It is official. I adore Lauren Oliver in person but just cannot enjoy her books. What I have noticed in all of them is they start out down one path, then something causes them to swerve sharply to the left and make a turn that nobody sees coming. I don’t mean that in a positive way either. They venture off into lala land (not the movie) and never make sense.
“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 had to borrow the blurb of the story from Goodreads because for the life of me I couldn’t remember or tell you what this book was supposed to be about. I can tell you about half way through it went bizarre. Like that weird part of YouTube that you never tell anyone about but you still wonder how you got there. You know what I’m talking about. Oliver started this story about teenagers that were trying to get their lives back in order (or some what order) after a bad car accident. Dara, the friend of Nick, disappeared and suddenly Nick decided that she had to be the one person to find out what happened to her dear friend. Throughout the entire story, Nick made it clear that she didn’t trust anyone. She wouldn’t even leave it to the police and authorities to locate her missing friend. OH NO. It had to be Nick and only Nick. This story took a turn for BizarroWorld when Nick swears that the disappearance of a random child is linked to the disappearance of her best friend. Um.. what? HOW. That makes no sense! There was nothing similar between the two cases! but Nick swears they are. As Nick continued to throw herself into finding out what happened, it felt like magic happened because she suddenly found the missing link!! It was not something obvious or out in the open. It felt like it was just included in the story to help move it along. So it was apparently obvious for a random teenager to figure out, but not seasoned and trained law officials. Sure. Okay. We’ll go with that. I just could not believe the plot of the story so my care factor did not exist.
It is no secret that I did not enjoy this book. The characters were not relatable at all. Instead, they were selfish, immature, and grossly underdeveloped. I was not cheering Nick on her quest to discover what happened. Why? I was not invested in either of their characters. They were so stand offish that it made me not want to like them, so I didn’t. The overall story took a long time to get where it was going. How can a reader cheer for a character that is awful over the duration of a boring story? Answer: They cannot.
I took a chance with this story. Given my history of Oliver books, I should have known what I was in for. Part of me was prepared for the strange and possibly unbelievable but this blew it out of the water. I will still kick myself for not DNFing this story.