Monday, August 29, 2016


Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver is a young adult novel about two sisters, who at one time were inseparable. Then, a tragic accident creates distance between them. Nick is the more conservative, "good girl" sister while Dara lives on the edge, pushing personal and familial boundaries.

I'm going no holds barred on my first blog review. This book had great potential, but I simply did not enjoy this book. I found the alternating narrators to be confusing. At the beginning of each chapter, the narrating sister was clearly labeled, but it was still very difficult to discern who was speaking.

My other pet peeve is books (YA and other genres) tend to tell stories in such a way that a happy ending means the protagonist finds romantic success. This is boring. Different narratives need to be told. You don't need a significant other (or the promise of one) at the end of the story for it to be happy. I think it is our responsibility as writers, especially those who are targeting their stories to young people, to be more diverse with respect to romance and romantic relationships. The girl who finds love and goes walking off into the sunset with her lover at the end of the book is just one ending. There are others, as different as we are in reality, that need to be illustrated in stories. A greater, and more important, theme in this book is about grief and healing. Oliver would have served her audience better by focusing on and better developing that part of the story.

The ending plot twist was kind of predictable, but just led to more confusion. My book club read and discussed this book. At the time of our discussion, we still weren't quite sure who was who and what happened when. The premise of the book is good, but overall it was poorly executed.

Recommendation: This book is categorized as young adult fiction, meaning it's geared toward young adults. Sometimes adults can enjoy YA. I don't think that is the case with Vanishing Girls.

Comments: I'd love to get your comments on my first post. Don't hold back! :-)

Until next time ... Read on!


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