Read The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood Online


Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the kKayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations....

Title : The Disappearing Girl
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781483906775
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 248 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Disappearing Girl Reviews

  • Paula
    2019-04-05 13:50

    This book blew my mind. I'll be honest: If you want a comfortable cosy read, then this book isn't for you. It's emotionally so intense that you'll feel like someone is playing harp on your nerve endings. It's not flowers and sunshine. But if you want a read that will stay with you for weeks or months to come, something that will touch your heart, make you weep, make you feel on an intense level, then stop reading my review and go pick this book up.Concentrating on the main character's battle with eating disorders, Heather Topham Wood managed to portray the mental illness of an eating disorder in all its' painful and horrific details but without overwhelming the reader. The story feels very real and I believe it gives an honest and realistic glimpse into the mind-set and feelings of someone suffering from this type of mental disorder, showing us what they are going through. Having never suffered from an eating disorder, I always found it a bit hard to understand how someone could do this damage to their body and not stop. Reading this book I feel I gained more understanding for the disease, how it affects the mind and warps the reality of the person suffering from it. And damn, it ain't pretty. Interesting was, how this story even managed to reveal some of the warped ideas about beauty I had. Ideas that we get fed on a daily basis by the media and our surroundings.The pain and confusion Kayla was going through didn't leave me untouched. I cried so much through the book, feeling her pain and anguish. But this story wasn't just dark and gloomy. There was so much love she received from her friends, from her sister and from Cameron. It was a beautiful portrayal of unconditional love and support, showing that people who love you will stand by you no matter what and will not give up on you. It was a beautiful message that warmed the heart. Cameron's love for Kayla was sweet and beautiful. To me this book is so much more than just fiction. You can tell with every page that Heather Topham Wood invested all her heart into this story. It is full of wisdom and lessons. I believe it should be read by every teenage girl and boy (the book is recommended for ages 17+) to help them understand what a distorted body image and idea of beauty can do. And every parent should read this book to understand what the wrong comments about weight or beauty can do to a child or teenager.I can't thank Heather enough for giving me this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lauren at Live Read and Breathe Reviews
    2019-03-24 16:54

    Source: eARC for Honest Review from AuthorI signed up for this book as the topic of eating disorders is close to my heart.Kayla suffers a big loss than has to deal with a terrible mother who says the most hatred things to her daughters. Over time these things start to build up and she snaps and becomes obsessed with becoming thinner, because she thinks that if she is thinner than she and everyone else will be happy.At the beginning of her downfall she meets Cameron who instantly is drawn to her but with her mental spiral she keeps him at bay because she doubts his true intentions.At the same time she pushes all her friends and family away. "I hate to be blunt," I smiled at Brittany's obvious lie. "But your mother has mind-fucked both of you for way too long. She's obviously jealous because her daughters outshine her and she wants to make you both as miserable as she is. Don't let her win. Be happy with Cameron and stop trying to make yourself 'prettier' " - Brittany used air quotes - "for her sake".Even though the disease has taken root Cam, her BFF and her sister have not given up hope."We're all broken in some way, Kayla. You just have to wake up each morning and find a reason to keep going,"During her downward spiral to the end she finds a Pro-Ana group that helps her in her delusion of the disease and her self image which in the end is her demise.After hitting rock bottom she makes a choice to finally want to be healthy physically and mentally."This disease is ugly. Kind of ironic, I guess, since we're doing it to be pretty."I thought this book was well down and gave a good representation of the psyche of someone living with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are a disease and you struggle with body image issues for the rest of your life. Each day is a journey to see who you really are. The journey is always easier with the supports of friends and family like Kayla had with Cameron, Brittany and Lila.Cameron was such a sweetheart and rock throughout the whole journey. He was able to see the inner beauty of Kayla before she was able to see it herself. With this it helped her move forward and want to strive to be better for herself and for the possibility of them.For more reviews, visit Live Read and BreatheLike us on Facebook Live Read and Breathe FacebookFollow along with Twitter Live Read and Breathe Twitter

  • Antonia♥
    2019-04-04 16:52

    To the girls who’ve never felt beautifulI don’t have the words to describe ‘’The Disappearing Girl’’. It must be the most REAL book I have ever read and I don’t think I’ll have the luck to read another one like it again. This won’t be a normal review because I want to point out the most important things I liked about this book.♥This book deals with real problems: anorexia and bulimia. Because of her mother, Kayla decided to lose weight. She became obsessed with her appearance and she ended up really bad. Even though she had an amazing boyfriend (Cameron), supportive friends (Brittany, Daniela, Jessica) and a good sister (Lila) she only wanted to be pretty and thin. The thought that her father was gone didn’t help either. The things she had to surpass were painful and I seriously love Heather for creating this story. It changed my life.♥Cameron. He had his own past issues, but he was supportive, sweet, loving and caring. The way he loved and treated Kayla was unforgettable. I could talk about him all day. I appreciate the fact that Heather created a real man. Because, I’m tired of the same old story: ordinary-girl-meets-sex-god-and-falls-in-love-with-him. Seriously now, normal girls don’t find a sexy, tattooed man at every corner. But they have the chance to meet someone like Cam.♥I found myself in this story. I know what means having to deal with diets and wanting to be slim. Fortunately, I never had the same problems as K and I’m younger than her. But many girls are in her situation and it is not OK! From my point of view, Heather took some risks when she decided to write TDG.♥This book delivers an important message for teen girls and women: DON’T STARVE YOURSELF ONLY BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE PERFECT! It is OK to follow a healthy diet and do some sport, but do NOT choose to starve. It will only ruin your body and your life! Happiness doesn’t come with an anorexic body!Overall, this book screams PERFECTION<3 It is the book that every girl should read & love! By the way, I'm mentally screaming at the author because the book was too short! So now that it ended...

  • Jill
    2019-03-24 19:49

    ****This book was part of a blog tour I received a copy for my honest review****This is the second book I have read by this author and I must say I am impressed. Her style of writing just makes the words flow write off the page and before you know it you are fully immersed in a different place, different characters with different problems.This book is one of a very serious nature and although in the end it is very hopeful the rest of the book is the downward spiral of one girl into a world of bulimia, anorexia and all in all denial.Kayla is devastated after the death of her father and unfortunately left with a mother who s very obsessed with looks and dishing out insults wrapped in the guise of motherly love and wisdom. She starts a dangerous obsession with losing weight and making her life better.At first things seem to be going well and people tell her how great she looks, she gets a boyfriend Cameron and life is good. But very quickly things spiral out of control and those who were happy for her seem to start judging her. She lives under constant stress and anxiety as food seems to be apart of every decision in her life. She is very quickly disappearing. Will she be able to see the truth before she fades away forever?I don't know if I can actually say I enjoyed this. It deals with very real and important issues and I applaud the author for writing it from the POV of Kayla as it is happening. Somehow it just made it all make more sense. I could feel her frustration at other people and not understand why they couldn't just let her be. Even though I was sitting there in horror at the things she was doing to herself and her own justification. I felt for the characters around Kayla as they slowly had to watch her disappearing before there eyes, bodily and personality wise. Especially Cameron, what an incredible guy. Just the type of guy you would wish for your daughter.This book was stark and brutal with its honesty of what this terrible disease can do to your body. I pray others pick it up, because even though it wasn't the most relaxing book I have ever read, it was definitely moving.

  • Abbie
    2019-03-27 22:01

    This was an okay read, but I'm glad it wasn't too long. I did feel sorry for Kayla at points, as what she was going through was tough, and her mother pressured her way too much to be thin. This wasn't a bad read, but I did feel bored quite often while reading this. It just couldn't hold my interest all that well unforunately.

