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The Disappearing Girl

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  676 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
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 k
Paperback, 248 pages
Published May 7th 2013
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Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonWasted by Marya HornbacherUnbearable Lightness by Portia de RossiJust Listen by Sarah DessenThin by Lauren Greenfield
Best Eating Disorder Books
34th out of 344 books — 732 voters
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2013 New Adult Releases
316th out of 1,162 books — 3,090 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,580)
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This book blew my mind. I'll be honest: If you want a comfortable cosy read, then this book isn't for you. It's emotionally so intense that you'll feel like someone is playing harp on your nerve endings. It's not flowers and sunshine. But if you want a read that will stay with you for weeks or months to come, something that will touch your heart, make you weep, make you feel on an intense level, then stop reading my review and go pick this book up.

Concentrating on the main character's battle wit
Lauren at Live Read and Breathe Reviews
Source: eARC for Honest Review from Author

I signed up for this book as the topic of eating disorders is close to my heart.

Kayla suffers a big loss than has to deal with a terrible mother who says the most hatred things to her daughters. Over time these things start to build up and she snaps and becomes obsessed with becoming thinner, because she thinks that if she is thinner than she and everyone else will be happy.

At the beginning of her downfall she meets Cameron who instantly is drawn to her
Jun 09, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
****This book was part of a blog tour I received a copy for my honest review****

This is the second book I have read by this author and I must say I am impressed. Her style of writing just makes the words flow write off the page and before you know it you are fully immersed in a different place, different characters with different problems.
This book is one of a very serious nature and although in the end it is very hopeful the rest of the book is the downward spiral of one girl into a world of bu
Jun 24, 2013 Antonia♥ rated it it was amazing
To the girls who’ve never felt beautiful

I don’t have the words to describe ‘’The Disappearing Girl’’. It must be the most REAL book I have ever read and I don’t think I’ll have the luck to read another one like it again. This won’t be a normal review because I want to point out the most important things I liked about this book.

This book deals with real problems: anorexia and bulimia. Because of her mother, Kayla decided to lose weight. She became obsessed with her appearance and she ended up rea
Abdul Mahmood
Aug 03, 2013 Abdul Mahmood rated it it was amazing

My friend recommended me this book and I was really apprehensive to read when I read the blurs but I had a hope in me that it would be a good book and I started reading it.

First I hated Kayla's mom. She was a downright bitch and you would despise her. Because of her Kayla became what she is.

Kayla was really a strong person but the confidence she had was destroyed by her mom. I had a feeling that her dad was her half confidence too and when he died she lost eve
Apr 11, 2015 Abbie rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
This was an okay read, but I'm glad it wasn't too long.

I did feel sorry for Kayla at points, as what she was going through was tough, and her mother pressured her way too much to be thin.

This wasn't a bad read, but I did feel bored quite often while reading this. It just couldn't hold my interest all that well unforunately.
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
The Disappearing Girl is a serious read for all girls! I have to give Heather a huge KUDOS for writing about a serious issue that has all girls and guys doing some crazy things. This book really hit home because I lost a dear friend to Anorexia. Her mother and father were perfect in every way and she always had this idea that she could not disappoint her father or mother but more so her father because he was a high powered attorney and they always had people over the house hosting one party or a ...more
Laura Wells
Aug 28, 2013 Laura Wells rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do yourself a favour when you read this book -make sure you have a whole day with nothing else to do!

The mistake I made was in thinking I could carry on with normal life while reading this story. I met friends for coffee, went shopping and out for lunch, all the while completely distracted by what Kayla was going through. This book consumed my every thought.

Cam -what a hero. He was so sweet and affectionate, and SO patient. He was exactly what Kayla needed, even when she didn't know it.

I sympa
Aug 31, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah (Broc's Bookcase)
Jan 08, 2015 Hannah (Broc's Bookcase) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
“I wish I could give Cameron what he wanted and block every ugly word our of my mom's mouth. But twenty-one years of being told I was fat and ugly was hard to erase.”

