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How Not to Disappear

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  910 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody.

Hattie's summer isn't going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to 'find himself" and Kat is in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 14th 2016 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (first published December 31st 2015)
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Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Adored this book!

My View:
This is an engaging read, at time hilarious, at times poignant and heartbreaking – it may sound like I am describing a modern YA romance but this book is so much more than that. It is a coming of age story, a story of the circle of life – and in particular focusses on end of life/beginning of life, relationship and dementia. But it is also about memory and identity, prejudice, love, family, assumptions, domestic violence and unplanned pregnancy…this narrative discusses s
This review also appears on my blog, Reading with Jenna.
I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster Australia. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a story about two women from different generations who go through similar experiences of being pregnant at a young age. It is a heartwarming story about family and motherhood and I enjoyed it very much.

In this book, Hattie discovers that she’s pregnant with her best friend’s child and she has no idea how to handle the situation. Sh
Grace P. (gracefulreads)
Wow! 4/5 Stars

HOW NOT TO DISAPPEAR is the gripping tale of Hattie and her great-aunt Gloria, who have not yet met until the start of the novel. Hattie is pregnant, and in a stage of denial about it, her dad died when she was little, and Gloria has dementia and is facing the memories of her complicated past. The plot mainly includes Hattie and Gloria going on a road trip to recover Gloria’s past before she can no longer remember it herself. Along the way, Gloria reveals her life story to Hattie,
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ah, this book. I loved it.

Hattie is a teenager, who has just found out she’s pregnant with her best friend’s baby. And she’s not sure how to feel about that. A distraction comes in the form of her long lost aunt Gloria, who’s losing her memories, and so Hattie takes her on a road trip of places that mean a lot to her so she can remember them one last time.

I really love books about teen pregnancy and the issues faced by pregnant teens, and this was such a heartwarming coming-of-age story that re
E L E A N O R (bookishcourtier)
an interesting read scarily similar to unbecoming. I feel like if had read this one first I might have enjoyed it more, but I felt like I was just reading the same book. and also I thought that some things weren't tied up at the end. but it was good.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s was beautiful and depressing but I loved it.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars.

√. Hattie as a main character was brilliant. She is so complex and mature for her age, and Furniss does a great job of making her real. Even though I haven't been in her position (hiding a teenage pregnancy), I felt like I could relate completely to her.

√. A thought that stuck with me while I was reading this was how Hattie was such a strong female character without having to be physical fighter. Her strength came from feeling her emotions, feeling scared and being brave enough to ho
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review by I really loved reading this book. Clare Furniss is an outstanding author building truly amazing characters, with an incredible story line. I just couldn't put this book down. I read this all night until I had finished. I loved reading about the relationship, Hattie with her great-aunt Gloria, who no one knew existed, who now has early stages of dementia. Hattie finds herself pregnant by Ruben, and in her mind she is set to have an abortion. Hattie tells he ...more
Emma Carroll
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story of family secrets and huge bursting-with-life characters. I absolutely LOVED this book from start to finish. Perfect in so many ways- and definitely best read with a box of tissues to hand.
Beth Bonini
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is Clare Furniss's second YA novel - her first was the well-received The Year of the Rat - and she has definitely demonstrated that she can write realistic YA with enough depth for an adult to read and enjoy. As with her first novel, this one takes place in contemporary London. Furniss writes characters with believably messy and complicated personal lives, but relatably so. The tone is not melodramatic in any way, although the protagonist Hattie is dealing with some fairly big problems. Nei ...more
Bee Loves To Read
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How Not To Disappear follows the story of Hattie and Gloria, Hattie's great aunt whom no one knew existed.

Together they go on a journey. For Gloria it's a chance to tell the story of her past, to have someone else know, before the cruelty of dementia takes it away forever.

For Hattie it's a chance to get to know her great aunt while having to make her own life choice on whether or not to keep her baby, a result of a one night stand with flaky best friend, Rueben.

This is a very emotional book, e
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
As I reached the end, I thought of the beginning...and it seemed so long ago!? Like, this story is magnificent and important - equally sad and delightful, then a bit more sad - but it's also long. Reading it felt like a commitment, and that's why I put this book off for so long. It was lovely though, when I was able to give it my time.
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love d the characters in this book and thought it was a sensitive approach to dementia too
Emily Mead

I mean, I'm all for family stories but I'm really not a fan of the "past and present" approach.



I read a lot of Aussie YA and US YA, so this UKYA was nice and refreshing.

(also, that’s a lot of letters)

(I apologise)

ANYWAY so How Not to Disappear is nice because it’s mostly about FAMILY. Basically we’ve got this long-lost aunt who’s got dementia, and a kindly neighbour reaches out to her only family – which just so happens to be our main character, Hattie.

What I love about
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary
Forever Fanatical About Books
Originally posted here

A largely enjoyable read featuring some pretty heavy topics such as teen pregnancy, society's attitude to pregnancy outside of wedlock, abortion, dementia, the break-down of family units - pretty serious and depressing stuff. Going into it, I didn't realise quite how depressing the story was and I thought it was going to be more of a comedy and a light summery read. There are funny bits here and there but the overall tone of the book was pretty heavy. The POVs go back and f
Zoe Hall
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
After absolutely loving The Year of the Rat, I was so excited to read this book and I certainly wasn't disappointed. This book is gorgeously written; Hattie is a brilliant protagonist and Gloria is such a fantastically complex character.

How Not to Disappear is a beautifully poignant book about the power of memories and how they shape our identities in the present.

