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Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls

4.1 21
by Lauren Oliver

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New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story perfect for fans of We Were Liars and I Was Here, about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

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


New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story perfect for fans of We Were Liars and I Was Here, about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/12/2015
Sisters Dara and Nick had grown up as “the Two Musketeers, the Dynamic Duo, Light and Dark, two sides of the same cookie,” but after a serious car accident, the two sisters are irrevocably distanced. As older, more reliable sister Nick tries to find her way back into Dara’s graces, their strained relationship, the boy who came between them, and the sudden disappearance of a nine-year-old girl bring secrets of a local underworld too close to home. The novel alternates between the sisters’ perspectives, both before and after the accident, while news reports, diaries, and blog posts and comments from the community create a narrative full of shades of grey. Oliver (Panic) is in top form in this psychological family drama that investigates the complicated nature of sisterhood. Perfect for readers who devoured We Were Liars, it’s the sort of novel that readers will race to finish, then return to the beginning to marvel at how it was constructed—and at everything they missed. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (Mar.)
“Alarming and uplifting, a rare psychological thriller that has a kind heart at its center. Read it with all the lights on.” --E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars
Praise for Panic
VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Rachel Wadham
A tragic accident changes sisters Nick and Dara’s world. They were the best of friends before the accident, but now their relationship has been strained by their parent’s separation and conflict over a boy, Parker. Nick’s summer is further complicated when she is forced to take a job at an aging amusement park where she must work side by side with Parker. In town, a young girl has gone missing, and the constant reports start bringing dark memories to the forefront of Nick’s mind. Sure that Dara is avoiding her because she is caught up in a sinister secret that is somehow linked to the girl’s disappearance, Nick struggles to find the truth only to rediscover the secret she has long hidden from herself. Oliver has a proven ability to delve into psychological topics. This exploration of sisters’ friendship and how it can be impacted by tragedy does the same. The changing points of view and the addition of emails, diary entries, and texts work well to build suspense until a major plot twist is revealed. The characters, however, are bland, and a deeper exploration of their emotions would have made the twist more impactful. The conclusion wraps up everything far too neatly, and Nick’s resulting recovery lacks power. Several plot elements, including the missing girl and a death at the amusement park, feel detached and strained, even when they are connected. Fans of Oliver and those who enjoy psychological thrillers will be engaged, but other readers may find the overall effect confusing. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Different as night and day, sisters Nick and Dara are practically joined at the hip. Nick is perpetually the cool and calm older one who calls the shots. Dara is always tagging along, longing to be in the spotlight. That was before the accident that left Dara injured and Nick shaken to the core. Now, the siblings barely speak to each other; they live together but never cross paths. Nick gets a job at a local amusement park and begins to interact with people again, mostly with her longtime best friend, but also with her sister's ex-boyfriend, Parker. As the summer continues, a young local girl goes missing and Nick finds herself getting more involved with the ensuing drama than she ever expected. The situation comes to a boiling point at Dara's birthday dinner when she disappears too, and it's up to Nick to piece the story together and discover what has happened to her sister. Like in her "Delirium" series and Before I Fall (2010, both HarperCollins), Oliver's characterizations and background stories are well-developed and compulsively readable. The relationship between Nick and Dara drives the plot and is very realistic. The twist the author incorporates at the end is dramatic without being absurd and was completely unexpected. Recommend to teens looking for a well-written work with a juicy ending. They will not be disappointed.—Morgan Brickey, Marion County Public Library System, FL
Kirkus Reviews
Two sisters' lives are irrevocably changed by a shared accident.Nick and her younger sister, Dara, are two sides of an impossibly complicated familial coin—different in almost every way yet bound together by blood and circumstance. When Nick walks away from a terrible accident that leaves her sister permanently scarred, the resulting wounds, both physical and emotional, leave both girls reeling, struggling to redefine who they are as individuals and in relation to each other. The "Before" and "After" are told from both Dara's and Nick's points of view through a series of flashbacks, present-day accounts, and diary and blog entries. Unfortunately, what could have been a powerful exploration of two young women picking up the pieces after a sudden and costly accident becomes lost in a novel that simply tries to do too much. Most notably, Oliver attempts to weave together Nick and Dara's story with a tangential plotline about the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl. It takes far too long for the threads connecting the two to become apparent, and for the better part of the novel, the subplot feels like a distraction. Far too much time is spent on a tepid love triangle when it would have been put to better use developing some of the more intriguing aspects of the story. This is an uneven read that suffers from grandiose ambitions. (Fiction. 14 & up)
—E. Lockhart
“Alarming and uplifting, a rare psychological thriller that has a kind heart at its center. Read it with all the lights on.”
--E. Lockhart
“Alarming and uplifting, a rare psychological thriller that has a kind heart at its center. Read it with all the lights on.”
ALA Booklist
PRAISE FOR BEFORE I FALL: “Oliver, in a pitch-perfect teen voice, explores the power we have to affect the people around us in this intensely believable first novel...This is a compelling book with a powerful message and should not be missed.”
PRAISE FOR PANIC: “Oliver’s novel is a wholly believable and compulsively readable tale of friendship, loyalty, survival, and courage.”
The Horn Book
PRAISE FOR PANIC: “Retains all the tension and excitement of Oliver’s Delirium…A work with sharp corners, dark places, and considerable humanity.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 2.50(d)
890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years


