ARC REVIEW: Vanishing Girls – by Lisa Regan @bookouture

Title: Vanishing Girls
(Detective Josie Quinn #1)
Author: Lisa Regan

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: January 17th 2018
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: January 21st 2018
Pages: 334

“You can’t always be all roses and sweetness,” she had always told Josie. “That don’t get shit done.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Bold and striking: two words that describe the cover perfectly. And these words apply to Vanishing Girls itself as well, because this new detective series goes all out and buries you under a mountain of intense and action-packed scenes. I picked up this thriller on a Saturday afternoon and found myself to be so utterly engrossed I completely forgot I had other things to do. The writing style is engaging and allows you to jump right in. There is a lot going on in Vanishing Girls and there is not one boring minute with the non-stop action and plot twists getting thrown right at you. That said, I almost felt there was too much going on and I started to doubt about the credibility of it all. I’m not saying I didn’t love this story, especially since I like my thrillers dark, intense and suspenseful, but still… Especially the final part felt a little bit too close to the credibility border. The main character Josie Quinn is without doubt another interesting one and a perfect example of a kick ass female detective. The fact she is on a suspension and doing her own investigation anyway adds a little something extra, and I like how well fleshed out and rounded her character felt. There are a few cliches involved, like the complicated and dark past and personal life in general, but Josie Quinn is mostly forgiven for those cliches as she bulldozers through the secrets and lies and gets things done. I do wonder how things could continue on the same level after such an explosive ending, but I’m definitely curious and will be coming back for more. Intense, fascinating, disturbing, suspenseful… Thriller fans, read this book!

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When seventeen-year-old Isabelle Coleman goes missing, the whole town of Denton helps looking for her. But their search turns up nothing but the girl’s phone… That and another girl they didn’t even know was missing. The girl is unresponsible and it is clear she has been through hell and damaged beyond repair. Detective Josie Quinn only gets a name from her: Ramona. Who is Ramona and what does she have to do with the missing girls? What is really going on in Denton?

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If you like dark, intense, action-packed thrillers, you will be in for a treat with Vanishing Girls. The case described in this first book of a new detective series is both disturbing and fascinating, and this story is not for the weak-hearted. Trigger warnings are in place for violence, abuse and graphic scenes! Vanishing Girls is without doubt my kind of thriller and I had a blast following this rollercoast ride. The plot is so packed with action and twisted that it’s on the border of credible, but there is no doubt you won’t find a boring minute while reading this one. The main character Josie Quinn is on fire in this one!


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WWW Wednesdays #160 – January 24th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading a pending NG ARC: Best Friends by Carys Jones. It’s still early days since I didn’t have much time yesterday, but I’m having high hopes for it. I’m also about to start with Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, a story I have been looking forward to and has been highly recommended to me a couple of times.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The New Hunger by Isaac Marion (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 29/01
The New Hunger is a prequel novella and I think I actually enjoyed it better than the first book. It might have been because of the lack of romance in this one, but The New Hunger turned out to be quite an interesting read despite the fact I’m not really into zombie stories. The writing and pace make it into a superfast read and I enjoyed reading about the background of the Warm Bodiescharacters and how it is to survive in this dystopian world in the first place. Short, but sweet with a healthy dose of fresh brains.

2. The Silent Girls by Dylan Young (4/5 stars) REVIEW 
There is no doubt that The Silent Girls is a very promising start of a new detective series that will be on my radar from now on. From a flowing, engaging writing style, interesting plot, refreshing cold case angle to great characters and a healthy dose of suspense and creepy suspects; The Silent Girls has it all. I can definitely recommend this new series to fans of the genre. Detective Anna Gwynne is one to keep an eye on.

3. Stage Four by Sander Kollaard (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 26/01
I vowed to read more international authors/translations this year, and somehow this book spoke to me when I saw it mentioned. Stage Four is both a beautiful, tragic and heartbreaking love story of a couple trying to accept and live with the diagnose of stage IV lung cancer. The flashbacks to 1968 help build their characters and it was interesting to see their relationship evolve as well as how they deal with the progress of the disease. There are lots of descriptions of the Swedish destinations included, making it feel as if you were there yourself… A very intriguing read although the ending was quite shocking.

4. From Bad To Cursed by Katie Alender (3/5 stars) REVIEW 02/02
Sadly I wasn’t able to enjoy this sequel as much as I thought I would. I still love the writing style, which is engaging, flowing and makes you fly through the story. But I wasn’t so sure about the plot. The idea behind From Bad To Cursed is an interesting one and definitely involves a healthy dose of creepy, BUT I wasn’t so happy with all those high school cliches included as well as a lot of ‘perfect pretty girl’ cliches. A bunch of teenage girls playing perfect and bitching to others if they don’t dress perfectly, eat the right food and say the right things? No thank you.

5. Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan (4/5 stars) REVIEW 28/01
If you like dark, intense, action-packed thrillers, you will be in for a treat with Vanishing Girls. The case described in this first book of a new detective series is both disturbing and fascinating, and this story is not for the weak-hearted. Trigger warnings are in place for violence, abuse and graphic scenes! Vanishing Girls is without doubt my kind of thriller and I had a blast following this rollercoast ride. The plot is so packed with action and twisted that it’s on the border of credible, but there is no doubt you won’t find a boring minute while reading this one. The main character Josie Quinn is on fire in this one!

6. The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW 02/02
I was fully expecting to be loving this read, but I ended up feeling the complete opposite. I don’t think my opinion has all that much to do with the fact I don’t really know her… It’s more that her writing style, crudy humor and sexual talk simply aren’t a right fit for me. I guess her humor and writing style either works for you, or it doesn’t. Unfortunately I belong to the second group, and honestly I kind of struggled making it to the last page. Oh well, we can’t like them all, can we?

