Review and Giveaway: The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood

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Greetings everyone and welcome to my stop on The Disappearing Girl tour hosted by AToMR Tours.  Today, I have a review and giveaway for you as well as the link to the rest of the tour stops.  There are a lot of awesome blogs participating in this tour so if you want to see what they have for you, just click here.  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Wednesday 🙂

Title: The Disappearing Girl Author: Heather Topham Wood Release date: May 7, 2013 Age Group: New Adult Genre: Contemporary Romance Tour organized by: AToMR Tours: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/
Title: The Disappearing Girl
Author: Heather Topham Wood
Release date: May 7, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

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Synopsis:

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.

New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.

Source: ARC from the author for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

From 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 is 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.

About the author and where to find her:

heather topham woodHeather 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.

Facebook       Website       Goodreads       Twitter

Links to find/buy The Disappearing Girl:       Amazon       Barnes & Noble

Tour Giveaway/Sweepstakes:

Up for grabs are five (5) eBook copies of The Disappearing Girl: available formats are mobi or ePub only: open international.  Also up for grabs is one (1) $30 Amazon gift card: open internationally.  All you need to do to enter for your chance to win is click on the cute little ‘copter below. 🙂

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Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this tour 🙂

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One Comment on “Review and Giveaway: The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood

  1. This book address two very important problems. Families who have these eating disorders in their family need to read this book.

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