Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Teen review: Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls
by Lauren Oliver
368 Pages
Realistic fiction, not part of a series
Recommended for 9th grade and above
Reviewed by Patrick Castro, grade 11

Vanishing Girls was hands down one of the most poignant and powerful books I read year. Wow...I'm still blown away, honestly.

Vanishing Girls may look like you typical YA/Contemporary book, but beneath it all is an intricate story. Sisters Nick and Dara used to be so close to each other until Dara vanishes on her birthday. Nick thinks Dara is playing with her, but when Madeline Snow also vanishes, she knows something serious is going on. Oliver was able to effortlessly bring in suspenseful elements along with loss and love that ultimately created an amazing book.

Nick and Dara were really intriguing right off the bat. The book was divided between the two sisters and the past and present. It may have gotten confusing at times, but I was actually able to distinguish the two. I really bonded with Nick while reading, because she had a strong perseverance not to give up to find Dara. She goes through so much trying to find out what really happens to Dara, you could easily feel all the emotions she went through. Dara on the other hand, was a big mess for me. She needed to get her whole act straightened out and needed to stop playing games. I kinda felt a "Boy Who Cried Wolf" vibe from her because she would start these games and end up safe and normal. Oliver created such dynamic characters that really contrasted with each other that worked well.

I loooveed the suspense part of the novel. It was heart-pounding when Nick was piecing together all the clues about Dara. The ending had me on an emotional roller coaster! As the whole book comes together, you feel for all the characters especially Nick and Dara!

Be prepared!

I have a feeling this book would do great as a movie!

Vanishing Girls was a refreshing addition to the ever-expanding world of YA books. Oliver hits a home run with her emotional characters, a suspenseful plot, and a deep message about family, relationships, and love. Pick this one up!

Editor's note: This book has been purchased for Burbank Public Library (all branches) and will be available shortly. While you wait, if you haven't read her book Before I Fall, definitely check that one out to tide you over!

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