Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Oliver's novel covers the story of sisters Nick (Nicole) and Dara, who grew up close, but have drifted apart as teens. Then they are in a terrible accident, which pulls them even further apart -- to the point where they aren't even speaking. However, when Nick eventually thinks Dara has disappeared, she goes on a quest to find her sister and help her.
This book was just sort of eh... I don't think it's really a spoiler to say that the "vanishing" part for Dara doesn't take place until well into the plot. The story is more the tale of Dara and Nick's lives before and after their accident (told in their own voices, jumping between time). It's actually rather compelling as is and the whole "vanishing" almost seems like an unwelcome distraction once it arrives.
It's not to say the whole book is bad. I struggled with the rating, really. There's a lot of suspense that simply captures the sisters' lives and tumult surrounding the accident. Oliver does a good job portraying Nick's teen life and her growth as she works at an amusement park over the summer.
Still, the "vanishing girls" part feels contrived at times and parts of Dara's life, as it unfolds, seems forced. Overall, I'm still sort of unsure about this one, truly. It leaves you a little uneven, which who knows... may be the point!
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