Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Vanishing Girls, by Lauren Oliver, ends 3/30

I have the feeling of finally hitting ground after a long fall. The breath goes out of me and yes, weirdly, I feel a sense of relief, of finally touching solid earth, of knowing.

This is it: somehow, in these pictures, the mystery of the accident is contained, and the explanation for Dara's subsequent behavior, for the silences and disappearances.

Don't ask me how I know. I just do. If you don't understand that, I guess you've never had a sister.

I finishing Vanishing Girls yesterday while on my work lunch break, and in the final few chapters, everything I thought I knew about the book went completely out the window. It probably didn't help that I was tired that day, too, and it took me a minute or so to wrap my mind around the twist that occurs at the end of this story. I'm a fan of Lauren Oliver's books in general, but this one had a twist that I did not see coming.

Official synopsis:
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

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.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.


I like Lauren Oliver's books in general, like Deliriumso I was excited to read this one. The novel ended up being a cross between Gone Girl and the movie Adventureland, since one of the sisters, Nick, works at an amusement park, FanLand, over the summer. 

Nick (Nicole) and her sister Dara used to be very close, but after a car accident where Nick was driving, and Dara gets disfigured, they drift apart. The chapters are told in alternating views between Nick and Dara, and also between the past and the present, in some cases. Their parents are also divorced, and Nick is having a hard time with that; it doesn't help that Parker, her former best friend, is working with Nick at FanLand over the summer, since Parker and Dara dated for a while (but currently are broken up). 

I don't want to spoil the ending but I'll reiterate that I did not see it coming, even though variations of it has been done before in movies and in books. Other Goodreads reviewers apparently did, but I was honestly shocked after the twist occurred, and I'd like to reread the book at some point to try and figure out if I missed any clues scattered throughout. 

Lauren Oliver tweeted a link to a website where you can add your fantasy cast for Vanishing Girls, if it ever gets made into a TV show or book, which is fun. I chose Chloe Grace Moretz as Dara, although Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars) had already been suggested and I could definitely see that instead; Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale, or Mae Whitman as Nick; and Miles Teller or Dylan O'Brien as Parker. 

4.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

GIVEAWAY:

Two of my lucky readers will win hardcover copies of Vanishing Girls!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, March 30th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Vanishing Girls

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