Note: Review will contain spoilers!
I like books where the main character struggles to remember what really happened the night of an accident or other traumatic experience because it gives the narrator a certain power. Narrators who are intentionally unreliable just because are a whole other story but I digress.
Vanishing Girls is the story of two sisters named Nick and Dara, a terrible car accident, a missing girl, and the reason they are all connected.
The book switches back and forth between Nick and Dara’s perspective with entries both before and after the car accident that scarred Dara’s face. That much is made clear. But neither girl remembers the accident.
The clues for the big reveal are all there long before Nick goes looking for Dara. I had even guessed the truth close to the beginning but enough things happened that I second guessed myself and so the twist was heartbreaking if not shocking.
The twist? Dara died in the car accident and throughout the “after” portions of the book Nick’s had a trauma induced, dissociative, multi-personality thing going on. She’s not only been thinking Dara’s alive but sometimes she even acts like she is Dara.
It was just so interesting how the mysteries were interwoven through Nick’s breakdowns. The missing young girl and Dara’s strange behavior before her accident really were related. And it makes the reader wonder, would the nine year old’s disappearance and the related case have been solved so quickly if Nick hadn’t broken down and thought she was her sister?
All in all, I just really loved the twists, turns and surprises.