This is the kind of book I feel should come with a warning. Something along the lines of:
WARNING: this book will take you on an emotional rollercoaster and leave you completely emotionally unstable. Please make sure you have tissues, chocolate and a responsible adult to help you through the hours/days/weeks after you have finish thi
Misty Baker
May 29, 2013 Misty Baker rated it really liked it
**A 3.8 Review**

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from a Markus Zusak book titled “I Am The Messenger.” It says:

“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.”

Confession time? I hate fashion magazines.

While I love shoes, and can appreciate the artistic aspect of some of the photos found inside, I think they endorse a horrible message. That you can’t be beautiful unless you are rail then and can distort your body in unnatural ways. See I was
Noemi Betancourt
Jun 18, 2013 Noemi Betancourt rated it it was amazing
College junior Kayla Marlowe has her share of personal demons. Since her father’s sudden death two years earlier she’s been fighting guilt over leaving her sister with her crazed mother, a former pageant princess obsessed with appearance, while she goes off to college. Everything comes to a head when criticism of her weight over Christmas vacation sets Kayla on a downward spiral with anorexia and bulimia. Even when she meets the delicious Cameron who falls head over heels for her, she can’t get ...more
May 28, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it
It is seldom that a book draws me in on such a level that I become emotional. What an apt title! I literally felt as if I too was somehow disappearing along with the main character. Heather Topham Wood writes this novel from a knowledgeable position; she has done her research to such an extent that the reader is involuntarily drawn into the dark world of depression, anorexia and bulimia. It is poignantly and well written. The causes as well as the struggle that the family of a sufferer goes thro ...more
Dec 07, 2014 DVF rated it it was amazing
5/5 remarkable stars!!!

Heather Topham Wood put me on a roller-coaster ride of emotions with this book. WOW. First things first, amazing writing; it was well written, captivating, gripping, raw in some moments, truly heart-wrenching, and what I liked most was that the author didn't shy away from the details of the dysfunctional and distorted ways a brain with an Eating Disorder works.

Me being young and having an ED myself, I felt like I could connect with most of the hardships, thoughts and situ
Jenny Baker
Dec 28, 2015 Jenny Baker rated it liked it
My very first thought when I started reading this was that the writing sounded very amateurish, like this was somebody’s first attempt at novel writing. Sometimes I'll read a novel and I'm shocked to discover that it's somebody's debut novel because they sound like a veteran, but then I read a book like this and it's obvious that it's a debut novel. The storyline was interesting and eating disorders are hot topics, but the execution needs work.

The story reminds me of the movie Hunger Point (I
Nov 09, 2015 Liralen rated it liked it
So I guess this is New Adult? Basically YA with a college-age protagonist and not-insubstantial discussion of sex? Hmm.

It's an overall shrug of a book for me, I guess. Some good stuff for sure, such as the hero who manages to be an actually decent human being. (Ironic, since Kayla professes her love of Twilight.) Would have loved to see the characters go a bit deeper, though—Kayla's mother, for example, is written as a terrible person and terrible mother until she's...shocked into decency, I sup
Chelsea (OwlAlwaysBeReading)
Kayla Marlowe lived a happy, blissful teenage life. Her mom was always harsh on her and her sister about their appearance, but her dad was always there to recognize her beauty. When her mom fed them salads, dad would take them out for ice cream. He was always the support to Kayla and her sister, until he passed away.

"I never realized how much of a buffer he was until he was gone."

