Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: March 10th 2015 from Hodder and Staughton
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.
Oh Vanishing Girls what to say about you. I adored it for the most part and I have always been a huge fan of Lauren Oliver's stunningly beautiful writing that just pulls you into every story she tells. But I had my issues with this one. Small, to be fair, but still...
Anyway here we meet Nick and Dara, sisters, friends, their relationship suddenly takes a downturn, then they have an accident that further pulls them apart. Told from both points of view, both before and after the crash, Lauren Oliver paints us a portrait of a beautiful yet often diversive sibling relationship.
The teenage state of mind is once again beautifully captured here and around the girls are a cast of other characters informing and changing their relationship. It is utterly compelling, addictive storytelling at its best, where you are absolutely drawn into the world they inhabit and feel every last emotion right along with them. There is a mystery element added in here as a young girl goes missing, this is interwoven into the narrative giving it a certain anchor and an extra frission to the whole thing.
The ebb and flow of all the friendships, family and otherwise, is elegantly done and often very emotive, but always authentic and believable - Trademark Lauren Oliver and what we have come to expect from her. I knew I would love it and I did. However...
The resolution and ultimate outcome made me shake my head. Not because it wasnt realistic or because it was badly done in any sense of the word, but because it is so so predictable and becoming a bit of a cliche. Everybody seems to be doing it. I had my suspicions quite early on, I'm not entirely sure that Ms Oliver attempted to hide anything within the narrative, but I have to say I was hoping to be wrong because truly I (personally speaking) am bored with this particular plot twist. For me the relationship between Nick and Dara deserved more. Of course having said that, this was not my story to tell.
As it turns out I was still left feeling emotionally wrung out, a tear in my eye and looking back on the whole story with a hint of nostalgia despite, not because of, the ending to the whole affair. Overall then still an emotive, wonderfully written and utterly compelling coming of age story that I would still have no hesitation recommending. 4* not 5* though - a very subjective rating.
Happy Reading Folks!