As Hattie is sent on a reminiscent journey with her Great Aunt Gloria, a somewhat cantankerous, yet lonely, spirited soul, Hattie be
I enjoyed Clare's previous book and as a consequence I had high hopes for this book. I am glad to report it did not disappoint at all.

I loved How not to disappear. I loved the main character Hattie and really enjoyed getting inside her head and seeing the world from her point of view. I equally loved meeting Gloria, Hattie's long lost great aunt. I particularly enjoyed seeing the relationship between the two develop. I also loved getting into Gloria's backstory over the course of the book.

A real
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Perfect. <3
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2018
The blurb of this book definitely didn't give it justice! But then that was also kind of a good thing because it allowed for so many more unexpected plot twists! I read Clare Furniss' debut novel 'The Year of the Rat' in 2015 and loved it and her writing style, but when I read the description of this book I didn't think I would enjoy it that much. Eventually I picked it up in the library and I'm so glad I did because it was so good! This book covers so many important issues like teen pregnancy, ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
!!!!;:’,... loved this book!! ...,’:;!!!!
Since the first time I read the title it spoke to me and I wanted to read this book, but no fantasies of mine met the content of this book. I expected a crazy adventure involving a car and never ending roads meeting ways of staying unforgettable. It sorta was there, but that wasn’t the depth of it. The author nailed it and I’m moving this book to my favourite pile!
I think this book is perfect for anyone missing meaning in life, someone going though hard t
Beth (bibliobeth)
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review comes with a big thank you to my wonderful sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads for recommending this book as part of my most recent Chrissi Cupboard Month, a bi-annual event where I attempt to get through some of the huge pile of books she has loaned me! I was first compelled to read this novel after being initially attracted by the front cover. Now I don't normally like "people" on covers but for some reason, I find this one really appealing, there's something about the colours ...more
Amy Lou
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WOW. I picked this up as a challenge to read a book you had never heard of before. I didn't have much time at the library, so I mostly just skimmed the synopsis too. I was extremely pleasantly surprised! This is, of course, a contemporary, but there were so many secrets and the entire experience was such a journey. I completely fell in love with the characters and they were incredibly fleshed out. Such a fabulous hidden gem!
I'd say this is closer to 3.5 stars to be precise!
I struggled with the first 100 pages of this book, loved the last 50 pages, and felt a bit 'meh' about the rest of the book. I really liked the storyline, but the writing style didn't really sit well with me. I also think the book could have been shorter, and the same ending could have easily been reached. Plot twists got the book at least 1.5 stars by themselves!
Hannah Wingfield
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. I like books about pregnancy and road trips and this book has both. It also has some interesting social history snippets in the flashback chapters. I found it hard to put down and didn't guess the twist! It also addressed the topic of dementia sensitively. I'd read more by this author :)
Calypso Dellarocca
I'm not sure how this book made its way into the teen section of my library but it was a great read. I was enthralled to find out what happened at the end.
Aimee Bates
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: standalones
I spent the last 20 pages with tears streaming down my face. Where did that come from? Since when was I attached to these characters?! Help me!
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2018, fiction, ya, reviewed
Short and sweet: Gotta love it when YA is not about a love story but rather about figuring out who you are and what choices are right for you. Pretty much every character in here makes choices at one point or another that would make me cringe, but those choices are true to them—and I can’t argue with that.

I’m not 100% on board with the Reveal at the end, because it feels a wee bit of a cliché. But…it’s also true that the book really only gets as happy an ending as is reasonable. No perfect resol
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tardé bastante en terminar este libro. Las primeras páginas no me atrapaban lo suficiente y terminaba dejando el libro a un lado. Las últimas 150 páginas lo cambian todo. Esas 150 páginas valen la pena de una forma inigualable. El libro trata varios temas, amor, enfermedad, el peso de nuestras decisiones, todos ellos lo trata de una forma única. La autora logra mostrarte que la vida no es justa y logra convencerte de que aunque la vida no es perfecta, uno puede aprovecharla al máximo. Hattie y G ...more
Wow, what a book! I have heard SO many good things about Clare's debut novel The Year of the Rat, but I haven't actually read it, but I managed to get hold of a copy of How Not To Disappear from the library, and I thought it sounded amazing and the cover is by far one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen in my life! Just LOOK AT IT. The colours are stunning, and the book itself is absolutely gorgeous. The story is stunning, and it didn't seem like a young adult novel at all, it seemed a ...more
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The YA Book Prize...: Discussion - How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss 3 6 Apr 11, 2017 09:56AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Sep 27, 2015 01:03PM  
  • London Belongs to Us
  • The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet
  • Starring Kitty (Reel Friends, #1)
  • Blue (Blue #1)
  • Crush
  • Sophie Someone
  • Love Is a Number
  • Nothing Tastes as Good
  • Drop
  • Othergirl
  • The It-Girl (The It Girl, #1)
  • The Baby
  • What's a Girl Gotta Do? (The Spinster Club, #3)
  • Life After (Infinite Love #1.5)
  • Stay With Me (Come Back to Me, #2)
  • Unbecoming
  • Swan Boy
  • Paper Butterflies
Furniss grew up in London, and moved to Birmingham in her teens. After brief stints as a waitress, a shop assistant, and working at the Shakespeare Centre Library in Stratford-upon-Avon, she studied at Cambridge and Aberdeen. She went on to work in media relations for the homelessness charity Shelter and spent several years as a press officer for the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. She now ...more
“Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody.” 4 likes
“Why is it so easy to know that someone else has fallen in love with a dangerous lunatic and so hard to tell when it's you?” 3 likes
More quotes…