The Disappearing Girl
by Heather Topham Wood
Published: May 7, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours Format: Ebook
Source: For review
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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.
*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.
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About the author
Heather Topham Wood’s obsession with novels began in childhood while growing up in a shore town in New Jersey. Writing since her teens, she recently returned to penning novels after a successful career as a freelance writer. She’s the author of the paranormal romance Second Sight series and the standalone The Disappearing Girl.
Heather graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as USA Today, Livestrong.com, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.
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