I’m about an hour past my deadline but I think I did a pretty good about reading this week’s read in a short amount of time. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver is about two sisters, Nicole (Nick) and Dara Warren, who were inseparable, but when the sisters were involved in a car accident that left Dara scarred, they became estranged. The book goes back and forth between events before and after the accident, leading up to Dara vanishing on her birthday. At the same time, a nine-year old named Madeline Snow vanishes in town, and Nick thinks that the two disappearances could be connected.
I have been a fan of Lauren Oliver for awhile now, having read several of her other books. She is a masterful writer, and this book is no exception. She draws you in from the first chapter and keeps you guessing as to what exactly happened between these sisters that would cause them to hate each other. Nick can’t remember much from the accident but slowly and surely Oliver unravels bits of her’s and Dara’s pasts, including their friendship with the boy next door, Parker.
Nick is the responsible older sister, while Dara is the popular and rebellious younger sister. I couldn’t help but compare my sister and I to Nick and Dara. I identified very closely with Nick from my own personal experiences with my sister. That’s what Oliver does so well though; she allows you to connect with the characters.
There is a major twist ending, which I do not want to spoil, so I will not say much more. Only to say that I was reading some opinions online of the twist ending; some seemed to love it, while others were disappointed. I have found from reading Oliver’s other books that she has a tendency to create interesting storylines which seem impossible but entirely realistic at the same time. So the ending of this book did not surprise me. I saw it as typical Oliver, something to be expected by her, and therefore I sensed it was coming. I wasn’t sure exactly what it would be, and I definitely wasn’t expecting what it did turn out to be, but I sensed an interesting ending.
Personally, I enjoyed the twist ending and thought that Oliver masterfully tied together all the story lines. Everything made sense to me by the end. I was thinking that all those small details in certain situations that didn’t really make sense were suddenly clear. Oliver had been making me think throughout the whole book and I didn’t even realize it until the end. However I can understand why others were disappointed by the ending or felt lost and confused.
I give the book a 4/5. Oliver’s writing is full of suspense and she does an amazing job of developing the main characters’ storylines. However maybe she shouldn’t have made the twist ending so much of a “twist” in order to appeal to a wider audience of readers.
So lately I’ve been reading a lot of mystery/thriller type books. For my next book I am going to take a completely different direction. This week I will be reading Let the Elephants Run by David Usher. I bought this book when I went to David Usher’s book signing with my friend My Happy Coincidence a few months ago. I started reading the book, but then life happened and its been sitting on my night table untouched. So I’ve decided to finally read it this week. Make sure to check out my review next Friday!