Jenny Baker's Reviews > The Disappearing Girl

The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood
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's review
Dec 20, 2015

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bookshelves: mental-illness, 2015, kindle

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 still haven’t read the book.) It features a controlling mother with two daughters and she makes them feel bad about being overweight. One daughter, Kayla, takes her mother’s harsh words to heart and develops an eating disorder.

It’s narrated by Kayla, a twenty-one year old college student with anorexia and bulimia. When she’s not at college, she lives with her mom, Charlotte and her sixteen year old sister, Lila. When she’s at college, she spends a lot of time with her friends Brittany, Danielle and Jessica and later, her boyfriend Cameron. It's part eating disorder and part NA romance.

This novel lacks character development, especially on an emotional level. There were times when Kayla talked about how much she hated her body and how she felt fat, but it still sounded very emotionally detached.

Sometimes the story sounded very procedural and didn’t have enough to move the story forward. There were a lot of details about her eating disorder, such as tips to help her hide her eating disorder, lose more weight, plus the binging, purging and starvation. It also had a lot of focus on the pro-ana websites she visited and the people she chatted with in the chat rooms.

If you have ever had an eating disorder, don’t read this book. It's the procedural aspect of the novel that makes me want to warn readers. I think it could potentially propel sensitive people back into their unhealthy habits.
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Reading Progress

December 20, 2015 – Started Reading
December 20, 2015 – Shelved
December 20, 2015 –
December 20, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel McKitterick I think your review is very spot on.

Jenny Baker Thank you!

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