After her father passed, her mother became harder and harder to ignore. One night, while home from college on wi
Paula  Phillips
Aug 04, 2013 Paula Phillips rated it it was amazing
When all happiness has disappeared from your life , what will you do to make yourself happy again ? For Kayla , ever since her father died she has been miserable and it's worse now as her mother is controlling and vindictive and likes to make her sister Lila and herself feel small and worthless. When at dinner one night, her mother makes a comment about her weight. Kayla takes this on board and soon finds herself in a cycle of binge eating to purging to counting calories and not eating at all. ...more
May 18, 2013 Shamima rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway, own-it
I won this book on the Goodreads Giveaways and omg - so glad I did! It's about a girl named Kayla who is currently in University and trying to get over her father's untimely death. She has a little sister who she adores and is protective of but their mother isn't the most maternal woman out there. She constantly criticizes her daughter's appearances and brings down their self confidence. It is only after Kayla becomes bullemic and starts 'disappearing' that her mother starts complimenting her - ...more
Jun 16, 2013 Carrie rated it really liked it
Kayla has lived her life always feeling as if she’s never good enough. While her father lived, she could cope with her mother’s demands for eating well and keeping fit. Once her father dies, Kayla and her sister feel the full brunt of her mother’s obsessive, controlling demands. She finally gets to experience freedom at college, eating what she wants, living life as she wishes but a visit home over Christmas opens up wounds in such a way Kayla reacts drastically and begins a debilitating cycle o ...more
Sep 15, 2013 Becky rated it it was amazing
This is an emotional and heart-wrenching story about a 21 year old young woman who struggles with anorexia and bulimia.

Kayla has a loving sister, caring friends, and a devoted boyfriend who is constantly telling her how beautiful she is. It is not enough, however, to get past the demons her mother has put into her head by repeatedly belittling her about her weight and criticizing her food choices.

I absolutely fell in love with Cameron. He loved Kayla unconditionally and did not even think about
Jul 17, 2013 Monaliz rated it it was amazing
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Remember to stop by my blog!

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
May 16, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
*Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Tough subject. I have never had an eating disorder and none of my friends ever did either so this book was a real eye opener. Kayla is a seemingly normal college student, who grew up with a "never-good-enough" mother, still grieving the sudden loss of her father. The author did a great job at giving the reader a chance to get into the mindset and emotions of someone with this disorder. I was rooting for
Jul 10, 2013 Renee rated it it was amazing
First let me say that this topic is a tough topic to tackle at any age, but for the main character Kayla it was at a very pivotal time. Kayla's story starts out really difficult. There are a few conversations, although one sided, between her and her Mom that are VERY hard to read.

The point I am trying to make is that her Mother, who obviously has issues, is totally to blame. The author writes this subject matter in a way that makes you totally want to go to Carl's Junior and smear a jalapeno bu
Jess (Little Book Heaven)
May 29, 2013 Jess (Little Book Heaven) rated it really liked it
This was a powerful and emotional story. It definitely hit home for me in a lot of ways, having struggled with an eating disorder in the past. Heather captured Kayla's insecurities, her struggle with Anorexia/Bulimia and the consequences very well.

My heart broke for both Kayla and Lila, as their judgmental mother constantly put them under the microscope, always pointing out every single flaw, and saying such cruel things to her daughters. I wanted to back hand the "ice queen." I loved the relat
Jul 06, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
I liked this book it was interesting and the writing was easy to follow. Kayla is sweet girl with a bitch for a mother whos been telling her and her sister they're fat and ugly and would be prettier if they lost weight for years when really she needs to change. After all those years of hearing that and the death of her father she listens and thats how Kayla starts her crazy "dieting". In the midst of that she meets gorgeous Cameron who seems to be the only bright spot in her world besides her si ...more
Kayla D
A free digital copy of this book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I experienced a lot of emotions while reading The Disappearing Girl. I won’t go into explicit details but I had the same experiences as the protagonist, Kayla, did. It was as if the book was alive and was speaking directly to me, flinging words with abandon and leaving me breathless. A small part of this was due to the fact that I have the same name as the main character. A larger part was because, lik
Jessica (Lovin' Los Libros)
Jul 13, 2013 Jessica (Lovin' Los Libros) rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, new-adult
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 ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
(This review can be found on my blog The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl at the end of September).

For some reason, this is a book that I really wanted to read. It's like it just spoke out to me. I'm glad I read it because this was such an interesting read!

It's so annoying when a book's blurb tells you what the book's going to be about, but then it turn's out the book is nothing like the blurb. However, The Disappearing Girl's blurb is spot on, so I won't bore you with my own
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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 loves creating imaginary worlds where people behave exactly how she wants them to.

Heather graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor's degree in
More about Heather Topham Wood...

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