Meet the Author

Lauren Oliver is the author of the teen novels Replica, Before I Fall, Panic, Vanishing Girls, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages and are New York Times and international bestselling novels. She is also the author of two standalone novels for middle grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was an E. B. White Read Aloud Award nominee; the Curiosity House series; and a novel for adults, Rooms. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the cofounder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com.

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Vanishing Girls 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
bookmon1 More than 1 year ago
Nicole, better known to family and friends as Nick, has always been close to her younger sister, Dara. Dara has always been good at everything. Dara even manages to snare John Parker. Nicole considered John her best friend and secretly had a crush on him. After a horrible car accident, everyone's lives are drastically changed. Dara is scarred, her friends disappear and her parents separate. In an effort to get away from the ongoing drama, Nick takes a summer job at FanLand, an old-fashioned amusement park. She likes her job, but is nervous when she finds out John Parker works there, too. Dara seems to vanish on her birthday. Nick is very concerned because a younger girl, Madeline Snow, has recently disappeared. The targeted audience of VANISHING GIRLS is young adults. I am way past that age group, but I was totally engaged with this novel from the first page. The universal themes of sibling rivalry and family issues affect us all no matter what our age.  Told in alternating chapters by Dara and Nick, the reader slowly learns the details behind the car accident and the sisters' relationship. The author states that she drew on her relationship with her own sister in developing Nick and Dara. Lauren Oliver is excellent in creating suspense. The reader will want to set aside some quiet reading time because once you start VANISHING GIRLS you won't want to put it down. Lauren Oliver has written other young adult novels and an adult novel, ROOMS. I am so glad to see quality young adult novels being written. When I was young, there was not much between juvenile novels and adult ones. 
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver was an emotional story on so many levels. There must be something in the literary waters, because I keep getting drawn to these emotional books lately. Dara and Nick hurt my heart. Seeing the two sisters at such odds with one another was painful to read. Vanishing Girls was almost a coming of age story through tragedy, because there was first loves, sibling rivalry, heartbreak, loss.. so many things that teens go through along with the added tensions of the accident. It will definitely bring out some feels.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
Nick and Dara are two peas in a pod. Sisters, only 11 months apart, they are inseparable . . . Until. Until Parker - their childhood friend - confuses love. Until Dara starts hanging out with older men. Until Nick drives them off the road. My favorite part of the book was the bond between Nick and Dara. The love between them was such a pleasure to read. Sure, they had their issues with each other. But underneath the jealousy, envy, and competition, was love. Which was why I was so disappointed by the ending. Oh, I wasn't disappointed by the "twist" at the end. I was disappointed that Nick found forgiveness so quickly after discovering what happened when she and Dara had their car accident. I think it perhaps would have been a bit more compelling had the novel been longer with more resolution at the end. Also, I didn't like that she was moving forward with Parker. There's always something kind of icky for me when there's a love triangle with sisters involved. Particularly with the bond between Dara and Nicole, I didn't buy that Nicole would be open to Parker after the events with Dara.
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
An Amazing Book Contemporary Young Adult Suspense, Romantic Elements Dara and Nick used to be inseparable. That was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the sisters estranged. Nick thinks Dara is just playing around when Dara vanishes on her birthday. Madeline Snow a nine-year-old girl has also vanished. Now Nick is becoming increasingly convinced that both disappearances are linked. Nick has to find her sister before it’s too late. This is an amazing book that has so many twists and turns that the reader will be taken on a roller coaster ride. Just as the reader thinks they might have an idea of what is going on another twist is thrown in that will have reader wondering if they have any idea of just where this story is headed. It will also have readers wanting to read other books by this author as this one just doesn’t let the reader go until the very last page. This is a must read for any reader that enjoys psychological thrillers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Vanishing Girls is a book written by Lauren Oliver. This book is a mix between a thriller, fiction, and a mystery. This book starts off with Nicole, better known as Nick and her younger sister, Dara. They started off as close as could be, they never fought or disagreed and they shared the same interests in just about