A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Information about cybercrime, the dangers of sharing sexy photos online, and tactics adults use to prey on teens.
There's a valuable message here about what happens when you try to hold on to negative emotions and continue acting as if things are OK.
Positive Role Models
Nick may not always make smart choices, but she is loyal to her sister and goes to great -- even dangerous -- lengths to try to protect her. Ultimately, she ends up being a hero -- and saving herself.
Violence & Scariness
Readers learn that a car crash leaves Dara with broken bones and scars. A girl dies in a thrill-ride accident. A girl is missing. A man drugs teen girls and sells compromising pictures of them online. He later chases a girl when she begins to suspect him.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's a love triangle involving Nick, Dara, and their best friend, Parker, and there are some steamy scenes. Spin the bottle and strip poker are mentioned. Dara has condoms in her room and lewdly describes a boy as being sexually attractive. Nick makes plans to go away with her boyfriend but later breaks up with him when he suggests they have sex (sort of joking, because there are rumors that they had sex anyway). Nick imagines her father's girlfriend walking around naked. Nick gets caught skinny-dipping with a 20-year-old.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Lots of mature words including variations of "s--t" and "f--k" as well as "ass," "bitch," "dips--t," "God," "hell," and "piss."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Lots of suburban trappings, including Big Gulp, ChapStick, Coca-Cola, Cool Whip, CVS, Diet Coke, Gas N' Go, iPad, iPhone, Jameson, Law & Order, Pop-Tarts, Southern Comfort, 7-Eleven, Sharpie, Suburban, Surf Siders, Toyota, Walmart, Wayfarer, YouTube, Zippo.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teen characters, including the protagonists, drink alcohol, including brand-name hard alcohol. Nick covers for Dara when she finds marijuana and white residue in her room. Their mom takes sleeping pills. Characters smoke, and girls work for a private club inside a bar; they are drugged without their knowledge.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lauren Oliver's Vanishing Girls is a mystery with mature content, including drinking and drug use, strong language (including variations of "s--t" and "f--k"), and some steamy make-out scenes. There's also a really bad car accident, a missing child, and a plot line about adults trading in sexual pictures of underage teens. Nick may not always make smart choices, but she's loyal to her sister and goes to great -- even dangerous -- lengths to try to protect her. There's a valuable message here about what happens when you try to hold on to negative emotions and continue acting as if things are OK.
Is It Any Good?
Teens may find VANISHING GIRLS a little hard to get into. Author Lauren Oliver reveals the story from both sisters' perspectives, and she includes flashbacks, diary entries, local news articles, and emails between the girls' parents and their psychiatrist, and her nonlinear storytelling style takes some getting used to. Once the mystery picks up -- and Nick starts to figure out what her sister has gotten mixed up in and how 9-year-old Madeline Snow might be involved -- readers will race toward the conclusion. And, while the big-twist ending may be a bit far-fetched, it's certainly fun. Readers will enjoying reading the book again, once they -- and Nick -- know the truth behind the sisters' story.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.