“Sometimes day and night reverse. Sometimes up goes down and down goes up, and love turns into hate, and the things you counted on get washed out from under your feet, leaving you pedaling in the air.”
I probably should have known that I wouldn’t be blown away by Vanishing Girls after I saw that it was being compared to We Were Liars. I read that one earlier this year and it turned out to be a huge disappointment, and I cannot say I loved this novel by Lauren Oliver either. It’s not that Vanishing Girls is a terrible read and maybe it’s just that I’ve read too many similar stories, because the whole unreliable narrator strategy just gets a bit old. Sure, I liked the Fanland setting, but the plot twists weren’t exactly original. It was also quite easy to guess how the story would end and that kind of ruined the story for me. The characters felt real, but weren’t exactly likeable… And the whole love triangle just got on my nerves. The prose wasn’t always convincing either, but I do admit was quite a quick read and entertaining enough if you like YA contempory novels and don’t mind a not so original plot/ending.
The two sisters Dara and Nick used to do everything together, but that was before the accident that left Dara scarred for life. Both sisters have trouble coping with the aftermath of the accident and the once popular Dara doesn’t want to be around people anymore. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks she just didn’t show up at her own birthday dinner to punish Nick… But it turns out there is a lot more going on as the nine-year-old Madeline Snow disappears as well. Nick starts to believe the two disappearances are connected and she is determined to find her sister before it’s too late. Will she be able to unravel the mystery and find Dara on time?
I liked the Fanland setting; it reminded me of Joyland I read earlier this year. I don’t mind an unreliable narrator in stories, but lately so many novels with the same method have been published that it has lost its originality. The ending is quite a disappointment; you will most likely guess what will happen before you’re halfway done with Vanishing Girls. Still, it’s a quick and mostly entertaining read if you can forget about the unlikeable characters and plot twists.