Book Review: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Young Adult; Contemporary

Plot: [From Goodreads] 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, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late. In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.


  • Sisters
  • The way that the real-world problems were addressed (sisters fighting, divorced parents, love life, summer job, hating the family therapist, etc) was very realistic
  • You can have a sister who becomes a complete stranger, and I think it’s important to address that
  • The ending completely blew me away
  • The entire premise for the book is something that is a real thing, although not super common I guess


  • It was kind of slow to start, even though it picked up later on

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I wish that photographs were physical spaces, like tunnels; that you could crawl inside them and go back.”
  • “That’s the problem with therapists: you have to pay them to say the same dumb shit other people will tell you for free.”
  • “There’s a metaphor in that somewhere—like all of life is about ending up somewhere you didn’t expect, and learning to just be happy with it.”
  • “There are many words in the English language that you never want to hear you father say. Enema. Orgasm. Disappointed.”

My Thoughts: Where do I start? Uh… Well, I was totally not expecting that ending. In hindsight, there were hints throughout the book, scattered within dialogue and interactions. I noticed that a lot of people hated this book, and mainly because the ending was so crazy, but I think the entire book as a whole was so great. It was edgy, it was compelling, and it was just. so. good. Lauren Oliver is interesting. She writes books that keep you guessing, and then all of a sudden she balls up the entire plot into a fist and punches you in the face with it. I hope that she continues writing YA so she can keep punching me in the face.

Lauren Oliver

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

  1. LOL, Lauren pu8nched me in the face, too. I totally did not expect that ending either. In fact, I pretty much read back through the entire book to see if there were any loopholes in the set-up. Nope, none, because of course this was the master, Lauren Oliver, at work. 🙂

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