Blog Tour ~ Review & Tour Wide Giveaway: The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood


Hey everybody! Welcome to my stop on The Disappearing Girl blog tour hosted by AToMR Tours. Click here to see the full tour schedule. :D 

Title: The Disappearing Girl
Author: Heather Topham Wood
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Age Group: New Adult Ages 17+
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars 


~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.

~My Thoughts~
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for the blog tour. 

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 videos...it 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. 

~Purchase Links~

~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.

~Author Social Media Links~


~Giveaway~


Rules: 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 received 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. Donnie Darko Girl 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. Donnie Darko Girl has the right to obtain and publicize the winners name and likeness. Void where prohibited by law. 


2 comments:

  1. I loved the part where you said, "I think she wanted to be alone with her disease." Incredibly insightful. Body image is one area I want to conquer, but if Oprah is still up and down and all around, I figure it's not so easy a task. My dad has serious control issues when it comes to weight, which led to a lot of butting heads when I was a kid. It's amazing how parents' fears translate into making their kids' lives hell. Great review, Jennifer. I love how deeply you dive into the story and characters.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robyn! I watch a lot of Dr. Phil, lol. I want to conquer it, too. It's hard in this society with rail thin models and actresses everywhere. I'm sorry you grew up with that. It had to have been so hard. I agree with you, too, about parents' fears making their kids' lives hell. I can relate to that in a different way. Thanks so much - I was hoping that comes across in my reviews. :D

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