Lauren Oliver's 'Vanishing Girls' And 8 Other YA Book To Read If You Loved 'We Were Liars'
E. Lockhart's We Were Liars was the "It Book" of 2014. It pulled in readers with stunning descriptions of almost dreamlike private New England islands and then twisted the knife, adding in enough suspense and questions to keep readers gripped page after page. I've already made it abundantly clear that it was my favorite book I read all of last year. But this year? It has a companion that could sit beside it on the shelf: Lauren Oliver's Vanishing Girls (HarperCollins).
Not that Lauren Oliver needs an introduction in the YA community, but you probably know her from last year's stellar Panic , her Delirium trilogy, Before I Fall, or her adult fiction debut Rooms . March 10 she released the highly anticipated Vanishing Girls, a story that follows sisters Dara and Nick — and it has all the dreamy mystery that made us love We Were Liars.
Dara and Nick were as close as twins before an accident that changed everything. The beautiful Dara underwent several surgeries and now has scars across her face. And she won't speak to Nick, but Nick can't quite remember what they were doing in the car, what happened beforehand. The novel alternates between Dara and Nick's perspectives, both before and after the accident, as well as police blotters, pictures, and Dara's diary entries. Together these pieces can pull together what really happened the night of the accident. And now that Dara has vanished, where is she now.
Oliver's novel is haunting and so pretty. It will make you uneasy the whole way through, as secrets often do. And when you're done, you're going to want to turn back to certain chapters and read them again, (I did.) But at the heart, it's a story about the emotional bond of sisterhood.
Vanishing Girls is perfect for fans of We Were Liars, but if you need even more, there are eight books that will settle your craving.
Tighter by Adele Griffin
Idyllic New England island? Check. Secrets? Double check. In Tighter, which is an homage to The Turning of the Screw, teenage Jamie isn't vacationing on the island, she's working as an au pair. And she wasn't exactly expecting the tragedy that came before her, especially not that she happens to look just like a dead girl.
Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
Like We Were Liars' Cadence and the rest of her Liars crew, Julia Buchanan and Charlotte Ryder's friendship is full of riches and glamour, and it's both heartbreaking and thrilling. The story of Julia and Charlotte is pulled from Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, so we know that Charlotte will start falling for Julia's older brother and gets entwined in all the familial secrets her whole family brings along.
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Even the Liars couldn't stand up to Micah, who says she's a compulsive liar — if you believe her. Which is why it's so problematic for her when her boyfriend is found murdered. It's an example one of the greatest unreliable narrators in contemporary lit, meaning you'll be questioning every word you read the whole way thought. And that means you'll be gripped.
We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt
Sisters Nell and Layla were so close they were called by one name, like a Hollywood couple: Nellayla. But when Nell finds out that her older sister is acting distant and strange because she is involved with one of their teachers, Nell's reaction threatens to tear them apart. Like E. Lockhart's, Dana Reinhardt's characters show that there is something troubling behind all the flash and charm.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Mara Dyer is even worse off in the memory department than Cadence Sinclair. While Cady can't seem to remember what happened on that summer vacation that changed everything, Mara can't remember ... anything. She wakes up in a hospital and has no idea how she got there. Soon she finds out she was in an accident that killed all of her friends, but the novel twists and turns in a dreamlike way from there.
Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Even identical twins keep secrets in Ellen Hopkins' novel. Like the SInclairs, Kaeleigh and Raeanne may have this perfect facade up, but inside they are each harboring their own secret. Told in free verse in alternating viewpoints, the twins' story shows the destruction family can wreak on its members.
Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
You can't trust anyone in Stephanie Kuehn's Complicit. Jamie Henry's older sister Cate was sent to juvenile detention after being accused of burning down the neighbor's barn, but now she's gotten out and is coming home to see Jamie. Cate wants to tell Jamie the truth about what happened, but how can you trust someone who has always been a manipulative liar?
Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah
When Claire Graham lets her little sister Ella walk home alone, she is ravaged by fear and guilt when Ella is attacked and left nearly dead in a cornfield. And now, years later, Ella has disappeared and Claire can't escape her phobias and hallucinations about that night years back. But using Ella's diary, she tries to piece together the puzzle of what happened to her sister.
Image: Lauren Oliver/Facebook