  • Madara
    2019-04-03 18:58

    Tad nu tā.Pirmkārt, Prince Charming pavisam noteikti UZRADĀS tikai pēc konkrēta kg zuduma. Un lai vai cik daudzas reizes viņš teiktu, ka "mīlētu viņu kaut 150 kg smagu", šis fakts paliek fakts, t.i., "apaļīgām meitenēm tādu NEDABŪT."Cool.Un E.D. grāmatai visnotaļ par daudz aprakstu par viņa zilajām acīm un zemo, murrājošo vai vēl SAZIN KĀDU balsi. Meitēn, Tu MIRSTI, jo neēd, pa kuru laiku Tev vēl ir spēks un spējas atkal un atkal to apbrīnot?Un vēl Pro-Ana mājaslapas un to lieliskumu pieminēt, ja nu kāda tās vēl nav atradusi.Es nezinu. Kaut gan beigas un vispār ik pa laikam rindkopas citas tik moralizējošas, beigas sasteigtas, emocijas nejūtamas (E.D. ziņā vismaz daudz par maz, kaut gan ar Christian un katru viņu abu kopīgo kustību aprakstiem autore nav skopojusies) un kaut kā nešķiet, ka grāmatai izdodas sasniegt mērķi parādīt, cik SASODĪTI slikti ir E.D. Drīzāk pēcgarša ir - paldies par mājaslapas atklāšanu, metodēm, kā slēpt neēšanu un atziņu, ka, ja nometīsi cik-tur-tos kg, atradīsi savu Christian (Grey?), kurš, protams, arī būs bijis "wounded" un paliks ar Tevi kopā 4 ever.Galīgi nelabi.

  • Abdul
    2019-03-28 18:44

    6 BIG HUGE EMOTIONAL AND HAPPY STARSMy friend recommended me this book and I was really apprehensive to read when I read the blurs but I had a hope in me that it would be a good book and I started reading it.First I hated Kayla's mom. She was a downright bitch and you would despise her. Because of her Kayla became what she is.Kayla was really a strong person but the confidence she had was destroyed by her mom. I had a feeling that her dad was her half confidence too and when he died she lost everything. It was really emotional and heart breaking too see what Kayla did to herself to just get skinny.Cameron was the most sweetest guy in the book. He easily figured it out what was wrong with Kayla and he never left her side. He was strong and he trusted Kayla to be strong. Everything he did was sweet.The ending was the thing that mad eye grinning like an idiot. I was satisfied with the ending but epilogue would have made me a happy person too.This book would sure be in my mind and I would recommended parents and kids to read this.

  • Heather Wood
    2019-04-16 18:01

    Amazon: & Noble Nook: board for The Disappearing Girl:

  • Misty Baker
    2019-04-20 17:00

    **A 3.8 Review**One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from a Markus Zusak book titled “I Am The Messenger.” It says:“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.”Confession time? I hate fashion magazines.While I love shoes, and can appreciate the artistic aspect of some of the photos found inside, I think they endorse a horrible message. That you can’t be beautiful unless you are rail then and can distort your body in unnatural ways. See I was taught at a very young age (by my grandfather) that beauty is only skin deep. That lipstick can’t hold a conversation, and perfect hair can’t change the world. He told me (regularly) that he thought I was beautiful, so rest assured this wasn’t a backhanded lesson. But he also said the thing he loved best was my way with words. How I could manipulate them into emotions. That who I was, would ALWAYS trump what I wore. That remembering that would allow me to grow, allow me to be.For years I lived by this mantra. Content to believe that my grandpa was wise.Then in high-school all of that changed. Despite my unwavering emo-ness (which I had acquired by spending an insane amount of time in the library) I wanted to be noticed for what was on the outside (like other girls) not for my ability to write pages and pages of crap in my journal. I decided my grandpa was wrong. Beauty DID matter.Don’t worry, I’ll spare you from all of the sordid details about my recovery from insanity, but I’ll tell you what helped.That quote.For years I rebelled against the lessons I had been taught as a child. Insisted that I knew what was best. And then in 2003 I read a book that opened a door and let light back in. It confirmed what my grandfather had said to me so many years ago. That “sometimes people are beautiful simply because of WHO they are.”In Heather Topham Wood’s novel “The Disappearing Girl” the lead character Kayla struggles to learn and understand, that very same message."Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past."There is this saying (I’m not sure where it comes from) that says: “The best books are the books that make you uncomfortable.” I agree with this statement. While dissecting the complicated world of eating disorders isn’t fun, it IS a FACT of life. Dragons are not real. Harry Potter won’t be gracing your doorstep anytime in the near future, and (for argument’s sake) let’s just say there is less than a 1% chance a zombie will eat your face off next week.But anorexia? Bulimia? Body dysmorphic disorder? These are diseases that affect thousands of people everyday. Diseases that cause families to crumble. Encourage lying, and damage lives. They are serious, and they deserve to be treated as so.Kayla (the lead in “The Disappearing Girl”) is weighed down by all three of the diseases I mentioned above. They embody her, and control her:“I was no longer comfortable in my own skin. When I undressed, I would stare at the flab on my body and feel compelled to shut my eyes to block out the source of my revulsion.”But let’s start at the beginning shall we?Reeling from the sudden death of her father, and subsequently pummeling of harsh comments (concerning her weight) by her mother, Kayla is slowing drowning in an emotional whirlpool. But one night of reckless binge eating (and then purging) shocks her into a ghastly realization. She can cure everything that ails her. Lose weight, be happy. But when (what started out as) a single thought morphs into starving herself and shutting out everyone she loves, coping with the repercussions turns out to be more than she can handle.Kayla in one word is: troubled.The world she lives in: scary.And Wood did a fantastic job of articulating both. Walking a very fine line between grit and shock Wood introduces her audience to the (uncensored) harsh realities of extreme dieting. And as much as I would like to “nicely” relay the events of this book to you, I’ve discovered there is no point. So I’ll let Wood do some of the talking.“My thoughts were irrational. I couldn’t think of anything else except getting the food out of me. The more seconds that passed, the more time the food would have to digest and be stuck inside me forever.”“Pro-Ana had made things much easier for me. The various Pro-Ana sites gave me all the tips I needed to conceal my diet from everyone else. I had stocked up on packages of bagels and muffins. They became my showpieces; I carried them around with me to put on the pretense I was actually eating them. Instead, I usually broke off pieces and shoved them into my pockets or purse.”“One of the things that works is I count to a hundred whenever I want something to eat. By the time I get to a hundred, I’ve had enough time to think of all the reasons I shouldn’t eat. Another think is I’ll pinch each spot on my body where I find any fat, really hard.”“You know what else helps me when I want to eat? Watch people eat! It’s kind of gross, especially when you see fat people doing it. Or do something else you think is revolting. Like clean the bathroom, or change kitty litter.”As for the “New Adult” aspects of the book. They were there (aka there is a hot boy, and they have a complicated relationship…yada yada) but unlike most NA these days their relationship wasn’t the “focus” (if you will) of the novel. Kayla’s struggles were. As a matter of fact, there is a rather large chunk of the novel where Cameron (the good guy that he is) disappears completely in an effort to maintain the forward movement of Kayla’s story. I think this was smart on the authors part. Also…it was refreshing. Their “spacing” allowed their relationship to develop naturally, making the impact in the end much more convincing.This book is emotional and harsh. It is only 249 pages long, but it is a very tumultuous 249 pages. Touching on some of the most difficult of aspects of mental illness, and how to triumph over it.Use caution when deciding whether or not to purchase this book. It’s good, but it isn’t fluffy.Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: There is always someone there to help: National Eating Disorders Association 1-800-931-2237

