The Disappearing Girl

The Disappearing Girl

by Heather Topham Wood


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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 key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.

Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla's life. He's sexy and kind-he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she's willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.

Kayla's struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.

New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483906775
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/06/2013
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 801,899
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

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. In 2012, she published the first two novels in her Second Sight series: First Visions and New Revelations.

Heather graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as USA Today,, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.

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The Disappearing Girl 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
TeenBlurb More than 1 year ago
The Disappearing Girl is a eye opening tale about a young women’s struggle with anorexia and bulimia. Kayla’s world turned upside down after her father died. Kayla withdrew into herself. Her mother always criticizes her appearance and without her father to act as a buffer Kayla becomes obsessed with her weight. She basically starves herself. No one seems to notice that Kayla has a problem, especially her mother. Then she meets Cameron. Cameron becomes more intrigued by Kayla the more that he gets to know her. When he realizes that she is starving herself, he makes it his mission to help her, but along the way he fell for her. Kayla is stronger with Cameron, she wants to be stronger. Can she fix herself before she totally disappears? Heather Wood has written a story about two issues that plague many young girls today. She does not hold back, but really shows anorexia and bulimia for what they are, and illness. The brutal honesty, the dedication and love that Cameron shows, and Kayla’s growth throughout the story make for a really captivating and enlightening read. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
coziecorner More than 1 year ago
Heather pens "The Disappearing Girl" in a emotionally powerful plot that gets you thinking. With extremely well developed and relate-able characters, Heather brings forth her message about eating disorders. A fast, captivating read that all girls should have on their TBR list along with their parents. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
glaukos More than 1 year ago
Extremely Powerful !!! Kayla has had 21 years of being told she isn't good enough. She's too plain, she's too fat, she too many things in her mothers eyes. She used to have a buffer between these harsh things, her dad. But since he died two years ago, things have just gotten worse. Kayla has had it drilled into her all her life to watch what she eats and always be on a diet. You would think once she goes off to college this would free her from her mothers words. But Kayla still has a younger sister at home who needs her, so when she gets breaks at school she comes back home. Kayla gets to a breaking point where things just get a little overwhelming and finds her self binging then purging. This doesn't turn out well, in fact it just gets worse. She not only continues this behavior but also pretty much stops eating, only consuming as little as 500 calories a day. Life for Kayla has turned into food, meaning all she thinks about is what she is going to eat, or not eat, how she will avoid going out with her friends so she doesn't have to eat. Luckily for Kayla she meets Cameron. Cameron really likes her for who she is and what she is, and falls for her fast. He notices that there is something off and quickly learns what she is doing. He does everything to get her help. But Kayla has fallen so hard, so fast that she doesn't think straight and soon starts to think everyone is against her and only wants her fat again. Things continue to spiral out of control until Kayla finds herself in a hospital. This is a very powerful, well written book, that had me in tears because of the things that Kayla was doing to her self. I felt like I really understood what Kayla was going through and understood what her thinking process was, this book puts you right there and makes you wish you could be one of Kayla's friends so you could help her. If ever there was a book written to help you understand what women go through with how they should look and how they see themselves, this is that book. *copy of this book was provided to me for an honest review.
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a very powerful book, covering many things young women, as well as young men, go through. The central theme is eating disorders, but it also covers loss of a parent, parental & sibling relationships, self-esteem, and being as true to yourself as possible. Kayla is a junior at a college not too far from her family home. She shares a quad, and so has three roommates, but Brittany is her best friend. They had been roommates from their freshman year on. Back home are Kayla's mother, Charlotte, and her younger sister, Lila. Their mother is considered to be stunningly beautiful, but the exterior and interior do not match. And after the death of her husband her relationship with her daughters becomes toxic. Not that it had ever been a warm and fuzzy relationship to begin with. Their father had been the demonstrative & supportive parent, always sticking up for the girls when their mother insulted them. It didn't help that both girls inherited their fathers genes, tending to carry any extra weight around their