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Review: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Title: Vanishing Girls
Author: Lauren Oliver
Year Published: 2015

Genre: Young Adult fiction
Pages: 357
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map): USA (Connecticut)

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review

Summary (from the back of the book): 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 has vanished, too--nine-year-old Elizabeth Snow--and as Nick pursues her sister, she becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances may be linked and that Nick has to find her, before it's too late.

Review: I am not accepting books for review from authors and publishers anymore, but when I got a request to review Lauren Oliver's new book I couldn't resist! I really enjoyed her books Before I Fall and Delirium. Vanishing Girls is a good read, but I am not over the moon about it.

As the story progresses we learn that Dara and Nick (Nicole) are sisters who are really close. I liked that there are flashbacks so that we see the "before," which is where we get the sister relationship. I think this could have been even stronger so that the reader truly understands how close these two are/were. I definitely liked the way details of the girls' car accident are revealed slowly and we don't really know what happened until the very end of the book. That made me want to keep reading!

There is a lot of teenage drinking in this book, both as a social experience and as a way to cope with teenage angst. As a high school teacher I know adolescents do this, but it still bums me out and makes me sad that kids take to alcohol to have fun and to avoid. This book does a good job of showing that without glorifying it.

There is a plot twist (isn't there always?!) and it's a good one! It totally took me by surprise and ensured that I stayed up late last night to finish the book. Fans of Lauren Oliver will definitely enjoy this book.

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