  • Laura Wells
    2019-03-22 17:57

    Do yourself a favour when you read this book -make sure you have a whole day with nothing else to do! The mistake I made was in thinking I could carry on with normal life while reading this story. I met friends for coffee, went shopping and out for lunch, all the while completely distracted by what Kayla was going through. This book consumed my every thought.Cam -what a hero. He was so sweet and affectionate, and SO patient. He was exactly what Kayla needed, even when she didn't know it. I sympathised with Kayla's insecurities which were reinforced by her overbearing mother and I related to her opinion that everything was 'better' before her father's death. It was beautifully written, especially how she related a lot of her present situations to memories of her dad. This event made it easier for her to justify her behaviour, even as she agonized about it throughout the book, even going so far as to seek support from pro-anorexia websites. The responses she received from these websites were distressing to read. It disgusts me that these websites exist, but they do - and it made the story that much more real.Heather has done an exceptional job of describing a heart-wrenching situation that affects so many people. However, I think too much emphasis was placed on Kayla's mum as the cause of her eating disorder. While her behaviour was deplorable, she was dealing with her own grief and I think she was more of a catalyst than the cause.Seeing the illness from Kayla's point of view was eye opening, and agonizing to know that some people feel this way about their bodies. The symptoms Kayla suffers are described well throughout the book, and referenced more frequently as her eating disorder progresses. I thought that this was well researched as physical cues for anorexia and bulimia are not always evident until the victim is seriously ill. I thought that Kayla's struggle to keep lying to those closest to her was addressed effectively. It was both interesting and disturbing to read her journey from trying to hide her 'dieting' to becoming a practiced liar.A couple of points took this book, for me, from a five star read to a four star:First, Kayla's sister was portrayed as quite juvenile, and for a 16 year old girl it doesn't seem as true to life as the rest of the book. Though through her desire to help Kayla she does grow up a bit, so this might have been intentional. I also thought Kayla's recovery happened too quickly. While Heather touched upon how Kayla's relationship with food was forever changed, Kayla's u-turn from body dismorphia and belief that only she knew how to look after herself to getting 'better' was a little unbelievable. It takes a lot of work to come back from something so serious. I loved this book. I think it's a story everyone regardless of age or gender should read as the message it sends is so important. I would really be interested in reading the story from other points of view -Kayla's mum or sister, or Cameron, just to get a picture of how eating disorders affect more people than just the victim.A fantastic read*I was provided a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

  • Hannah (Broc's Bookcase)
    2019-03-23 21:37

    “I wish I could give Cameron what he wanted and block every ugly word our of my mom's mouth. But twenty-one years of being told I was fat and ugly was hard to erase.”This is the kind of book I feel should come with a warning. Something along the lines of:WARNING: this book will take you on an emotional rollercoaster and leave you completely emotionally unstable. Please make sure you have tissues, chocolate and a responsible adult to help you through the hours/days/weeks after you have finish this book, until you feel stable enough to join the real world againThis book was just, WOW. I never thought that I would enjoy a book abut eating disorders, but I really did. I also felt quite educated about eating disorders from the person with the eating disorders point of view, which Heather Topham Wood got across so well.I found it both refreshing and sad that it was her mum that was the main reason behind Kayla's eating disorders, and it made me really mad that her mum didn't notice what was going on and instead compliments Kayla on her weight loss. I just wanted to slap her and be like HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?!Now a days most people blame eating disorders on the models and magazines, but in this case and a lot of real life cases it isn't! I thought that it was an important thing to point out, that eating disorders often start because someone (and generally someone close to the person with the ED) is making them feel bad about themselves.Cameron is PERFECT, which I guess isn't really much help to a girl with Kayla's issues. But seriously, if there was a machine/device that could take characters out of books and bring them into the real world, then Cameron would be one of my Top Ten book boyfriends! You feel so bad for him when he realises what is going on with Kayla, because you can tell he loves her so much. There are so really powerful scenes when he is fighting for her to get better and she just can't cope with it all and he is just helpless.I felt that Heather really gets across the desperation and helplessness of Kayla's friends and Cameron when they realise that she has gone too far for them to help her. Seeing their pain and guilt kind of makes you feel guilty too. Not that you could have done anything as a reader (except maybe shout at your book like I did) but still you feel kind of horrible that you have watched this happen and there was nothing you did to stop it.I found at times this book hard to read, not because it was bad, but because Heather has given us full disclosure into Kayla's mind. To read that someone was thinking so badly of themselves, and seeing how she would starve herself was really quite sad to read. It was an extremely powerful story, and I would definitely recommend it. I would also recommend tissues!You can find more of my reviews and initial reactions videos at Broc's Bookcase

  • Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
    2019-03-26 16:48

    The Disappearing Girl is a serious read for all girls! I have to give Heather a huge KUDOS for writing about a serious issue that has all girls and guys doing some crazy things. This book really hit home because I lost a dear friend to Anorexia. Her mother and father were perfect in every way and she always had this idea that she could not disappoint her father or mother but more so her father because he was a high powered attorney and they always had people over the house hosting one party or another. We all noticed her wasting away and we told her to get help. I even went to a group meeting with her but her father had this image and he expected her to follow it. It became to much for her and she killed herself by starving herself and wasting away. This hit me pretty hard and to this day when I see her father I can't look at him without wanting to hurt him! As a mother I wonder how that women could let that man do that to her daughter and I will never know but I be damned if I let my daughter get like that. So enough rambling because as you can see this really hit home for me so here is the review.Kayla has it all. She is beautiful and is in college pursuing her dreams until she gets some devastating news from home. Her father has died and her life starts to spiral down hill. Then to make matters worse on her winter break from college she goes home and her mother starts in on how she looks. So Kayla decides she will take matters into her own hands and she starts starving herself. The more compliments she gets about being skinny the more she starves herself. Then she meets Cameron and everything changes again for her. Cameron is a great guy who loves Kayla and tells her she is beautiful no matter what. He shows her that she is killing herself and she does not have to be that way. Cameron shows her a love like no other and it is hard for Kayla to see that this is real because no one has ever loved her like he does. Will Kayla wake up in time to realize she is killing herself? Will Cameron be there for her to help heal her? Will Cameron's love be enough for Kayla? This is a must read book for all girls and guys because I am seeing a lot more guys starving themselves for modeling jobs and other things like sports due to weight and height requirements. Thank you Heather for writing such a candid book!

  • Jenny's Book Bag
    2019-04-07 14:55

    My very first thought when I started reading this was that the writing sounded very amateurish, like this was somebody’s first attempt at novel writing. Sometimes I'll read a novel and I'm shocked to discover that it's somebody's debut novel because they sound like a veteran, but then I read a book like this and it's obvious that it's a debut novel. The storyline was interesting and eating disorders are hot topics, but the execution needs work.The story reminds me of the movieHunger Point(I still haven’t read the book.) It features a controlling mother with two daughters and she makes them feel bad about being overweight. One daughter, Kayla, takes her mother’s harsh words to heart and develops an eating disorder. It’s narrated by Kayla, a twenty-one year old college student with anorexia and bulimia. When she’s not at college, she lives with her mom, Charlotte and her sixteen year old sister, Lila. When she’s at college, she spends a lot of time with her friends Brittany, Danielle and Jessica and later, her boyfriend Cameron. It's part eating disorder and part NA romance.This novel lacks character development, especially on an emotional level. There were times when Kayla talked about how much she hated her body and how she felt fat, but it still sounded very emotionally detached. Sometimes the story sounded very procedural and didn’t have enough to move the story forward. There were a lot of details about her eating disorder, such as tips to help her hide her eating disorder, lose more weight, plus the binging, purging and starvation. It also had a lot of focus on the pro-ana websites she visited and the people she chatted with in the chat rooms. If you have ever had an eating disorder, don’t read this book. It's the procedural aspect of the novel that makes me want to warn readers. I think it could potentially propel sensitive people back into their unhealthy habits.

