When a young girl disappears, Nick is drawn to the mystery. And when Dara disappears too, Nick can't help but feel they are linked in some way.
Another fab book from Lauren Oliver!! I'm new to the Lauren Oliver party, but I can't get enough of this author's writing. I find it so addicting and beautiful and easy. There's nothing about her storytelling that I don't like. I'm so happy I decided to read this book as I felt like I was going through a reading slump, and this pulled me right out of it. I couldn't put it down.
Having said all that, there was something that I didn't like about it. The twist. I'm not going to be spoilery and tell you anything about the twist except that it's been pulled on me one too many times. I knew right away what it was going to be, and I found it obvious. Now, I can't tell if it was obvious because like I said, it's been done to me too much, or if it was obvious because Lauren Oliver was being Captain Obvious... but either way, I knew. The thing is, that didn't detract me from having a great time reading the book and falling in love with the story because there were a lot of other things to find out.
My favorite part of the book: Parker. The boy in the house the next street over was so adorable and lovable, and he was the reason I was so hooked on the book. I really really wanted to know what would happen with him and whoever in the romance department. Every time there was a scene with him in it, I had this ache in the pit of my stomach for the pain that teenage love is.
Dara was tough for me. She's so frustrating at times, but I could totally relate to her as well. As a person I tend to be that whirlwind tornado that loses things, breaks things, leaves messes, borrows and doesn't return... and not just with inanimate objects. Not that I don't have good intentions, I just rarely ever have it together. So while I felt bad for Nick for always having to be her sister's savior, I also know what it's like to be on the other side. (Shoutout to my mom for always being my savior & cleaning up my messes, figuratively and otherwise... oh, and I'm sorry). In a way, even though Dara sometimes made me want to hit the ceiling, she also held up a mirror to myself in how I've acted in the past. It was a weird realization.
Can we talk about FanLand? FanLand (proper name: Fantasy Land, which really does sound like a strip club), is this amusement park where Nick and Parker work for the summer. I can't even explain how much I loved having FanLand in this book. There's not a lot of old-school indie amusement parks left, but there's 2 of these in Pittsburgh; Kennywood and Idlewild (although both were bought by an amusement park corporation in recent years, the traditional feel of the parks remains). FanLand reminded me of everything that's good about those places. Thank you Lauren Oliver for picking such a cool place for Nick to work. And for making her coworkers such oddball characters, I loved them.
As a bonus: There were a bunch of pictures scattered throughout the book, and while interesting, I didn't really get what exactly they added to the story except to make it more real feeling? It was something different if nothing else, but I could have taken or left them. There are also tons of other media thrown in... emails, diary entries, patient files, online articles, police blotter, etc. I loved what that brought to the book. Those extra things made the book feel 10x more real than the pictures did.
So, should you read this book?? I would totally recommend. It's a fun mystery even if you do figure out the twist, there's a few other question marks that will keep you reading, and the writing is very addicting. It's sad without being a sobfest, it's haunting without being overly dramatic. If you like Lauren Oliver, read this book!
OVERALL: A cool mystery that didn't exactly fool me on the twist. Other than that, I loved everything else this book gave me. It was beautifully written, full of interesting characters, a really cool setting, and so many issues. I definitely recommend.
Quote: "Here's what nobody tells you: 90 percent of the time, when you fall in love, somebody gets burned." ~Dara
This Book Contains:
- FanLand- an old-school amusement park
- Therapy sessions
- Online articles- complete with user comments!
- Diary entries
- Drug use
- The beach
My Rating: 3.5/4
Date Published: 3/10/2015
How I got this book: I bought it