March 10, 2015
About VANISHING GIRLS
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.
I read VANISHING GIRLS in the middle of a suspense binge. I like that it blended suspense elements with psychological elements. Nick is a complex character. She wants to be close to her sister, but has a lot of feelings of guilt and resentment toward her.
Weirdly, VANISHING GIRLS is the second suspense book I read this summer where the main character works at a theme park. (The other is TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET in which Ellery works at a horror-themed park.) I had some parts of the plot related to the theme park figured out pretty quickly. Other things took me completely by surprise.
One big twist didn’t make sense to me. It’s one of those moments that turns your whole perception of the story on its head. I love those kinds of moments. I love looking back through the big moments earlier in the book to see how the new information changes what was really happening there. But one moment didn’t seem to fit with the new reality. So I got kind of caught up on that.
On the whole, I think VANISHING GIRLS is an interesting book, and some of the issues it deals with are big issues. I definitely appreciate that and think it’s awesome that this novel addresses an issue that most people don’t want to talk about. I think I like PANIC by Lauren Oliver better, but it ‘s a different kind of story– more community-oriented whereas so much of VANISHING GIRLS is about what’s happening in Nick’s head.
Recommended for Ages 16 up.
Characters are white and straight.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used pretty frequently.
A girl and boy kiss. References to sex. A girl and her boyfriend kiss while both are topless. He asks her to have sex with him, but she refuses.
References to child pornography. Someone finds an image of a teenage girl posing topless.
Dara and Nick’s aunt believes in energy and crystals and seances. The girls don’t buy into her beliefs.
Some brief descriptions of a violent car accident. A man threatens a teenage girl.
Several scenes show teens drinking. Dara has a history of smoking pot and experimenting with other drugs like mushrooms and cocaine.
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