Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Contemporary Young Adult
HarperCollins/March 10, 2015
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before – before Dara kissed Parker, before Nick lost him as her best friend, before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred.
Now the two sisters, who used to be so close, aren't speaking. In an instant, Nick lost everything and is determined to use the summer to get it all back.
But Dara has other plans. When she vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl has vanished, too—nine-year-old Elizabeth Snow—and as Nick pursues her sister, she becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances may be linked.
In this edgy and compelling novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.
The relationships between sisters can run the gamut of best friends for life to wanting to choke the life of out each other. With Dara and Nick, it runs somewhere in between. They are only eleven months apart with Nick being the elder. Nick also wears the title of perfect older sister to Dara's rebellious little sister. They each feel they have very defined roles in their family. There are a lot of underlying issues both sisters have with each other, not the least of which is resentment. Nick resents Dara for having to clean up the messes her rebellions make and Dara resents Nick for always being first and best.
The sisters' relationship is not the only one explored but it is kept central to the story. The secondary relationships allow the reader to see how Dara and Nick relate to the people in their lives. So much of the push of the story hinges on finding the truth of what happened on the night of the accident. Through experiencing memories of before the accident, we see how Dara and Nick's relationship had begun to deteriorate with neither one of them knowing how to fix the ever growing rift between them. I loved how even while you feel the animosity between them, there is still the underlying love they will always have for each other.
The plot twist took me by surprise and being surprised took me by surprised. (You know what I mean.) I usually, but not always, figure out what the twist is or at least have some clue before the big reveal but not this time. This time when I read the plot twist my reaction ran along the lines of "wait...what?" I had to re-read the section in order to absorb what had happened. A shrink might say I didn't see it coming because I didn't want it to be true. Whatever the reason, I didn't like it and I'll leave it at that.
Even after my reaction to the plot twist, I still enjoyed the overall story. Oliver can write, there's no denying it. She is able to make her characters feel an array of strong emotions all while conveying those emotions to the reader, making this story a page turner.