Vanishing Girls CoverTitle: Vanishing Girls
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 10th 2015
Pages: 357
Genre(s): Young Adult, Mystery
Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon

❝ 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.❞

For the longest time I’ve contemplated whether I should give this book a try or not, especially since Delirium did not live up to the hype surrounding it. I decided to give Vanishing Girls a go since the synopsis really appealed to me. Though I did enjoy the book on a superficial level, a closer inspection made me come to the conclusion that the plot is poorly executed, the book mediocre at best.  

What I loved about Vanishing Girls is that it focuses on the relationship between sisters. I’m very close to my own sisters and have always found the connection between siblings intriguing. It felt realistic that Dara and Nick fought a lot, given the fact that they were teenage girls and I could truly relate to that. At the same time, it was also very obvious how much they cared for each other and how well they knew each other.

Moreover, I liked most of the characters, even if I didn’t really get attached to them. Each character had flaws and that made them more fleshed out, more realistic. Another definite plus point was the incorporation of the theme park. It made for a really fun and interesting setting and gave the general seriousness of the book a little bit of a lighter note.

I think that my main issue with Vanishing Girls is that the plot twist did not make a lick of sense and might have even put more emphasis on the plot holes.  It did not fit at all with the build-up and I had the urge to re-read the whole book to see if that cleared things up. In my opinion, an author shouldn’t have to rely on readers to re-read a book after they have reached the ending, for them to get it. All things should add up naturally when a plot twist is revealed.

Moreover, I hated how quickly the missing girl situation was cleared up, considering the constant focus on it and the build up. Same thing with the psychological issue really, which was resolved by a ‘magical solution’ that fixed everything in a short span of time. To me, that feels wrong on a lot of levels.

Lastly, I thought the timeline was incredibly confusing with all the back and forth in time and I honestly still can’t figure out what the point was of the online commentaries at the beginning of chapters.

To sum it up, Vanishing Girls had the potential to be great, but was poorly executed in my opinion.

Vanishing Girls

5.4

Characterization

6.8/10

Plot

3.5/10

Writing Style

5.8/10

Pace

4.0/10

Setting

6.8/10

Pros

  • Relationship between sisters
  • Characters with flaws
  • Theme park setting

Cons

  • Plot twist makes no sense
  • 'Magical' solution for problems
  • Confusing timeline
  • Online commentaries served no purpose