Vanishing Girls, by Lauren Oliver
I actually quite liked this. Vanishing Girls gave me the same type of feeling and after taste that Before I Fall gave me.
One of the major conflicts in Vanishing Girls is between Dara and Nick, the two narrating protagonists. I thought that this sibling rivalry was very well developed. Since the story is told from both of their perspectives, I was able to see into their thoughts regarding each other’s actions and personality. And boy, the pages of this book were practically soaked with jealousy. Dara is jealous of how “normal” Nick is. Nick is jealous of the time that Dara spends with Parker. They both think that the other person has the better life, and they both want things that the other sister has. This jealousy causes Dara to want to prove that she is better than Nick, and vice versa (although Nick is not as concerned about this issue as Dara is). All of this emotional turmoil makes the sibling rivalry realistic.
As many people would, Nick disapproves of her sister’s partying and drug-taking. I find this very realistic, as most parents would probably adopt the same disapproving attitude that Nick has if they found that their son or daughter was partaking in the same activities that Dara does. More importantly, it shows me that Nick truly does care about Dara’s well-being. As the book progresses, the relationship between the sisters is not always a good relationship, but nevertheless, there is still a bond.
However, I thought that this book focused to much conflict between Nick and Dara. Sure, the conflict is important, but considering the book is called “Vanishing Girls”, I am pretty sure that the conflict isn’t supposed to be the main focus of the book. The first part of the book was mainly about the establishment of the conflict between the sisters. The plot, about find the vanishing girls never really got rolling until the middle of the book, when Dara boards a bus. It was fairly unbalanced.
The character’s behaviours were very lifelike. Take Sarah Snow as an example. Sarah Snow lied, and I completely understood why she lied. She was scared, just like how most people would be scared if they were in the same circumstances.
Parker’s actions annoyed me a little bit.
First, Parker proclaims his love for Dara:
“It’s you”, he says. And his hands are touching my neck, my face, skimming through my hair. “My whole life, it’s always been you.”
I grab his T-shirt and pull him closer, and he makes a sound halfway between a groan and a sigh.
“Nick,” he whispers.
It is evident that deep down, Parker likes Nick- but Nick thinks of him as a best friend, so he goes and makes out with Dara instead. Bear in mind- he thinks of Dara as a little sister.
Parker… if you don’t actually like Dara, pls stop leading her on. Smh. Dara already has enough crap in her life without your contribution.
The twist at the end of this book wasn’t extremely bad, but it wasn’t spectacular either. I’ve always liked Oliver’s books because of the cool twists and though this one wasn’t amazing, it didn’t disappoint. Vanishing Girls was definitely an enjoyable read.
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