  • Katie
    2019-04-01 20:47

    **I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.**I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I will admit, when I first read the synopsis of the book I was skeptical about whether or not I would enjoy it. Being as this is a subject matter that I know very little about, I was hesitant because of my own preconceived ideas of eating disorders. The author did an excellent job telling Kyla's story. She made the story realistic and relatable for many teen girls. Girls are constantly under pressure to look good for others even if they think there is nothing wrong with their bodies. Charlotte, Kayla's mother, pressured and bullied her to get thinner even though by societal standards she was of average weight. I appreciated that this story was not a simple "whoa is me" tale. You understood the underlying emotional affect that her father's death played in Kayla's downward spiral. It's book is empowering for young women who are struggling with their body image. It's book shows that people will love you and support you. Cameron stood by Kayla's side though out the book. He helped her to see that what she looked like did not matter to him. That starving herself was not healthy and at he loved her and wanted her to get help. I really loved the relationship between Kayla and Cameron. Their relationship did not overpower the important message that the author as trying to tell. This was not about a girl falling in love. This story was about a girl learning that she can overcome her demons and find love and happiness regardless of her looks. I would give this book 4.5 stars and would love a sequel to develop Cameron's story and follow up on Kayla's recovery post treatment.

  • Noemi Betancourt
    2019-03-24 15:47

    College junior Kayla Marlowe has her share of personal demons. Since her father’s sudden death two years earlier she’s been fighting guilt over leaving her sister with her crazed mother, a former pageant princess obsessed with appearance, while she goes off to college. Everything comes to a head when criticism of her weight over Christmas vacation sets Kayla on a downward spiral with anorexia and bulimia. Even when she meets the delicious Cameron who falls head over heels for her, she can’t get it into her head that she’s too fat and worthless to be loved by anyone.The Disappearing Girl is a damn good book! Not only does it cover how a young woman could seem completely normal while battling with psychological and emotional problems but also how eating disorders affect friends and family as well. You’ll absolutely fall in love with Cameron, the sweet, sexy and intelligent man who stands by Kayla through thick and thin from telling an old girlfriend to piss off after her pathetic attempt to make Kayla believe the two had just slept together to telling off her the evil Mrs. Marlowe for warping her daughters’ minds and nuking their self esteem. Whether you’ve suffered or are suffering from an eating disorder or know someone who is or you just want to read a really good, well written story, The Disappearing Girl is a must read. Just make sure to have lots of tissues ready!*This unbiased, unpaid review was written as part of the book tour during which I received a free copy*

  • Vanessa
    2019-04-17 13:48

    It is seldom that a book draws me in on such a level that I become emotional. What an apt title! I literally felt as if I too was somehow disappearing along with the main character. Heather Topham Wood writes this novel from a knowledgeable position; she has done her research to such an extent that the reader is involuntarily drawn into the dark world of depression, anorexia and bulimia. It is poignantly and well written. The causes as well as the struggle that the family of a sufferer goes through really had my heart stopping every couple of pages. We can do better when we inevitably know better. The epiphany lies in realising the problem and fighting the daily battle necessary to overcome and conquer. This does not mean that there will be no slip ups, it is how we face those that speak to our strength of character. What an awesome read this was!

  • Chrissi
    2019-03-24 13:40

    The Disappearing Girl centres around Kayla. She is grieving after the death of her father who she found after he had a heart attack. Kayla and her sister, Lila were left with her mother. Her mother who was very obsessed with image. She constantly makes comments about the way Kayla and Lila look. Her comments made me cringe at times. She picked and picked away at her children giving them very low self-esteem. It wasn’t hard to hate their mother. She was so terrible to her children! Kayla starts to diet which brings with it a dangerous obsession with food. At the start of the weight loss, things are going well. She’s getting compliments and she’s landed herself a beautiful boyfriend. However, things soon get very serious and spiral out of control.I thought Heather Topham Wood really explored the eating disorder very well. I felt like I was inside Kayla’s mind. I could understand why she felt the way she did because of her mother’s comments. I could feel that she was frustrated with people interfering with her diet. Yet at the same time, I was torn because I couldn’t believe what she was doing to herself.This isn’t a long book, but it packs one hell of a punch! It’s brutal in its honesty of what an eating disorder can do to a person. It’s not just the person suffering from the eating disorder that’s affected. It was clear that everyone surrounding Kayla was affected by her behaviour. Even her mother… eventually.I think this is such an important book to read for teens, adults and parents alike. It makes you think about mental health and just how much comments can hurt others.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-13 15:48

    Emotionally, this was an incredibly difficult book to read. There were times while reading I could feel my facial expressions contort in horror and feel my stomach harden into knots. My heart absolutely ached for Kayla, our protagonist. I will forewarn you: this book is not a light and fluffy read. It deals with a very real issue and I believe Heather did an amazing job of shedding light on how truly devastating this issue can be. It is heartbreaking to watch Kayla suffer this way and the fact that we can see her thoughts and how she views herself is very informative to people who do not know the extent of how deadly and dangerous an eating disorder can be.Kayla is not only struggling with her grief over her father's death, but has to deal with an overbearing, judgmental mother. Kayla's mom is constantly telling her how she needs to watch her weight and really gets into her and her younger sister, Lila's heads. I could not stand Kayla's mom for the majority of this book. Mothers are supposed to instill confidence in their daughters and teach them to love themselves for who they are, not what they look like. Kayla's mom is constantly picking at her daughters- about weight, grades, boys. When you have someone spouting these kinds of things to you constantly, it really starts to make you wonder- what if it's true? Kayla starts a slow and steady spiral downward- binge eating, purging, and then watching every calorie- going to eating hardly nothing at all. She finds herself lying to the people that love and care about her most and eventually she becomes a master of deception, hiding every facet of her disorder.I have to say- Kayla has some amazing friends who really end up playing such an important role in her healing in this book. But the absolute shining light in this book is Cameron. I think every single girl needs a Cameron in their life. He is immediately attracted to Kayla upon first meeting her (before she had lost so much weight) and wants nothing more than to get to know her. However, Kayla's self-consciousness creeps in and she tells him she isn't looking for a relationship. Yet after a few more chance encounters (one of those including her 21st birthday and one hell of a kiss) she does end up agreeing to go out with him. However, she is constantly worried about eating and their relationship automatically beings with deception. Cameron is absolutely the good, sweet, caring guy. He builds her up and tells her how beautiful she is and she desperately wishes that could be enough. However, psychologically, every time she looks in a mirror she sees a fat girl and that he wouldn't want her if she weighed too much. Cameron does begin to take notice that she's losing too much weight and he confronts her about it. He is afraid for her, but knows if he pushes too hard she's going to end up running from him. Yet, he won't give up on her. He tells her she's ruined him for other girls and he only wants her- no matter what. He proves his loyalty to her time and time again and even when this disorder causes her to lash out and say ugly things to him, he won't waver. Cameron isn't perfect. He has his own demons to deal with. Yet, where Cameron and Kayla should be confiding in one another and helping each other, they don't. Kayla's disease is too overpowering and it really shows you how this disorder has completely taken over her mind.Her sister Lila is another integral character in the novel. Lila, 16, is living at home with their mother who makes her life absolute hell now that Kayla is gone. However, Lila has proven to be strong and resilient. Yet, after discovering her sister purging, she is terrified for her. She tells Cameron her concerns and right then the two of them really should have put their foot down and forced her to seek help instead of letting it go as far as it did.Heather Topham Wood does not gloss over this topic at all and she really shows you just how much Kayla deteriorates right in front of your very eyes. You are reading this book and your heart is crying out for Kayla, yet you know you can't do anything and it is devastating. As emotional of a read this is, this was a great one. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, and I felt the pacing went very well. I was engaged and I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to see Kayla get her happy ending and see her start to heal and accept and love herself.*Received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

