Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

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Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Vikki Patis
Reviewed by Vikki Patis
Summary: A gripping thriller, Vanishing Girls is a book that grabs hold and doesn't let go.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: March 2015
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 978-1444786798

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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. Nicole, known as Nick, and younger sister Dara, have their lives and relationship torn apart by a serious car accident. Once extremely close, Nick and Dara now barely speak to each other, both sisters weighed down by feelings of guilt.

After spending some time with her father, Nick returns to her mother's house, where Dara also lives. But Dara always seems to escape the house just before Nick gets to her, climbing out of her window and running through the woods. Forever the sensible sister, Nick starts working at a local theme park, while Dara hides in her room, isolating herself from her friends and her past.

The sisters also have Parker in common. Once Nick's best friend, Parker soon became Dara's lover, driving a wedge between the sisters and the friendship. Now Nick works with Parker at the theme park, and their former friendship begins to rekindle. But they're both haunted by memories of Dara, and how the new dynamics might affect them all.

When a little girl goes missing, Nick's mother becomes obsessed with the story, avidly watching the progress on the news. Both Dara and Nick soon become embroiled in the story, meeting several people who will eventually lead them to their final path.

The two sisters are intertwined, blended together, but they are also distinctly different. The idea that two siblings being so different, despite being brought up in the same environment, is fascinating, particularly as Oliver manages to capture the similarities that exist, no matter how different two people may seem at first glance. While this story focuses on the relationship between sisters, it is also full of important themes, including sexuality, romance, and underage drinking.

My first impression of this book was that it was all over the place. The narrator wasn't always clear, and the style was often confusing, flipping between before the accident and after. But, as I got closer to the end, the reason for this hit me with an almost physical force. The twists and turns this novel take the reader on are both shocking and gripping, and it is for this reason that I managed to devour the book in a day. The carefully layered prose and intense emotions threaded through the pages kept me absorbed and intrigued from beginning to end.

The writing style very much reminded me of Gillian Flynn. Thrilling, dark, and full of suspense, this book will take you on a psychological journey that you won't forget in a hurry. You might also enjoy Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn or Panic by Lauren Oliver. You might enjoy A Trick of the Mind by Penny Hancock.

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Buy Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver at


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