Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood {Review+Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the Disappearing Girl tour hosted by AToMR tours!
You can follow the tour to see reviews, guest posts, and excerpts by clicking here.

The Disappearing Girl
   by: Heather Topham Wood

Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-copy provided by AToMR tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 248 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

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.
My Review:
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.
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.


Up for grabs: five (5) eBook copies of The Disappearing Girl: mobi or ePub only: open internationally and one (1) $30 Amazon gift card: open internationally.

No purchase necessary. Must be 13 years of age and older to enter unless stated 18 + years of age. Must reside in countries able to receive eBooks via email. The retail value of the eBooks is $2.99 USD. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners will be selected July 18, 2013  randomly by Rafflecopter. Entries will be reviewed for accuracy. Lovin' Los Libros and AToMR Tours are not liable for purchasing, shipping or emailing the items, winner not receiving the items, or lost items shipped/emailed. This sweepstakes is sponsored by the author and eBooks will be provided via email by the author. If the items are not claimed via email within 24 hours of receiving notification the item will be forfeited with no winner or an alternate winner may be selected at blog’s discretion with email verification by July 22, 2013. Any taxes associated will be paid by the author unless otherwise stated. Lovin' Los Libros has the right to obtain and publicize the winners name and likeness. Void where prohibited by law.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. This book sounds really good! You know how I like an emotionally damaging book :-) Great Review!

    1. Haha! Thanks Chelsea! Reading this I was SO torn apart.

  2. Excellent review! I really need to read this book. Handling eating disorder in a novel is a delicate thing and it seems like it's really well-done in this one!

    1. Thanks Carmen! It was absolutely well done. I didn't feel like the author was trying to push and she had definitely done her homework and checking facts.

  3. I can't wait to read this one! It sounds intense and I appreciate the heads up about how hard it was to read because of the tough topic. Thanks for the great review!

    1. Thanks Kay. :D It was such a great read. Definitely worth picking up.

  4. This book sounds pretty intense. I know I get in the mood for something really heavy sometimes, and when I do I'd definitely pick this one up. :D

    Great review, too!

    1. Thanks Dee! Yes, it was so intense. I wasn't sure if I could emotionally get through it and was just hoping for a HEA for these characters!


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