everything. A life long best friend, John Parker is close with both girls. Both girls are in love with him without realizing. Until a horrible car accident changed both the girls lives. It left everyone, included themselves scarred and full of regret. They went from being irresistibly close, to avoiding one another. Even though tensions rise between the girls, some things still stayed the same. When a little girl of the name Madelyn Snow goes missing Nick finds herself tied up with the little girl more than she would have expected. Things continue to get weirder when Dara goes missing on the night of her birthday dinner. This leaves Nick to piece everything together, the sisters are complete opposites of eachother so this causes Nick to put herself in Dara’s shoes to understand everything. This entire book is written through the flashbacks, and present-day accounts of “before” and “after” the accident. Oliver went off track with the disappearance of Madelyn Snow, it made the novel confusing to follow and took away from the actual story. She attempted to, but too much time was spent on it. While reading this book it was hard for me to piece events together because of the way everything was explained. Although, the book never got boring once. There were so many new events constantly happening, however, that also continued to make it more confusing. Oliver did a great job at building up the suspense throughout the story, it left me asking questions the entire time. After something big would happen you would not find out why, or how until later on in the novel. It made you want to keep reading more. I would recommend this book for teens, and young adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book boring and hard to get through. Also the plot twist ending really confused me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had preordered this but when i started it the first time i quickly got confused with all of the dates. I picked it back up yesterday and thought i knew so much. The plot twist then tore my heart and ripped it to shreds. Will probably reread sometime soon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS I honestly had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I just wanted more Lauren Oliver genius and I found that. I was very surprised by this book. This book focuses on two sisters, Dara and Nick. After a car accident, the two sisters have drifted apart. Dara has always been known as the party girl, while Nick has always been the good girl. Now, Dara is tired of how Nick is the favorite and Nick just wants to be able to talk to Dara again. At the same time, they're family is in shambles and no one can seem to understand why the sisters are acting the way they are. Then, Dara disappears and Nick is desperate to find her. Throughout, we will find out what lead to the accident, and along with Nick, we will find out the secrets that Dana kept. The way this book is organized is confusing at first. Not only do we get points of view from both sisters, but this book also has 'Before' chapters and 'After' chapters. They aren't really labeled as such, just with the date, so it takes a bit of thinking to realize where you are in the timeline. I don't really know if the Before chapters were really that necessary, though we didn't get much of them. I kind of feel like we could've have been given that info in the 'After' chapters, but it's not that big of a deal. This book also has little news stories added in, which I actually did think were very nice and gave little hints of things that would be important to the plot. This book overall has a very interesting feel to it. It's described as a 'psychological thriller', but I think this book has strong contemporary aspects. In the beginning, the only main mystery is what lead to the accident, as neither sister mentions it, and little mentions of the missing young girl. The thriller aspect may come later, with Nick trying to find her sister and discovering her secrets, but for some reason it doesn't have a strong thriller vibe until the very end. I must say, though, that there is a lot of mystery involved in this book. Overall, this book has a major focus on the sisters and their broken relationship. Lastly, I need to mention that there is a plot twist, one that I both love and hate. I love it for the same reason that I hate it, if that makes any sense. I generally love plot twist because they surprise me, screw up my mind, and are twisted genius. I love this about the twist, I REALLY didn't see this one coming. While I liked that, there wasn't really anything to hint at it. I look back to find hints and all it does is confuse me. So, while I find the genius in the twist and it's one of the best I've seen (We Were Liars still tops it, though. Nothing can beat that one), I need to be able to wrap my mind around it and I'm still shaking my head in confusion. IN CONCLUSION Overall, I did very much enjoy this book! Lauren Oliver is a wonderful writer and she wrote a fantastic mystery involving two sisters! I have a love/hate relationship with the twist, but I really do think that this book is worth reading!
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