  • Isis
    2019-04-18 22:02

    I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a very powerful book, covering many things young women, as well as young men, go through. The central theme is eating disorders, but it also covers loss of a parent, parental & sibling relationships, self-esteem, and being as true to yourself as possible.Kayla is a junior at a college not too far from her family home. She shares a quad, and so has three roommates, but Brittany is her best friend. They had been roommates from their freshman year on.Back home are Kayla's mother, Charlotte, and her younger sister, Lila. Their mother is considered to be stunningly beautiful, but the exterior and interior do not match. And after the death of her husband her relationship with her daughters becomes toxic. Not that it had ever been a warm and fuzzy relationship to begin with. Their father had been the demonstrative & supportive parent, always sticking up for the girls when their mother insulted them. It didn't help that both girls inherited their fathers genes, tending to carry any extra weight around their thighs, hips, and butts. Plus they were short, unlike their tall, willowy mother.Kayla has always been something of a wallflower, tending to observe more than to participate. While home from school during a break, Kayla's mother really rips into her about her recent weight, which Kayla hadn't even noticed until her mother began a campaign to "fix" her. The really sad thing is that Kayla was between a size 10-12 depending on the day and designer. So when she returns to school she resolves to lose the weight to gain her mother's approval, thus beginning her slide from dieting into full scale anorexia & bulimia.After Kayla loses some weight, putting her at about a size 8-10, all her friends give her compliments on how good she looks. This makes her question what they thought of her before, further damaging her already fragile psyche. And then she meets Cameron, an absolutely gorgeous guy. And he seems interested in her, but with her growing lack of self-esteem she can't fathom why. But his interest is sincere, and the two begin dating, with the relationship becoming fairly serious rather quickly. Kayla still feels compelled to 'diet' and lose more weight and when called out on it she begins lying to everyone, Cameron included.The story continues to unfold from here, doing a great job of capturing the angst and depression a person can feel, and how they hide those feelings from the ones that care most for them. This is demonstrated more than once, and not just through Kayla. The story is powerful and raw at times, but luckily for Kayla she has an intense support system that refuses to give up or go away. It takes her hitting rock bottom to get herself to really look at what she has done to herself, and is still doing. Only then does her desperation give her the strength to accept help and try to break free from the disease.All together this is a strong story, populated with relatable characters struggling to find their way. The emotional highs and lows are captured well, and the pacing of the story is fairly consistent, matching the events as they occur. The depth of feeling between Kayla and Cameron is a bit startling given the relatively brief amount of time they've known each other. There are a few other hiccups, such as the speed of the ending, but still none that interrupt the story or take away from the message. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone, not just teens. Eating disorders can strike people at any age, and it is good to know what to look for.Side Note: There is mention of Pro Ana websites, populated by people with eating disorders that support the 'anorexic lifestyle' as they see it. They share tips on how to hide the disease, and offer one another support. It is a disturbing wake up call and something to watch for if you suspect someone you care about is suffering from an eating disorder. Kayla was lucky as her sister and others were willing to risk their relationship with the her rather than to end up standing at her grave because they were to afraid to say something. As with any self-destructive illness, the person must want to get better, because you can not do it for them.

  • RoloPoloBookBlog
    2019-04-06 21:37

    The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham WoodSource: ARC/Author for a fair and honest reviewRating: 5/5 starsFrom time to time, every book reviewer struggles with a review and this is my time and my book. The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood is an extremely well-written book that deals with the very sensitive and timely topic of eating disorders. At its core, The Disappearing Girl a fictionalized account of one girl’s spiral into self-destruction. Kayla and her younger sister Lila have been living in a particular state of Hell since their father died two years ago. Since the moment their dad died, their wretched and awful mother has been taking every ounce of her hatred out on her girls and calling it good parenting. Kayla and Lila can’t get through a single day without their mother commenting on their style, their personalities, their weight and, their failures as human beings in general. Since Lila is still in high school, she is forced to remain at home but Kayla is a college student and has the distinct benefit of living nowhere close to her mother. While Lila has learned to shield herself from her mother’s angry words, Kayla, in spite of the distance has never learned such defense mechanisms.During one particularly nasty Christmas Break visit, Kayla discovers exactly how she can have the best of both worlds. After her mother unleashes on the girls at the dinner table, Kayla leaves the house and gorges herself on convenience store junk. Repulsed by what she has done and with her horrible mother’s words echoing in her head, Kayla purges the food. Thus begins six months of extreme measures meant to “cure” Kayla of her weight issues. In the beginning, Kayla has no real difficulty hiding her tactics and her friends begin to notice her weight loss. In the beginning, the weight loss is acceptable and Kayla begins to get a lot of attention, especially from guys. Even though she knows it isn’t a good idea, Kayla is drawn to Cameron and his charm and Cameron, unbeknownst to him is drawn into Kayla’s nightmare.As the weeks and months pass by, Kayla becomes more and more attached to Cameron and hopelessly addicted to her weight loss schemes. Perhaps the most disturbing part of these months is Kayla’s internal struggle. Page after page details Kayla’s attempts to hide her addiction from her roommates, her boyfriend, and even her family. She clearly understands that her efforts to lose weight are wrong and very harmful but that they are also a compulsion and something she cannot control. For Kayla, the need to lose weight, to be skinny (which she equates with happiness) is paramount and nothing and no one is going to stop her from achieving her goals.As you may well have guessed, Kayla’s life and her compulsions quickly spiral out of control and she comes face to face with the very real prospect of losing everything she holds dear, including her life. But, Kayla is one of the lucky ones and before she did lose her life, her friends and even her pathetic excuse for a mother rally around her to help her get the help she needs for her eating disorders and depression. The Bottom Line: I don’t want to mislead anyone or inappropriately convey how I feel about The Disappearing Girl. I did not enjoy this read in the traditional sense but I do fully appreciate and respect what the author has done with this difficult topic. Wood has respectfully yet truthfully illustrated, in a fictional world, what it is to be anorexic and bulimic. Furthermore, she illustrates the lengths to which these individuals are willing to go to achieve their weight loss goals. Do I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely and without reservation. Despite being a really difficult topic the subject matter is handled very well and the story is as much about a human being with a problem as much as it is about eating disorders. The characters may not be real people but they are certainly based on real people and their story, as presented in The Disappearing Girl is compelling.

