Vanishing Girls is a stunning psychological thriller, written by Lauren Oliver.
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters completely estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks she’s just messing around. But another girl has gone missing too, and Nick can’t help but become convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Nick must find her sister, before it’s too late.
From what I’ve been seeing recently, people either love or hate this book. For me, it’s definitely the former. If you’ve read some of my other book reviews, particularly my review of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, you’ll know that I’m a massive fan of psychological thrillers. This book was no exception. However, it’s definitely not what I was expecting it to be. I love Lauren Oliver’s books – I haven’t read Rooms though yet, should I? Let me know what you think! – and this one would have to be one of my favourites. There’s just something about this book that makes me sit back and go ‘wow’. I loved the plot, I loved how it reminded me of We Were Liars and I loved how it made me sit back, stunned, thinking about how I have to reevaluate everything I’ve read. In short, I loved it.
While there’s nothing particularly new about the concept of this book, I loved it nonetheless. There’s something about psychological thrillers that just draws me in. Whether it’s the unpredictable characters, the constant thinking, or the big reveal at the end, I’m not entirely sure. If there’s one thing that will almost guarantee I’ll love a book, it’s a twist. And I know some people say that the twist in this book was too easy to guess and they saw it a mile off – and I can’t argue with that. I knew there was something going on with this book quite early on and I had guessed what the big reveal was going to be before it was actually said, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t still shocked. I love being right, but I love it even more when I still have that tiny flicker of doubt that means when I am right, I feel all the more pleased. I knew most of what was going to happen, but I still had that 1% of me that was a tiny bit unsure, and that’s what I love about psychological thrillers. They’ll keep you guessing and they’ll keep you thinking about the book days after you’ve turned the last page.
Another thing I loved about this book was the way it was written. I really enjoyed reading snippets of diaries and letters and whatnot. If any of you have read Cry Blue Murder, it kind of reminded me of that. Obviously telling a story simply in first or third person prose for the entire novel is overdone, because that’s your typical and traditional book. To pick up a book and it be different from that is really a nice surprise. Even the alternating perspectives is being done a lot nowadays. I’m all for authors trying something different and unique, and this definitely worked for this book. I felt as though it added a lot more depth to the story and gave us insight into things that would have been hard to find out purely through the eyes of Dara and Nick.
In many ways, this is a really dark book. I really wasn’t expecting that when I bought this book. Vanishing Girls highlights a lot of the bad that can come with having a sister – the jealously, the petty fights and saying things that can’t be taken back – but in the end, it shows how no matter what you might say about your sibling, you ultimately love them and would do anything for them. I feel as though people with siblings will especially connect with this book and with Dara and Nick. Being an only child, I don’t have that personal experience of feeling jealous or finding my brothers or sisters annoying. However, it did give me an insight into what it might be like. A pretty warped insight at times, I have to say, but an insight nonetheless. Although I didn’t really feel as though I understood Dara or Nick in the beginning, slowly everything is revealed and I really felt for both of them.
This stunning and beautifully written book is one I’ll be thinking about for quite some time to come. I loved how haunting and intricately woven this novel is. If you’ve read any other book by Lauren Oliver, I definitely recommend you give this one a go. And if you are a fan of We Were Liars, reading this book is a must. I’d give Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver a score of 9.5 out of 10. I’m begging Lauren to write more books like this one!