Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Radio Week: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Our teen reviewer Neeka takes a look at a moving pairing for Radio Week:

My pick for a Radio Week song may be a bit different from the rest, as mine is a piano waltz. My favorite composer, Frederic Chopin, wrote the Waltz in C-Sharp Minor, Opus 64 No 2, in 1847. The reason I love Chopin is how expressive his music is. Even though the waltz doesn't have any words, you can still sympathize with Chopin's intense feelings. The piano player is heartbroken and nostalgic.The middle section of the song takes more of a joyful turn, and so we think that perhaps whatever problem he was dealing with has been resolved. This joy is cultivated only to be totally crushed when we return to the sad first section. We take away from the piece that the player will likely never stop grieving whatever tragedy has occurred in his life.

The book I've paired with this piece is Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver. The book is the story of two sisters, Dara and Nick, recovering from an accident. The details of the car accident remain murky for both girls, but their lives have undeniably changed ever since. They fear the world around them, but they have nowhere to hide. Chopin's Waltz in C-Sharp Minor evokes the book because it, too, is about mourning the loss of better times and better circumstances. It feels like the player of the waltz longs to revert to his former life, but he knows that's impossible. He doesn’t know if he can come to terms with his new reality. This new reality is what plagues the girls in Vanishing Girls as well.

Both pieces are incredibly moving and beautiful. I hope you'll check the two of them out!

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