by Lauren Oliver
–review by Bronto Incognito
Age: Young Adult
Contains: (a decent amount of) swearing, underage drinking, drug use, kidnapping, sex
I guess that’s the really nice thing about disappearing: the part where people look for you and beg you to come home.
Book-a-likes: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Wrecked by E.R. Frank
Where to start with this one?
First off, the blurb description is a liar. It is a story about two sisters, Dara and Nick (Nicole), and their complicated, tense relationship. It follows them before and after a horrific car wreck that left Dara scarred and the whole family changed.
It is not, however, a story about how Dara disappears. I mean, she does at some point, but by then you’re 3/4 of the way through the book, so it’s not like the whole story is about that plot point.
What it’s really about is how Nick was driving in the accident that sent Dara to the hospital for 2 months, how Nick has always been the perfect child and Dara the screw up, how they used to be insuperable until Dara started dating Nick’s best friend and things got all weird. The story is told in alternating viewpoints between the sisters, and in alternating timelines both before and after the accident.
In the background of their story is the tale of a missing little girl, Madeline Snow, and how a whole community can get wrapped up in a local tragedy–complete with town internet commentary.
The writing was great, though I have to say both sisters have more than their fair share of problems. If you have issues with any of the content listed before, don’t read this one. Because there’s a decent amount of it in there.
And then there’s the twist ending. Which I of course will not spoil for you. But…I’ve seen it before. Seen similar-type twists, but one in particular in a movie that I won’t name because if you’ve seen it it’ll give the whole thing away. So what I will say is this: what seems a bit cliche to a 34 yr old reader can seem completely new to a 17 yr old one. And while the audiobook was done well I would suggest picking up a physical copy or even the ebook, because once you hit the end you’ll probably want to go back through certain chapters, just to have a better feel of how things match up with the twist. Which is much harder to do (and frankly not worth trying) when you’re listening to the audiobook.
All that said, I’d give this book a 4 star rating because it kept my attention the whole time, even though the twist at the end wasn’t the most original thing ever. It still made me want to look back through the book and investigate it, so that’s saying something.
And don’t forget to check out some of our other latest reviews!