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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2012
How to Disappear Completely is an exciting fast paced novel. It is suitable for mid teens to adults (with a sense of whimsy). The characters are well rounded and interesting; appealing enough to evoke concern, while still being multi-dimensional and a bit unpredictable. The setting is original and varied. The plot is engrossing, with twists that are unexpected but 'fit' pleasingly. A most enjoyable read from a novelist to look out for in the fututre.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2012
The first half of this book is actually pretty good. The characters are well drawn and the storyline is interesting. Unfortunately, as the story progresses, there are an increasing number of nightmare sequences until it is unclear what is "reality" for the characters. Apparently nothing. About halfway through, the plot breaks down, and the story loses cohesion. The ending is weak and contrived. I'm sorry I wasted time reading this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2013
This book took way too long to get going. The last quarter of it was interesting. The first three-quarters of the book dragged and were depressing. I feel that the author could've gotten all of her points together in a much shorter time.
I kept putting the book down because, well... it dragged and was depressing.
The last quarter really picked up the pace, wrapped things up, and introduced concepts that could've led to sequels. Unfortunately, the unsatisfying ending quashed the momentum garnered in the final pages.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2012
Living in a dream world isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Reminiscent of the Twilight Zone or perhaps even Nightmare On Elm Street, How to Disappear Completely is a thought-provoking story. I found myself wondering whether I was missing a lot of symbolism, but I don't think symbolism really matters. Though the things that happen to them are hard to relate to, the characters have real stories and real emotions, and I cared about them. That held my attention right to the end.
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on July 14, 2015
This was a very strange book. I was waiting for it to make sense, but it never happened.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a fairly nasty dystopian novel that begins with some promise but quickly dissolves into an incoherent and violent mess. Lycia, a teenage girl, suddenly wakes up in another world, Greenwood. Her mother is in the next room lying unresponsive in bed. Lycia goes to school which she finds is populated by drone-like automatons all alike. Only two other characters seem to be independent beings - Aster, a nerdy kind of kid with unsuspected fighting skills, a Meg, his lovable but fearful friend. Aster also has a weird younger sister, the sociopathic Dotty, who spends all her time torturing her stuffed animals.

Then there is Morgan, the queen bee, who is cruel and vengeful and seems to control everything that goes on in the school and indeed in the whole of Greenwood. The city is painted in convincingly post-apocalyptic terms, a dark world falling apart.

This could have been a good parody of high school or it could have been a horror novel or it could have been science fiction. But it turns into a complete mess after we realize that Greenwood is an invention of Morgan's mind - but she has somehow corralled real people to live in it for her own twisted reasons. Then we learn there are other worlds created by other people and we get to know another one of them which takes on the form of a strange nightclub filled with ghoulish beings.

The idea doesn't hang together and anyway doesn't tell us anything valuable about our own world and what it might become - which is the whole point of dystopian fiction.

The final few chapters made painful reading, filled as they were with rape and violence and extended dreamlike sequences full of more violence. I was frankly glad when it was over.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
How to Disappear Completely is a good book, don't get me wrong. I feel like the author has a great idea here and I love the way she sets up the world that the characters live in. I think the four main characters are suitably identifiable and that their personalities are wonderful. After reading the book, I do end up with some questions, though.

1) The concept of bringing someone else into a world that you've created with your mind is interesting, but that brings to mind the question: if one person can do this, what if the person they're trying to bring into their world is as strong or stronger mentally than the person doing the pulling? Does nothing happen? Does the person being pulled instead pull the first person into THEIR world?

2) What was Lycia's actual ROLE in the book? She's made out to be the main character in the beginning and things are written from her point of view, but in the end, this wasn't HER story, like I was lead to believe from the first half of the book. I don't mind this kind of thing, but instead of there being a definitive point where the story changed, it just kind of happened, which annoyed me.

Toward the end, the dialogue got a little repetitive and things got a little too surreal and unexplained for me. And after what happened to Megan, and what she found out about herself, I'm not sure I believe that she would have kept following Aster.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed the book. The revelation about Lycia and the end of the book made it seem like this was going to be the first in a series, but I'm not sure. I would certainly be interested in reading more.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
I wont lie, this book was strange. I liked the first part of it, but found the middle to be... disjointed maybe is the right word? And odd. I feel like it would have been a better book without the last two sections.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
If you were ever the type of child who sat down at your desk at school and dreamt of strange and fantastic worlds where you were in charge and were able to create, alter and destroy anything you could, then this is the book for you. The concepts of sustaining infinite power over a world of your very own, and the possibilities and downfalls when you escape into yourself as a retreat from reality are played with in the most fascinating way. Questions pop up in the beginning of the book with the characters coming to terms with their existence and the world around them (Greenwood). The momentum picks up with the discovery of a second world (Bassisha) and the wildly colourful and grotesque creatures who inhabit it. Macabre darkness permeates throughout the story - The main characters desire for the alternative to the 'idyllic' life in Greenwood and they must deal with the psychological struggle to realise the good in oneself. This part appealed to me as I felt this way in school, and such a premise would appeal to many others who went through similar situations. The book itself is extremely well written and anyone who enjoys twisted, confusing and disturbing imagery will also enjoy it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
I love this book, the story is very catchy.
i give it five stars beacuse it is the first book i fully read.
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