Review: The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood

Title: The Disappearing Girl
Author: Heather Topham Wood
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: New Adult; Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations
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.

My Rating: 4.5 Kisses

My Review:
"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. 

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"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. 

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Heather Topham Wood'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.