  • Tami
    2019-03-22 17:45

    Into the Night Reviews Web: http://intothenightbookreviews.blogsp... Facebook: for great book reviews, new release updates, giveaways and more!!The Disappearing Girl deals with the sensitive subject of eating disorders. It follows Kayla Marlowe down a winding path as she searches for love and acceptance, primarily from her mother, following her father’s death. Her journey takes her through various stages of an all consuming eating disorder where she eats less, eats nothing, purges and binges until she is so lost she is literally disappearing.This book is very well written and for me, not having had any direct exposure to an eating disorder, was quite alarming. I’ve always been conscious of the impact of the spoken word, but it becomes even more evident when you see the direct connection between quips like:“Who knows? Maybe we’ll be the same size one day?” Her tone hinted it would be cause for celebration. If I could finally be a size two, she’d love me.and the eating choices made to reach an all too ridiculous goal weight.Kayla’s father had passed away unexpectedly a year ago. Kayla and her sister Lila had always had a rather strained relationship with their mother, never feeling that they lived up to her impeccable standards and their father had been the buffer between them, balancing their mother’s critique. With him gone, and Kayla’s mother dealing with her grief as best she could, Kayla and Lila were left to fend for themselves as she passed judgement on their appearance.Kayla’s weight loss efforts start small, but when she receives positive reinforcement from everyone around her about how wonderful she looks she persists with her ‘diet’.My rationalizations, born out of insecurity, had taken over, and they would guide my every decision going forward.Kayla’s diet very quickly escalates into limiting her calorie intake, purging any food she eats so that the calories won’t be absorbed, binging followed by more purging. Her weight loss continues and surprisingly nobody confronts her.In amongst all of this Kayla meets Cameron. He manages to get under her skin and there are times when she is with him that she can almost forget about everything that drives her unhealthy behaviour ... almost.Their relationship develops beautifully and it is clear that he is smitten with Kayla from their first encounter. The depth of his feeling evolves the more time they spend together, but sadly, Kayla’s insecurities and the secrets she is hiding lead her to question everything, particularly whether she is worthy of Cameron.The thing about anorexia is it’s not something you can hide. Continued weight loss is visible and finally it gets to the point where Cameron confronts Kayla with his concern for her. I’ll be the asshole here if I have to, but I’m taking you to a doctor. This has gone on long enough.The fall out for everyone is significant and Kayla must confront the very things that have driven her behaviour to ensure she doesn’t disappear. I enjoyed The Disappearing Girl. The story is engaging, the characters are realistic and relatable – Kayla is a smart young woman and yet she succumbs to this terrible illness, to the pressures and expectations of a ‘perfect’ appearance. I was devastated by the lengths she would go to and even more alarmed at the online network of support (from fellow sufferers) she was able to establish, complete with ‘thinspirational’ quotes like “your stomach isn’t growling, it’s applauding” or “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”.This book gave me insight into an issue that I’ve not had experience with before and reinforced for me just how important it is to use your words kindly and not shy away from confronting someone if you are worried about them.

  • Heather
    2019-03-28 19:58

    (This review can be found on my blog The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl at the end of September).For some reason, this is a book that I really wanted to read. It's like it just spoke out to me. I'm glad I read it because this was such an interesting read!It's so annoying when a book's blurb tells you what the book's going to be about, but then it turn's out the book is nothing like the blurb. However, The Disappearing Girl's blurb is spot on, so I won't bore you with my own words with what it's about.The title is what first drew my attention to this book. I think it's intriguing, and it made me want to know why this girl was disappearing.The cover is alright. For some reason, the girl on the front annoys me. There's just something about her appearance. However, that's just a personal thing. I do like the photo frame of just a brick wall with the title in it though.I think Ms. Wood did a brilliant job with the world building! I struggled with anorexia when I was 13 years old, so I know what's it like. Ms. Wood seem to get the thought process right and the mannerisms of having this disorder. I remembered thinking those same things that Kayla would think. This book has one of the best built words I've read about in awhile!I won't lie. I did think there would be times when the pacing would slow down. However, I needn't have worried. This book draws you in and doesn't let you go until the very end. I found myself fully immersed, and not once did my attention waver.The plot line of a girl with anorexia has been done before, but Heather Topham Wood does an excellent job of creating fantastic sub-plots that support the main plot. As I said before, this is a great read!Like everything else, the characters were written fantastically! I could totally relate to Kayla and what extreme lengths she'd go to to get to her goal weight. I liked how even though she had this internal struggle going on, she tried her hardest to please everyone. I know that if you end up trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one, but I do like how Kayla tried to make everyone happy. Cameron was a sweetie! I admired him for his dedication and loyalty to Kayla. I loved how he kept trying to stick by her side even when she tried pushing him away. I was so angry with Kayla's mother though! I hated how she treated Kayla and her sister Lila. There were times when I felt like screaming at my book to try to reach this literary character! Kayla's mom isn't written horribly, but quite the opposite. In fact, I'd go to say that she's that person you love to hate. I loved Lila! She isn't mentioned a whole lot throughout the story, but I loved reading about how her character grew emotionally. She goes from being a very vulnerable teen to a strong woman. I thought the dialogue suited this book quite well. The whole anorexia talk doesn't just sound like something the author came up with. Instead, it sounds like the author did her research about this disease. As for bad language, there are some swear words so be warned.Overall, The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood is like actually knowing someone with anorexia. This book makes you feel as if the main character is one of your best friends, and you just want her to get better. Everything about this book is perfect, and I can't find even one thing to fault.I'd recommend this book to those aged 17+ (due to adult themes) who want to know the characters on a very emotional, personal level. (I received a free ebook of this title from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review).

  • Zandalee
    2019-04-16 21:44

    "I craved oblivion; the chance to disappear and not have to deal with the anxiety that food and my weight caused me each day. I wanted to fall asleep and wake up in a new body I could be content with."This book hooked me in with its synopsis. It sounded like it was going to be intense and different from what I had been reading recently. But I never thought that it would affect me as much as it did."Nothing else mattered in my quest to be skinny."Kayla Marlowe is a 21 year old college student who may seem all together on the outside but is battling some dangerous inner demons. Let it be known that some of those demons came from the fact that she found her father's dead body as a child but mainly because her mother constantly tells her how fat and ugly she is. She struggles in life because of her obsession to be skinny. She can't have normal relationships and is unable to view food as anything more than an unnecessary, toxic for her body. "I didn't consider myself overweight, but my mom's criticisms ate away at my self-confidence. I was wearing mostly size ten clothing, but I felt obese by her standards." The way her mother treated her and her younger sister disgusted me and it made me so sad that they didn't stand up for themselves even a little bit. Right from the start we see how much of a negative influence her mother is. As well as how much she suffers because of her mother's words and actions. "I was slowly disappearing, vanishing more and more each day in the quest to be a size zero."It was so sad and difficult to read her thoughts and her going through her diet. A diet, that to an outsider was obvious was hurting and slowly killing her. And to think that there are so many females out there in the world that actually go through this. The most disturbing part of this book was reading the section where Kayla goes online and finds a "Pro Ana" website. Basically, a forum where other girls like her "cheer" each other on and give tips on how to purge their food, stay skinny, etc. I actually cried throughout most of this book, but this part really had my eyes looking like the Niagara Falls. The author's writing was just flawless. The Disappearing Girl is so on point and really grasps the brutality of self-image that so many girls go through. The Disappearing Girl is beyond amazing. So much more than just a contemporary romance novel. This book needs to given out to ever lovely lady in the world. While I may not have any of the disorders that are focused on in the story, I can certainly understand where Kayla Marlowe was coming from. As a female, I'm constantly thinking about my weight and how I look. Every female out there -regardless if they struggle with Anorexia, Bulimia, etc.- can relate to Kayla in some way. *An ecopy of this book was provided by the author for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the author or book.

