Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Review: Vanishing Girls

I've only read one other Lauren Oliver book (and that was a middle grade one, The Spindlers) but have seen her name and heard the buzz for a while now. For our June young adult book club we were asked to enter the YA section and simply pick a book off the shelf to share at the meeting (a meeting I knew I would have to miss because of my time at music camp). I selected this one, Vanishing Girls, but failed to get to it until July.

Dara and Nick (Nicole) are two inseparable sisters, until their friendship with a neighbor boy alters their relationship. Parker is Nick's best friend, but when he and Dara begin dating, it causes a rift between the sisters. During an argument about the situation, while driving, Nick and Dara end up in an accident which permanently mars Dara's good looks.

The introductory blurb talks about a nine year old girl vanishing and then Dara supposedly goes missing, too, on her birthday. I guess I assumed the two disappearances were somehow connected. In the end, the story felt kind of like a bait and switch and I, as a reader, felt duped. The story is told in alternating points of view from Dara and Nick and I found that confusing. Moreover, the book jumps around in time frame willy nilly, which makes it difficult to keep a finger on the pulse of where things are heading. Dara didn't even disappear until almost the 200th page of the novel. I kept wondering, "so when is the second disappearance going to happen and how are they connected?" My final verdict? Meh. Not bad, but not one I would have felt bad about missing had I not read it. I did enjoy The Spindlers, however, so I'm not discounting this author entirely.

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