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The Disappearing Girl Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
By junior year of college, Kayla becomes determined to lose weight. She believes she'll finally win her mother's - and the world's - approval and admiration.
But before long, food becomes an obsession, with Kayla alternating starving and bingeing. Not even the love and concern of her new boyfriend Cameron, who begs Kayla to get help, seems to be enough.
While Wood's writing style is strong enough, and the situation she describes is sadly too relevant in today's world, the fact remains that there was nothing particularly noteworthy about Kayla's story itself. She is a white middle-class college student, just like countless others; and her boyfriend Cameron doesn't ring entirely realistic with his undying support and seemingly perfect persona. As Kayla gets to know him better, she learns that he does has troubles in his life; yet they are still things that happened TO him, not personal flaws.Wood might have done well to make Cameron a little more three-dimensional.
Kayla Marlowe is a young girl devastated by the death of her father and trying to overcome the thoughtless words, especially about her appearance, coming from her broken mother. Finally away at college, Kayla can't shake the damaged self-image begun by her mother's stinging comments.
Desperate to take control, she sets out on a regime of binging and purging or not eating at all. Then she meets Cameron. She can't fathom that he could love the girl she was before losing the weight, even when he showers her with affection. Will she be able to fight her demons? Will Cameron stick around during the process?
As you can imagine with the subject material, this is not a light read. The author does not shy away from the sad and heartbreaking aspects of eating disorders. Kayla even resorts to finding a group online to support her illness--a group of young women who support each other in this march toward death. Sadly, groups like this truly exist.
I commend Heather Topham Wood for writing this book. Mothers should read it, young women (although over 17) should read it, anyone who loves a powerful character-driven story should read it. The writing is so personal, intense, and honest that I felt like I was reading Kayla's diary--not just a work of fiction.
I only hope this review was compelling enough to bring readers to this book.
From a reader's perspective:
I found myself drawn in and feeling what Kayla was going through as she struggled with her life and the disease that threatens to ruin her. Being able to identify with a character is something every reader strives for. I not only identified with Kayla, I was cheering for her recovery, angry with her mother, and cried when the ball finally dropped on the whole situation. Not to be left out, the secondary characters like Cameron, Kayla's best friend, Brittany, and Kayla's sister, Lila, were all well developed. Brittany being in the picture helped show how your best friend can disappear before your very eyes and you never know how bad it really is. This story is captivating and will leave you emotionally wrought.
From an editor's perspective:
I'm always rough on the books I read because I'm an editor. I find things most wouldn't. This book is very well written. There are no plot holes, scene jumps, or inconsistencies. There were a couple of places where a pronoun or two would've behooved the flow, but that's minor.
+1 Star for making me cringe and allowing me to feel the character
+1 Star for excellent character development (even the secondary ones)
+1 Star for bridging such a taboo subject in such a way that it made sense
+1 Star for being a great story I could really sink my teeth into
+.5 Star for really great editing
Overall, 4.5 out of 5 stars. Since there are no half stars, I round up when posting to review sites. This is a highly recommended read.
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