Review Blog

Apr 23 2015

Vanishing girls by Lauren Oliver

cover image

Hodder & Stoughton, 2015. ISBN 9781444786781
(Age: 16+) Mystery. Drug and alcohol abuse. Sisters Nick and Dara had been best friends with each other and with Parker until Dara and Parker start to go out and a terrible accident leaves Dara's face scarred and the sisters estranged. When Dara goes missing on her birthday, Nick thinks that she is just playing around but it is not until she realises that little Madeline Snow has disappeared as well that she starts to investigate.
This is a complex story narrated in two voices, with separate chapters by Nick and Dara. The reader needs to be aware of the fact that the story is not told in chronological order, rather there are chapters set before and after the accident. There is also the occasional important notice from the police, media and online sources that give crucial information to the story.
I found that the suspense really ramped up in the last third of the book as Nick finally starts to unravel what has been happening to Dara, who has grown away from her sister, drinking, going to parties and hooking up with older men. The first two thirds of the book concentrated on the relationship between the two sisters and vividly described the break in their closeness as Dara gets into parties, alcohol and drug taking. Nick constantly covers up for her, but it is Dara's relationship with her best friend Parker, that is most distressing for Nick.
Although slow at first, Vanishing girls is a story that I will remember, and it is sure to appeal to readers who have liked other psychological thrillers by Oliver or the book We were liars by E. Lockhart, mentioned on the front cover.
Pat Pledger

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist
2018 CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist
CBCA short lists 2018
Blue Peter Book Awards 2018
Top Ten Best Fiction 2018
2018 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Michael L. Printz Award 2018
Andre Norton Award 2018 nominees
Randolph Caldecott Medal 2018
Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books 2018
John Newbery Medal 2018
2018 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster