Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rated: YA 15+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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.

Even though I’ve only read two of Lauren Oliver’s books, she’s definitely an author that’s an automatic must-read for me. After finishing Vanishing Girls, it made me want to pick up the Delirium series where I left off–I never got around to reading Pandemonium and Requiem despite loving the first book. Other than the one big thing I just didn’t understand with this book, this book was amazing. Yup, you heard me. One problem, but the rest was fantastic. The writing is impeccable: Oliver truly has a way with words. She makes writing look seamless and easy, but if you look closer it’s really a complex story that I don’t think anyone else could have written.

This story, in essence, is about sisters–Lauren Oliver makes this very clear from even before the book starts. I have a younger sister (and a younger brother as well, but this book is about SISTERS so I’ll leave him out of this), and because I’m the oldest child and older sister I felt like I could relate more to Nick. I mean, I’m sure other people would as well because her POV pretty much dominates the book, but just the way that she always has to look out for Dara even if she doesn’t want to, or being frustrated with Dara a lot of the time. Obviously, my sister and I are nothing like Nick and Dara, so there’s really no comparison. Anyway, even though you don’t really hear much from Dara’s perspective you still do get quite the picture of her from Nick, which truly helps with seeing how different and how similar they both are. Parker is another character who is heavily featured–and causes some conflict and makes things a LOT more interesting–and I really liked his character. His character that changes the relationship between Nick and Dara, and it’s a pretty unsettling atmosphere between all three characters when he’s thrown into the mix.

The eGalley I had was missing artwork–there would be spaces in the text where it would say ARTWORK TK. It was kind of sad for me, because I love books with photos, illustrations, maps, etc., and missing out on it in an eGalley takes away from the experience of reading such a book. I tried finding out what the missing “artwork” was and I believe it’s photos? I don’t know, because the only one I found was a photo of two sisters at the beginning of the book. It was just a small thing, but I just wished the eGalleys and early copies would have the artwork present just for the experience or to add to the tone of the book.

As I mentioned before the main problem I had with this book was the end. Don’t get me wrong, the end was a HUGE twist that I didn’t see coming. At all. I didn’t have a problem with how it ended, but more with how it actually works out with the book. It’s more to do with the whole story surrounding the big twist. I’ll probably have to re-read this book just to see how it all plays out because, despite the shock from the twist making my mind go nuts trying to figure out how I didn’t guess what was going to happen, I need to figure this out on my own and take into account all the warning signs and foreshadowing that occurs beforehand.

Vanishing Girls is a riveting psychological thriller that will capture readers from the start and won’t let go even past the end. Lauren Oliver is a master of her craft and has created a novel that will be difficult to forget. Dark, tense and mesmerising, do not hesitate to pick this one up: it’s beautiful, it’s sharp, and it’s absolutely extraordinary.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Week 147

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

September 1, 2015 ● Goodreads

Hunter sounds kind of like The Hunger Games with a fantasy aspect. I’m really looking forward to this book–it sounds pretty original and topped off with a gorgeous cover, so it’s no wonder why I can’t wait to have this book in my hands. I got approved via NetGalley so I can’t wait to start it! :D

What are you waiting on?

Summer Reading #3

I’ve decided to start sharing what I’ve read this summer! BECAUSE THERE IS ACTUALLY MORE TIME TO READ :D Here’s what I’ve read these past two and a half weeks:

Most of the books I read were from Pansing–as they’d sent me a big box with a ton of books for review earlier in June–with a few other books for review here and there. Still nothing for pleasure, I’m afraid!

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender ••• Goodreads
Every Day by David Levithan ••• Goodreads
Six Earlier Days by David Levithan (a novella in the Every Day paperback) ••• Goodreads
Another Day by David Levithan ••• Goodreads
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten ••• Goodreads
Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall ••• Goodreads
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine ••• Goodreads

Here are the books I read on my Kindle:

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn ••• Goodreads
Ana of California by Andi Teran ••• Goodreads

Tons of great books here (and some not-so-great) and I can’t wait for you to read my reviews of them! Some of them won’t be coming out until late July, unfortunately :( Oh well, better to be ahead than behind!

Have you read any good books recently?

Illuminae Bonus Content: Character Profiles + Teaser Video

Hey guys! I’m so excited to share some amazing bonus content from the upcoming release Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the first in a trilogy–THE ILLUMINAE FILES.

October 20, 2015 ● Goodreads

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Every month there’ll be new content released (I’m a little late this month with posting!). This month, Kady’s and Ezra’s character profiles are available on the ILLUMINAE FILES WEBSITE as well as a teaser video:

I’m really looking forward to reading this one–it’s one of the most buzzed-about books this year so far! Be sure to check out the content on the absolutely gorgeous website, and come back later in July for more amazing extras for this awesome new trilogy.

Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

Release Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Zephyr Mourning knew she wasn’t a very good Harpy, but she never thought she would be a murderer. 

She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, she pretty much sucks at wielding magic, and she was prepared for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But then her sister was murdered–and Zephyr uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Now Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend changes everything. It seems that Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess that is prophesied to shift the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

But how is she supposed to save everyone else when she can barely take care of herself?

I saw this one AGES ago but I never did get my hands on a copy. Until now. I’m seriously happy I got Promise of Shadows for review because I absolutely loved it. The beginning took me a while to adjust to, in terms of getting an idea of what exactly was going on, but omg–it’s been such a long time since I’d read a book focused on Greek mythology that met modern day (so... urban mythology?). The last book I read focused on this sort of stuff was Fleeced! but that’s aimed at younger readers, so all in all: a YA book that involves Greek myths? It’s practically been a lifetime since I’d read one last. Anyway, back to the main point at hand. THIS BOOK? So beautiful. So dark. And I loved it SO much.

I liked that our main character Zephyr, also known as Peep (which is the most adorable nickname ever), wasn’t the typically strong and flawless main character portrayed so often in young adult fiction. She’s definitely quite flawed and is the kind of person who would rather run than fight in most situations. However, her snappy and sarcastic attitude annoyed me sometimes. I didn’t really enjoy her bursts of anger and quick judgement upon others. Tallon’s got the same problem–both these characters are hot-headed. Otherwise, I totally love them! All the swoons for Tallon, trust me. This book had such an interesting and diverse cast of characters. Blue was a sweet character, and Cass probably had the most interesting background story EVER. I’m grateful that romance wasn’t a big part of the story and instead of spending ages reading about a girl pining for a boy every second of the day, we got a story of a girl with a clear plan in mind that didn’t revolve around said boy.

I am tossed and turned in a sea of pain and rage and disappointment. I reach out, attempting to wield some of my own forbidden power. For a single shining moment the darkness abates, reluctant to hurt me. But it’s pointless. The orbs quickly begins devouring me again, Hades’s intent pushing it forward. My abilities are nothing compared to his, a raindrop trying to attack the ocean.
I surrender to my punishment, going limp as the dark energy tears me apart atom by atom. My last thought before I lose consciousness is relief.
At least I finally know how I die.
–p. 57

This book contained several new mythological terms that were new for me. I think most of them were made up, since I searched up characters such as Ramun Sol and nothing popped up, but there were a few things that I didn’t know about previously. What I love about YA books that allude to mythology is that I always end up learning something new or end up yearning to learn more about the subject. Several things in this book–erebos, vættirÆthereals–had me curious to know more. 

Promise of Shadows was a seductive and thrilling ride with a touch of well-timed snark guaranteed to make readers laugh. Justina Ireland brilliantly weaves fiction and myth to create a truly unique story. Delightfully dark and filled with jaw-dropping twists, be sure to pick this one up as soon as you possibly can.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

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