Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
This is the first Lauren Oliver I've read. I've been meaning to pick one of her books up for a while, given how often I hear her name mentioned as an author of excellent young adult novels, and Vanishing Girls seemed right in my wheelhouse. It was described as a psychological thriller with heart, by none other than the author of We Were Liars, a book I absolutely loved.
In Vanishing Girls, we meet Nick and Dara, sisters who used to be inseparable, until something awful happened. Readers don't know what exactly that something was, only that it somehow involved an accident. Hints are expertly dropped as the novel progresses, and readers get insight through diary entries, e-mails, and photographs.
Running parallel to the story of Nick and Dara is the story of Madeline Snow, a young girl from their town who has gone missing. As the two stories begin to intersect, the secrets from Nick and Dara's past begin to emerge.
For the first three quarters of the book, I thought it was good. I was enjoying it, and found it interesting, and I definitely wanted to know more.
But when I hit the last quarter or so of the book, I actually gasped out loud. I've read a lot of mysteries, but Oliver had managed to completely fool me, and I was blown away. I won't say anymore because I don't want to give anything away, but even if you find the beginning of the book a bit slow, I highly recommend that you keep reading. It's worth it.