Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls - Lauren Oliver

This was completely different than I expected. I was prepared for a great mystery story and this did not at all live up to that.


In general, I liked the overall arc of the story. I liked the Nick and Dara story (minus the Parker and Andre-related elements). I LOVED the Madeline Snow aspect. If the rest of the elements of the story would have been different (no/less Parker, no Andre-related elements), this could have been a really great book.


First of all: Parker. I quickly reached the point in this story that I just didn't want to hear about him anymore. At all. Not a peep about him. And that point was reached fairly early on. I didn't find him to be a likable or sympathetic character. Even if I might have, having romantic interludes/relationships with sisters is just not something that appeals to me. I hated the Parker aspect of this story. If his role in the book had been severely diminished, that would have been better. But everything from both sisters was Parker this and Parker that the whole way through. I was over it. Then after that massive plot twist near the end? I was SERIOUSLY over it. Come on. What was it about the guy that would have made him that much of a catch, anyway? Because I did not see it. Maybe his character could have been better developed as we really didn't get to know him all that well. Maybe the book would have been improved by having some chapters told from his perspective also in addition to Dara's and Nick's chapters. We'll never know because that didn't happen.


Second: Andre-related activities is what I shall call them to avoid spoilers. Completely unnecessary! Ridiculously disturbing! Added nothing to the story! If the excessive amount of exclamations is any indication, I feel pretty strongly about this. We get it, Dara was not a good girl. She snuck out, she drank, she experimented with some drugs. But this? Really? Why? To make the reader like Nick more by comparison? I just don't understand the purpose behind this at all. Lauren Oliver had already made Dara out to be enough of a failure and screw-up, this was simply overkill. Crikey.


Again, I didn't hate this story. I loved the plot twist. I loved the Madeline Snow storyline.


With some reworking this could have been a fantastic book. I simply don't think it is as it stands.