Vanishing Girls sucked me in from the beginning. We start the story with a short scene between Nick and Dara, learning that they have always been close despite their varying tastes. Having a wonderful relationship with my own sister, I found it fascinating that after a car accident these two could not be further apart. And not in the snide remarks and dirty looks kind of way, but the full on avoiding kind of way. Nick has even moved out of her mother's house and moved in with her father in attempt to give Dara space and time apart. I am sometimes wary when authors have dual narratives, that are equally dominate, as I've seen it work wonders and I've seen it crash and burn - either one voice is too strong or neither voice is great. In Vanishing Girls both narratives are strong and allow us to get to know both Nick and Dara, along with the pain they are both holding on to, both individually and as a unit. I was drawn to both of these girls, hoping they would find their peace with one another and move one from what happened that fateful night. The other aspect of the narrative that I enjoyed, which others may find confusing, is it jumps around in time - but I didn't find it difficult to keep straight. One chapter may be after the accident, while the next takes place beforehand, then we read a diary entry before heading back to present time. It added to the story and is a driving force. Not only is the plot compelling and tense, but Lauren's writing is beautiful. She knows how to pull her readers into the story and hold them in there. I didn't find myself wavering or pulling away from the story because the world and characters she has created are wonderfully written. A thrilling read about the relationship between two sisters, the secrets between them, and finding the strength to forgive, Vanishing Girls will keep you flipping pages until the very end.
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
I want to thank HarperTeen for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review. I love Lauren Oliver! So when I saw she was publishing a new book I jumped right on it. And I was not disappointed! I was hoping I'd get the same feels from this book that I did what I read Before I Fall, and I really did! In alternating points of view, we meet Nick and Dara, best friends and sisters. After suffering a tragic car accident,the sisters are estranged and we watch the story unfold between the two. Nick holds a ton of guilt over the accident. Throughout the book she and Dara do not interact, the rift between them too big to mend. We also meet Parker, Dara and Nick's best friend. He's also the object of their affections. I loved Parker's character. He was sweet and endearing and very genuine. I also love that the romance didn't one up the plot line. We really got to know the characters without having to worry about them always being in romantic situations. But the romantic element was just the right amount. Both Nick and Dara have pulled away into themselves after their tragedy. One of the things I had issue with was we really didn't see what their life was before the accident. When we meet them, they are so far removed from any friends they may have had, completely and totally isolated. The other thing I had issue with was the secondary plot. While there were some elements of the vanishing I understood having in the book, there were others that pulled me out of the story, giving me information I really didn't feel was needed to keep the story on track. I will say that I figured out the plot twist fairly early on, but it didn't really take away from my enjoyment of the book. I found myself pushing on because I really needed to know how it all wound up (and of course if I was right!). The ending was a fairly nice wrap up, although I will say my happily ever after mind really wanted just a bit more. Would I recommend this book? Certainly. I think Oliver has such a knack for really pulling her readers into her stories, grabbing on with both hands and not letting them go. I will advise that you should sit down and commit to reading this book all at once. I took a bit of a break and when I picked it back up, I had forgotten what had happened and it took me a bit to get back into it. If you're an Oliver fan, this book certainly will not disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ashiers More than 1 year ago
I pre-ordered this book for my nook with high hopes because I have never read something by Lauren Oliver that I didn't like. It definitely did not disappoint! The plot twists were well done, much better than other books she has written. You can tell that she as an author has grown a bit since her first few teen books. I loved the way she goes back and fourth between times and narrators because it gives the whole story a very real feeling. The themes of rivalry and hate are very real, especially between Nick (Nicole) and Dara. I think anyone that has grown up in a sibling's shadow will be able to relate to both characters very well. I won't spoil it, but the end of the book made me want to go back and read the entire thing again because it was WOW! I enjoy books like this with a nice twist. It's almost like a "Gone Girl" or "Girl on the Train" for teens. The twist is that good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book full of suspence and lots of twists you'd never expect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book held my interest the entire time and did not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much more of a teen novel than I originally realized.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it so much