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I really want to read The Camera Lies by AB Morgan after my current reads since the publish date is coming up soon… And after that I want to read my ARC copy of The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace because I’m in the mood for some good poetry. After that, I’ll probably read As Dead As It Gets by Katie Alender so I can cross off my first series of the year… I do hope it’s better than book two. My latest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. (I’ve been saying this for too long now; really have to kick my own butt and read it soon!)


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WWW Wednesdays #159 – January 17th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m almost finished with The Silent Girls by Dylan Young, which is turning out to be a really good start of a new detective series. I’m about to start The New Hunger by Isaac Marion as well, a Warm Bodies novella I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I still have to get a copy of the sequel; hopefully some time this year… I’m not a big zombie fan, but I remember enjoying the first book.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Ends Of The World by Maggie Hall (3/5 stars) REVIEW 27/01
I picked up this title as part of my goal to finish more series this year… I really enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy so I was looking forward to it, but unfortunately The Ends Of The World ended up disappointing me. Too much focus on the romance and political background and the spark of the previous books was completely missing. The international settings saved this final book for me, but all in all not the thrilling ending I was expecting.

2. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (4/5 stars) REVIEW 27/01
Oh yes, I definitely know why so many people love this book now. Because even though I’m not into romance and hate both sexy scenes and love triangles, Sally Thorne made me completely forget about that and I had a blast reading this one. Even though there are a lot of cliches in this book and the whole ‘gorgeous, gorgeous, I’m drooling’ thing can get annoying, somehow the dynamics worked and resulted in a highly entertaining read.

3. Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 22/01
I messed up and didn’t realise this was actually a sequel, but besides a few confusing first pages it wasn’t that hard to follow the story without the background info. This was one firecracker of a thriller and such a good read! I loved the bounty hunter angle and both the writing and plot are excellent. Highly recommended for sure.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I did it again, misbehaved and requested another Bookouture thriller… And since the publish date is today, I want to read Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan ASAP. As part of the whole finishing my series goal, I’m probably picking up The Last Star by Rick Yancey afterwards even though I’m not a big fan of the first two books… I want to read The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater for the same reason, but I might wait a little until I have time to binge-read all three books since I have a few other titles I want to get to as well. My latest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.


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BOOK REVIEW: Vanishing Girls – by Lauren Oliver

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Title: Vanishing Girls
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA, Mystery, Comtemporary
First published: March 10th 2015
Finished reading: October 30th 2015
Pages: 368
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“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.”

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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.

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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?

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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.

WWW Wednesdays #63 – November 4th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m about 60% into The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle and while it’s not a mindblowing read, the general plot is interesting enough for me to keep reading. I will probably end up finishing it later today… I still haven’t continued with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; not because I’m not enjoying it, but there are a few other books I want to finish first before fully commiting to this giant.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books and a novella this week; not bad at all…
* The first is The Fear Trials by Lindsay Cummings; an excellent prequel novella that gives the perfect introduction to the story and will convince you to read the rest of the series.
* Next up is Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, a novel that kept popping up at my TBR lists and finally decided to pick up. Not a bad read, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it either…
* I then decided to read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey since it was the last title on my October TBR I hadn’t started yet. I know other people love this series, but I wasn’t convinced by the sequel either.
* After two mediocre reads, I wanted something good and decided to pick up the Anna sequel Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. While not as good as the first book, this one is still really good!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish The Valentine Circle, I will either start Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo or Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Basically I’m superexcited to read both and I will be having a hard time deciding which one to pick up first. I also want to read Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling since it’s nominated for the Goodreads Choice awards… And my new TBR jar pick is Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

WWW Wednesdays #62 – October 28th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have finally started reading The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, although it’s still too early to say if I like it better than the first one. I’ve also started the prequel novella The Fear Trials by Lindsey Cummings… I’m going to try and finish this series ASAP. And I’ve put Outlander by Diana Gabaldon on hold until November because there is no way I will be able to finish it before the end of the month anyway. It’s not that I don’t like it so far though!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I didn’t have that much time to read last week and I was also quite distracted by my new food blog Easy Peasy Delicious Food, so I only managed to finish three books.
* The first is The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings, a read I really enjoyed and I will be reading the sequel soon as well.
* Next up was Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart, a very entertaining and well written read.
* Last but not least: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. Quite a short read, but not as good as I hoped for.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I really want to read Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake… I loved the first book and reading this one also means I will finish another series. Although I might give in and start yet another series first with Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender… I should also read Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver since it has been appearing on my monthly TBR and WWW posts for ages. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is still my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until the month is over.

WWW Wednesdays #58 – September 30th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started both my current reads yesterday evening… The first is an ARC: Americosis Vol. 2 by Haydn Wilks. Since it’s a short story I will most likely finish it later today. The second is The Kill Order by James Dashner. I’m not exactly a big fan of the rest of the series (especially the last book was a mayor disappointment), but since people keep saying this one is actually better than the main series I decided to start it anyway. So far it’s quite a fast read.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I actually finished Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas before my failed trip, but I decided to count it anyway. I loved this fourth book of the Throne Of Glass series and I will be waiting impatiently for the next book… Although I’m grateful the ending wasn’t the mayor cliffhanger I was expecting. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski turned out to be a disappointment though. It had a really slow pace and I had the feeling the story could have been told with less pages. Most of the plot was quite cliche or at least predictable and I’m not sure I like the characters or prose for that matter. More of my complaints in the full review…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have Firebolt by Adrienne Woods, an ARC, lined up as one of my next reads. I might read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini or Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver first though, depending on what genre I’m in the mood for when I finish my current reads. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is my newest TBR jar pick; a title I have been wanting to read for ages now and can’t wait to start soon!