty good book. Gorgeous writing as is Lauren Oliver's style. But the story took a really long time to get started, IMO. I wasn't really vested in the story for quite a while. Once the mystery was laid out, it was super tense and exciting, but I would have liked some of that tension up front.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
This book was just not for me. I have really enjoyed this authors previous books, but this one felt off to me. The constant changing POV really took me out of the story. Normally I can handle this, but with this one I felt like I was starting a new book every time the POV changed. I wasn't invested in the characters enough to care really whose POV I was reading either. I did like the writing and I think Ms. Oliver is brilliant, but this story just really didn't click with me. I figured out the twist really early on and the story just seemed disjointed. I think if a few things were hidden better and the story was told from one POV it might have worked better.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
sarah doyle
This is the first book I have read by Lauren Oliver. I have to say I wasn't very impressed. She spun everything together well for the end of the book to turn out as it did but I just felt a bit bored with the story and just wanted it over.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
clorissa rene hurst
This book is one of the few I have read with a twist I never caught on to. The story feels like it drags a bit for the first half , but everything comes together from there and you will be glad for the details you thought were minuscule. I highly recommend this book, especially if you have a sister or sibling that you are very close with.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I accidentally checked this book out and what a happy accident. I had no idea what was going to happen next. I can usually sniff out an ending half way through a book but not with this one! This book really captured my attention. ???
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
mary kravenas
A little slow until the last 50 or so pages. Like the review below me it's not my favorite book but i definitely don't regret reading it. You can skip some paragraphs here and there and still be in the loop.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Vanishing Girls is about sisters, tragedy, love, loss, and living. With this novel, Lauren Oliver pulls another classic out of her hat and delivers it superbly. The twist at the end took me entirely by surprise and I loved it. A strong 5 stars from me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Just finished this in the car and had to listen to it twice! I won't give any spoilers just...READ IT! I applaud Lauren Oliver for writing such an intricate plot. My only criticism is the extreme use of metaphor. It was a bit much.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Was so excited when I saw this book come out because I love Lauren Oliver. She sure didn't disappoint with this book. I won't say anything more is I don't want to divulge anything but if you haven't read this book you must!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abdullah maghrabi
The actual ending of this book was odd in my opinion but not quite in a bad way. I did not at all see the ending coming. I loved the characters and their relationships. Pay close attention to every little detail!!! Definitely worth the read.
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