I’ve always loved Lauren Oliver’s stories, so when I received an email from a publisher asking if I would like an ARC in exchange for an honest review, I jumped on the chance. I was instantly intrigued by the description of Vanishing Girls, since it strays from the dystopia world of the Delirium series, and more towards the grittiness of Panic. I was definitely not disappointed, and ended up reading the book in one sitting—I simply couldn’t put it down!
One of my favorite qualities of Lauren Oliver’s writing is the vivid description she uses. She paints a thorough picture through her wording, and I’m never left with any gaps in my imagination of a scene. Her worlds are always very complete, and Vanishing Girls was no exception. Another thing is that her characters are always very real and raw, which was definitely true of Dara and Nick.
Her depictions of the sisters and their relationships were very detailed and not at all cliché. She didn’t paint the image of a “perfect sister” and “bad sister.” Instead, both sisters were a combination of both. They both had their issues and problems, and in the end that’s what united them so well as sisters. They aren’t twins, however they seem to have the connection that twins have. When Dara is in trouble, Nick senses it. Despite this, there is a huge disconnect between sisters; they have a huge misconception of what the other thinks of them. I spent a lot of the book waiting for them to finally just talk to each other and reconcile their differences. It was a bit frustrating at times, but the juxtaposition of their connectedness and the divide of their thoughts was intriguing. There is a sort of love triangle in the book, between the two sisters and a childhood friend of theirs. The interesting part of it is that they both seem to have very different perceptions and ideals of him. A small hint of their differing views of him comes when they describe his eyes. Again, Lauren Oliver shows her prowess at giving detailed imagery that not only builds scene but also a character. Absolutely love it.
The darkness and tension in this book was high, and a few times I actually found myself on the edge of my seat and completely entrenched in the book. I love this more sinister writing of Lauren Oliver and would definitely read another thriller by her.
I can’t say much more without completely spoiling the book. However, I can say my shock at the ending of the book was complete. I’m pretty sure I terrified my roommate by screeching “WHAT?” when I read the ending. It’s not a bad ending in anyway, however it does completely throw the reader for a loop. Did not see it coming at all. I’m giving this book a 4.5/5 starts, mainly because I got really confused at times due to the skipping around with dates and times. You really have to be paying attention to when the scene is taking place in the timeline of the story to fully understand. Other than that though, I loved this book and I’m positive it will be another hit by Lauren Oliver.
Also, this review wouldn’t be complete without praising the absolutely gorgeous cover of the book. Honestly I was in love with it the moment I pulled it out of the envelope. It’s simple and haunting, and the girl on the cover is literally vanishing into thin air. A majority of the cover is just blank white space, but that’s one thing I really love about it. It’s simple yet captivating.
Vanishing Girls is in stores March 10, 2015. Be sure to grab a copy! You won’t regret it J