Summary:Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.
I’ve read four of Oliver’s books to date, and I have to say that, while it is still flawed, Vanishing Girls is my favorite book of hers that I have read so far. This is an eye-opening story about the dynamics between siblings, and a chilling mystery and psychological study on top of that.
Months ago, sisters Dara and Nick weren’t just sisters; they were best friends. All that changed in the blink of an eye after a traumatic car accident, which turned them into enemies. But when Dara disappears on her birthday, Nick can’t shake the feeling that she’s in trouble.
…Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. If you don’t understand that, I guess you’ve never had a sister.
Her fear is solidified when another girl – 9-year-old Madeline Snow – is also reported missing. As the clock ticks, it’s up to Nick to find both girls before it’s too late.
The story is written in two different time periods – before and after the accident – and from two different narrators – Nick and Dara respectively. While writing from this many different time periods and points of view is definitely a bit risky, Oliver managed to pull it off.
Dara and Nick are two completely different people; and yet you can connect to both of them quite easily. Nick is your typical overachiever, the kind of girl who never gets in trouble and is extremely intelligent. Dara, on the other hand, is the complete opposite – constantly being reckless and making bad choices.
The way the sisters see each other and their relationship together is the highlight of the story. Oliver manages to capture the relationship between the two sisters in a way that is so accurate, and through all the grudges and the hate, you can see how deeply they care about each other.
As someone who reads a lot of psychological thrillers, I wasn’t very surprised by the twist that is pulled at the end. The twist used is certainly an intelligent one if used properly; but it’s been used in so many other thrillers and mysteries that it didn’t perpetrate the shock factor from me that it could have.
Lauren Oliver has written a thriller that doesn’t just thrill; but also manages to dive deep into the relationships between sisters as well. While the eventual revelation is a bit predictable – especially for those who are avid readers of thrillers – it is still worth the read.