  • Monaliz
    2019-04-05 16:53

    My rating: 4.5/5 stars Remember to stop by my blog!May contain some spoilers Kayla lost her father, leaving her and her little sister alone with their mother. And all their mother does is criticize them constantly, mostly about their weight. Since she's an ex-pageant princess, appearances is everything to her. Kayla also feels guilty, since she's left for college and her little sister is stuck with their mother.Kayla was also the one to find their father when he died, and hasn't really deal with the trauma. She tries her best, but like everyone, she also has her breaking point. And after listening to her mother's constant nagging she finally reaches it and starts concentrate on her weight, and not in a healthy way.Obviously the cover was the first thing to capture my attention. It definitely tells something about this book, but in the end doesn't do justice. Because this was an amazing book! The writing was capturing and I did my best to finish this book as soon as possible.In case you missed it, this is a story about an eating disorder. Instead of dealing with her problems, Kayla does the same as so many other girls: Concentrates on losing weight. She loses weight, is in her goal weight and decides it's just not enough. Nothing is enough.The writing was extremely realistic and really made my heart ache for Kayla's battle.I did feel the "turning point" where Kayla decides to start losing her weight was overly simplified, like it had been just that one incident that made her choose this path, but of course it's not like that. Usually the change is more settle and takes a long time, but I do understand the author's choice.You just have to remember there's been years of underestimating before any of this happened. And now Kayla has found a way to feel like she's in control and isn't going to give that up easily.Obviously, I loved Kayla. She's an amazing girl who is having a hard time and tries to resolve her problems the wrong way. Then she rans into Cameron, a charming boy who actually likes her for herself. But thanks to her mother and her past, she's really having hard time to believe that. What could a good looking guy like Cameron see in her?And it turns out Cameron actually is an amazing guy, who would do anything for Kayla! Even when Kayla is lashing out to the people closest to her, he's there for her. And it also shows how even seemingly happy people can suffer from eating disorders and how people closest to you can't heal you, but can be there for you.I also was intrigued by Kayla's mother, because she obviously has some serious issues of her own. And she never dealt with those issues, but found a husband who could live with her problems. But after he died, she's finally forced to look in the mirror. This was an amazing and amazingly realistic read. It reminded me what it was like to be a teenager, since that was the time I struggled with my own weight. Cause I thought that would solve all of my problems. It didn't!Luckily I'm now older and wiser and know better. And so does Kayla. Huge thanks for the review copy!Love, Monaliz @ Mind Reading?

  • Chelsea (OwlAlwaysBeReading)
    2019-03-23 16:49

    Kayla Marlowe lived a happy, blissful teenage life. Her mom was always harsh on her and her sister about their appearance, but her dad was always there to recognize her beauty. When her mom fed them salads, dad would take them out for ice cream. He was always the support to Kayla and her sister, until he passed away. "I never realized how much of a buffer he was until he was gone."After her father passed, her mother became harder and harder to ignore. One night, while home from college on winter break, it becomes too much for her to listen to. Her obsession with losing weight begins and becomes the only focus in her life. She starts to binge and purge, then progresses to starving herself. "A part of me wondered why I wasn't hysterical and disgusted over what I had done. Instead, an eerie calm permeated through me. I hadn't only been purged of the food, but also o f the awful feelings that plagued me since I fled my mother."Kayla sees the changes, almost overnight. Everyone starts commenting on her weight loss and how good she is starting to look. She begins to believe the skinner she gets, the happier she will be. "My expectations were if I was leaner, I'd suddenly feel comfortable in my own skin. I wondered if I would ever be happy inside my own body."Then, when she was at the campus bookstore, she runs into Cameron Bennett. He is handsome, outgoing, nice and the perfect guy. She begins to feel happier with him and she beings to rediscover what it means to be loved and be happy. Although she is relearning happiness, she can't quiet the insecurities that plague her every thought. "I was losing so much more than fat in the past months. I was losing my identity and becoming someone unrecognizable in the mirror."Things being to take a turn for the worst. Food becomes the center of all of Kayla's thoughts. She can't enjoy life because of her obsession with food. She is losing energy, losing happiness, losing life. Cameron, her sister, her friends try to step in and help, but nothing works. Her mom steps in, but just pushes Kayla the wrong way and Kayla runs. "I was wounded; pieces of myself had broken off and vanished forever. But I would never let anyone know."This book is full of self-loss and self-discovery. The portrayal of Kayla's struggles was a glimpse into what people could be struggling with this kind of disease. I couldn't put down this book. I was desperate to see Kayla's ultimate success and defeat of this disease. Not only was Kayla's downfall an emotional journey, but the way the author dealt with her recovery was well done. This book was well written about a tough topic. "Being in therapy or on antidepressants didn't mean I was weak. they were only an acknowledgment that I was tired of struggling and needed help" *A copy of The Disappearing Girl was generously provided by the author, through The Books Machine, in exchange for an honest review*

  • Jessie
    2019-04-13 21:04

    4.5 stars! This book was super tragic, but also super empowering. Kayla really struggles with her need to be/feel perfect. Her mother has always been harsh on her about her appearance and things got particularly out of control after the death of Kayla's father. In an effort to control her life when it feels like it is spiraling out of control, Kayla becomes obsessed with what she is eating. Even when she becomes involved with her super supportive, kind, and loving boyfriend Cameron, she fears what he thinks of her and believes that she will never be good enough for him. Eventually her situation gets out of control and she has to make a decision: she can continue to be the disappearing girl, slowly withering away until there is nothing left, or she can try to find a way to move forward with her life. Kayla struggles with issues that a lot of young people face, but realizing that she has a problem is a huge step in fighting her battles.Having known at least one person in a situation like Kayla's this book was really important to me. I think that bringing awareness to the obsessive perfectionism that our society forces on people, especially but certainly not limited to young women, is imperative. If kids keep growing up being told that their appearance is all that matters, we are going to keep having issues. Children are literally dying because of the pressures that society is placing on them to be "perfect." Whether it is pressure to be thin, have perfect grades, be a star athlete or performer, or whatever, children and young people all over the world are being fed so much negativity about "failing," instead of being congratulated on the things they do well. Body image problems are especially prominent in our society and it is empowering for someone to be writing a realistic story about eating disorders. Kayla wasn't even able to acknowledge her problem because of how long she had heard that she was overweight and unattractive. Even though Kayla's mother was particularly extreme, if kids do not hear this from their parents, they hear it from their peers or the media. It is also essential to lose the stigma associated with admitting you need help (in anything, really!) or that you are facing any number of mental health issues and I think it is commendable for Heather Topham Wood to touch on this too. I could totally relate to Kayla's fear of everyone thinking she is crazy if she is getting help and I think a lot of people who are avoiding asking for whatever kind of help they need are facing that same fear. The story itself was good and I never once put the book down once I started it. The message was empowering and gave me hope that with the right support network, one can overcome anything. I really enjoyed this. I am so thankful that people are writing about important issues such as promoting a more healthy body image. I always appreciate when a talented person uses their skills to send a positive message and to bring awareness to major issues that are relevant to their audience. **I received a copy of this book for an honest review**

