Also by this author: Vanishing Girls, Replica, , Rooms
Published by HarperCollins on March 10th 2015
Genres: Family, Fiction, Friendship, Young Adult
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.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.In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other."Alarming and uplifting, a rare psychological thriller that has a kind heart at its center. Read it with all the lights on." -- E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars.
First off, I am a HUGE Lauren Oliver fan. I’ve met her a few times and she is always funny and endearing. Before I Fall is one of the only books that I’ve read multiple times. Naturally, Vanishing Girls was a must-read for me.
The book follows two very distinct characters, twins Dara and Nick. Dara is a bit of a wild child while Nick is more reserved and seen as the “perfect” kid. The whole one sibling is perfect concept is nothing new in the literary world. If that’s not your thing, don’t worry, it is not the main focal point of the story.
You find out in the beginning of the book that the girls were in a car accident with perfect Nick at the wheel. Dara is now scarred and doesn’t consider herself beautiful anymore. She hides away from the world and constantly blames Nick for what happened.
Add in Parker and you’ve got yourself a nice love triangle. He was Nick’s best friend first but then Dara swooped in and started dating him. Turns out, Nick had feelings for him all along. Shocking, right? Anyway, this was a pretty big part of the book that I definitely could have done without. I am no fan of triangles.
We also get to follow Nick around at her job at a local, run down amusement park. I loved this! I am the person that can’t sleep at night before going to the amusement park because I am so excited! I just love the food, the people, the rides and the general atmosphere. It was really cool to read about the work experience at one of those parks that I love so much. It was also really nice to see Nick push out of her comfort zone while working. It reminded me a lot of myself growing up very timid and pushing myself to do things that scared me.
Throughout the story, we hear constantly about how Madeline Snow is missing. Lauren gives us news articles and forum posts to provide some background on the event. I loved reading the “comments” on the news articles, I laughed almost every time because Lauren absolutely nails it. You get the ignorant people, the know-it-alls, and the defenders. It was no different than if I clicked on a local news story and read through the comments. I appreciated this so much!
I don’t want to give anything else away, but I really enjoyed this one! The ending was great and I was shocked. Don’t read into things too much and just have fun with it. If you’re a Lauren Oliver fan, don’t let this one pass you by!