thighs, hips, and butts. Plus they were short, unlike their tall, willowy mother. Kayla has always been something of a wallflower, tending to observe more than to participate. While home from school during a break, Kayla's mother really rips into her about her recent weight, which Kayla hadn't even noticed until her mother began a campaign to "fix" her. The really sad thing is that Kayla was between a size 10-12 depending on the day and designer. So when she returns to school she resolves to lose the weight to gain her mother's approval, thus beginning her slide from dieting into full scale anorexia & bulimia. After Kayla loses some weight, putting her at about a size 8-10, all her friends give her compliments on how good she looks. This makes her question what they thought of her before, further damaging her already fragile psyche. And then she meets Cameron, an absolutely gorgeous guy. And he seems interested in her, but with her growing lack of self-esteem she can't fathom why. But his interest is sincere, and the two begin dating, with the relationship becoming fairly serious rather quickly. Kayla still feels compelled to 'diet' and lose more weight and when called out on it she begins lying to everyone, Cameron included. The story continues to unfold from here, doing a great job of capturing the angst and depression a person can feel, and how they hide those feelings from the ones that care most for them. This is demonstrated more than once, and not just through Kayla. The story is powerful and raw at times, but luckily for Kayla she has an intense support system that refuses to give up or go away. It takes her hitting rock bottom to get herself to really look at what she has done to herself, and is still doing. Only then does her desperation give her the strength to accept help and try to break free from the disease. All together this is a strong story, populated with relatable characters struggling to find their way. The emotional highs and lows are captured well, and the pacing of the story is fairly consistent, matching the events as they occur. The depth of feeling between Kayla and Cameron is a bit startling given the relatively brief amount of time they've known each other. There are a few other hiccups, such as the speed of the ending, but still none that interrupt the story or take away from the message. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone, not just teens. Eating disorders can strike people at any age, and it is good to know what to look for. Side Note: There is mention of Pro Ana websites, which are populated by people with eating disorders. They support the 'anorexic lifestyle' as they see it, share tips on how to hide the disease, and offer each another support. It is a disturbing wake up call and something to watch for if you suspect someone you care about is suffering from an eating disorder. Kayla was lucky as her sister and others were willing to risk their relationship with the her rather than to end up standing at her grave because they were to afraid to say something. As with any self-destructive illness, the person must want to get better, you can not do it for them.
donniedarkogirl More than 1 year ago
Have you ever felt the pressure to be thin? To lose so much weight you can see your bones sticking out? The author dedicates this book "to the girls who've never felt beautiful." I'm one of those girls. I haven't ever had an eating disorder, but I've definitely felt the pressure to look a certain way. And that pressure is everywhere, in magazines, TV, movies, music can even come from one's own mother, such as for Kayla.  After Kayla loses her father, there's no longer a buffer between her and her mother. Kayla's mother begins directing all of the anger from her grief at Kayla and her little sister. All of their lives, they've been told by their mother they're too fat and unlovable, but once their father dies, their mother completely focuses her time on driving that message home. Kayla has been listening to her mother for so long, she soon falls into the vicious cycle of anorexia and bulimia.  She meets Cameron, who has everything she's been looking for in a guy, and they begin dating. Cameron was perfect for her, not because he's handsome or intelligent but because he refused to give up on her. He loved her for who she is no matter what. That's real love. I felt Cameron's pain deeply when Kayla does her best to push him away. It hurt that Kayla didn't think she was worthy of his love, and it especially hurt when she began pushing everyone else in her life away as well to the point where she felt alone. I think she wanted to be alone with her disease.  Kayla's story is told beautifully where the reader is given a look inside anorexia and bulimia instead of simply reading about someone who's struggling with the diseases. By the end, I felt I knew what it was like to think the way Kayla did, and it was scary. I could see how easily a person can fall into the cycle of bingeing and purging and making promises of eating normally if she can just lose those last two or three pounds. This was an emotional roller coaster ride that didn't let go. There was grief, addiction, love, betrayal, and forgiveness. I felt every emotion as though I was in the situation myself.  I blazed through this book so fast it amazed me because normally I tend to read slowly. I couldn't help it - the story just pulled me in right away! I finished most of it in one night, staying up way later than I should, but it was definitely worth it. This book had me looking at anorexia and bulimia, two diseases I thought I knew a lot about from textbooks, in a completely new and personal way. I learned more about eating disorders from this story than I ever have studying them in a class, and you will, too. I received a  copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for the blog tour.