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Vanishing Girls

Review

Vanishing Girls

Lauren Oliver, author of the Delirium trilogy and YA bestsellers BEFORE I FALL and PANIC, will have readers grabbing up copies of her latest page-turner, VANISHING GIRLS.

Sisters Dara and Nick are as different as can be. Where Nick is thoughtful, introverted and measured, Dara is outgoing, spontaneous and careless. In spite of these differences, the two sisters couldn’t be closer. Nick has spent her entire life watching out for Dara, and with their parents’ recent divorce, Dara’s welfare is solely on Nick’s shoulders.

In VANISHING GIRLS, Oliver weaves a psychological thriller that is a perfect treat for both mystery and romance readers alike. I wouldn't be surprised if this novel were to vanish (pun intended) off bookshelves everywhere.

Following a mysterious accident, a rift develops in the once inseparable duo’s relationship, and the sisters are soon leading separate lives. While Dara is off doing her own thing, Nick begins work at local adventure park Fantasy Land, where she rekindles her friendship with her old best friend, Parker (coincidentally, also Dara’s ex-boyfriend). Nick makes several attempts to reconnect with her sister, and plans an elaborate surprise for the night of Dara’s birthday. However, things begin to take a sinister turn when Nick sees her sister looking despondent and scared as she boards a bus heading in the opposite direction of her birthday celebration. Nick announces Dara’s change of plans to her family and finds a mysterious note within the pages of Dara’s diary that proclaim: “I MADE UP A GAME. IT’S CALLED CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.”

Furious and convinced that her sister is merely seeking her attention, Nick angrily commences the search for Dara. However, as the pieces come together, Nick realizes that the circumstances of her sister’s disappearance indicate that this vanishing act is not within the repertoire of Dara’s usual antics. Recently, a nine-year-old girl named Elizabeth Snow also vanished under mysterious circumstances, and Nick believes that there is some untold connection between the two cases. Nick’s travels unveil a seedy underworld that keeps readers reeling until the very last page.

The mark of a truly great read is one that has you walking away with the plotline stirring in your mind. This is the case with VANISHING GIRLS. The plot twist at the end of the novel is a truly satisfying mix of suspense, shock and bittersweet tenderness. In VANISHING GIRLS, Oliver weaves a psychological thriller that is a perfect treat for both mystery and romance readers alike. I wouldn't be surprised if this novel were to vanish (pun intended) off bookshelves everywhere.

Reviewed by Christi Sheehan on March 11, 2015

Vanishing Girls
by Lauren Oliver