  • Holly
    2019-04-05 14:41

    *A copy was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.After reading the synopsis, I was intrigued. I'm a sucker for stories about broken characters and flawed human beings. It makes them much more believable and real, someone that a reader can connect with and understand.This book takes a real approach to eating disorders, centering around the main character, Kayla, and her strive for perfection. After losing her father a few years ago and being faced with an overbearing and critical mother, she feels like she's drowning and sinking into a bottomless pit of despair with no way out. When she meets Cameron, she's already in the middle of an unhealthy diet and has deep issues that cloud her heart. But somehow, this boy sneaks his way into her life and into her heart, and it's not long before he figures things out. When she's confronted, she tries to run away, but he doesn't give up on her. Not once. He asks her to seek out therapy at the college, and she goes, only to jump back into her old habits once she goes back home for the summer. As the people she most cares about start to confront her about her eating habits and choices, she starts pushing everyone away and shuts her feelings off. It's not until Kayla is completely broken down and survives a scare that puts her in the hospital that she realizes how inexplicably unhealthy she's made herself, how horribly she's hurt the people she loves, and how damaged she really is inside. The doctors, her family, and her friends all support her as she makes the decision to go to a clinic for people with eating disorders. There, she starts to feel like herself again as she pulls down the walls and opens up about why she's there and why she didn't feel like she was good enough.Part of that comes from her critical mother, who belittled her children to the point where Kayla starved herself and has this twisted image of what perfection looks like. Part of that comes from the grief she feels over her father's death. And part of that stems from society's expectations of women and how they should look. While I didn't love this book, it was a pretty great read. It wasn't until the middle section, and Kayla's unending criticisms about herself, that it started to irritate me. It was hard to feel sympathy for a girl who completely ignored the advice she got from the people who cared about her so much that they never gave up on her. But then she started finding her way out of the black hole she was in, once she started to let go of those warped images of a perfect body, and it was absolutely beautiful to see the transformation taking place. I think all girls should read this book--it's inspiring, raw, and real, and all about one girl's journey to happiness and self-confidence, a girl who can now look at herself in the mirror and love her body and love herself for who she is.

  • JenniferRicketts (Donnie Darko Girl)
    2019-03-29 13:59

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl. Have you ever felt the pressure to be thin? To lose so much weight you can see your bones sticking out? The author dedicates this book "to the girls who've never felt beautiful." I'm one of those girls. I haven't ever had an eating disorder, but I've definitely felt the pressure to look a certain way. And that pressure is everywhere, in magazines, TV, movies, music can even come from one's own mother, such as for Kayla. After Kayla loses her father, there's no longer a buffer between her and her mother. Kayla's mother begins directing all of the anger from her grief at Kayla and her little sister. All of their lives, they've been told by their mother they're too fat and unlovable, but once their father dies, their mother completely focuses her time on driving that message home. Kayla has been listening to her mother for so long, she soon falls into the vicious cycle of anorexia and bulimia. She meets Cameron, who has everything she's been looking for in a guy, and they begin dating. Cameron was perfect for her, not because he's handsome or intelligent but because he refused to give up on her. He loved her for who she is no matter what. That's real love. I felt Cameron's pain deeply when Kayla does her best to push him away. It hurt that Kayla didn't think she was worthy of his love, and it especially hurt when she began pushing everyone else in her life away as well to the point where she felt alone. I think she wanted to be alone with her disease. Kayla's story is told beautifully where the reader is given a look inside anorexia and bulimia instead of simply reading about someone who's struggling with the diseases. By the end, I felt I knew what it was like to think the way Kayla did, and it was scary. I could see how easily a person can fall into the cycle of bingeing and purging and making promises of eating normally if she can just lose those last two or three pounds. This was an emotional roller coaster ride that didn't let go. There was grief, addiction, love, betrayal, and forgiveness. I felt every emotion as though I was in the situation myself. I blazed through this book so fast it amazed me because normally I tend to read slowly. I couldn't help it - the story just pulled me in right away! I finished most of it in one night, staying up way later than I should, but it was definitely worth it. This book had me looking at anorexia and bulimia, two diseases I thought I knew a lot about from textbooks, in a completely new and personal way. I learned more about eating disorders from this story than I ever have studying them in a class, and you will, too.

  • Oana D. H.
    2019-04-02 19:45

    If there are girls in this world who think they are not beautiful or who let other make them believe that ,they are wrong.This is one lesson you can learn from this book. Honestly,i'm not sure how to start this review.This book subject are :bulimia,anorexia and depression. After Kayla's father died everything changed.Being criticized by her mother every time because of her weight,Kayla decided to do something about that.A strict diet,but it wasn't just a diet,it was something worse.Slowly she started to fade away,to loose weight-and she was obsessed with the thought that she was fat.And then she met Cameron Bennett.But that didn't changed what she was doing. This kind of books make me think about how many cases like this are in real life and there are,because anorexia is a sickness,a bad one who can ruin everyone's life.I'm grateful that there are authors who write about this subject.In this way everyone can read and learn that what you think about yourself is more important than what others think.That you are beautiful even if you are fat,even if you are skinny.The more important think is how you feel.And that's it. I'm glad that Kayla met Cameron,but i admit that at some point i thought that maybe it was too late for her.Their relationship was sweet and amazing.Cameron was amazing and i liked the fact that he did everything he could to help Kayla. The story was beautiful and sweet,kind of a little sad because of how Kayla's mother acted. The author wrote about a sickness and she created a world in which a girl thought that being skinny was everything ,but she was wrong.I liked how everything turned out.I liked that Cameron didn't give up. True love.Real friendship.Well,i can't say much about Kayla's friends.About true love?Yeah,well,about that i can write all day because it was true love. Honestly,it was a good book and i liked how things turned out.How everything changed,mainly how Cameron fighted for Kayla.I hated that she wasn't listening.I hated that she had to wait until the last moment to realize that what she did was wrong,that she nearly destroyed her life and hurt the people who loved her.But at least she did the right thing,and that was exactly what i wished. The end was perfect.And not just only the end of the book.The book was very good and well written.Beautiful and sad at the same time.Amazing.

  • Kayla D
    2019-03-29 13:56

    A free digital copy of this book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.I experienced a lot of emotions while reading The Disappearing Girl. I won’t go into explicit details but I had the same experiences as the protagonist, Kayla, did. It was as if the book was alive and was speaking directly to me, flinging words with abandon and leaving me breathless. A small part of this was due to the fact that I have the same name as the main character. A larger part was because, like I said, I had previous experiences with what Kayla was suffering from.The Disappearing Girl is brilliantly written with words used so vividly that it was as if I was watching a movie in my mind. I was captivated from the very start. I loved how Heather Wood tapped into the feelings of Kayla and translated it onto the page expertly. I was an emotional train wreck throughout the whole story since I could really feel Kayla’s dilemma.Funny fact: I was crying by the time I read the dedication. The one located on the front page, I mean. I’m not going into details as this is about The Disappearing Girl, but I felt that the dedication was directly aimed at me. One of my delusions that books are real people, I suppose. Either that or my suppressed feelings and unresolved issues. (HAHA).But I digress.I loved how Cameron and Kayla’s romance played out. I was initially complaining since I felt that their relationship was moving too fast but I changed my mind halfway through the book. Their romance was truly one for the books since you could really feel the love they had for each other. I hope that women who suffer from an eating disorder can meet a guy exactly like Cameron who would finally make them feel beautiful.There’s really nothing else to say about this book except that it is poignant and will figuratively stab you in the heart. Heather Wood is an amazing writer who can really make you feel her characters’ pain, joy, suffering and more. I’m definitely buying a print copy of The Disappearing Girl because it is a must have for my bookshelf. (And for yours too!)