Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Review - Watch Me Disappear by Diane Vanaskie Mulligan

Watch Me Disappear
by Diane Vanaskie Mulligan

Published by: Diane Vanaskie Mulligan
Release Date: August 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-478311-28-7

Genre: New Adult

Buy Links:

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Book Description:

Lizzie Richards isn’t excited to be starting over at a new school for her senior year, but she’s trying to take her mother’s advice and make the most of it—the only way she can: By disobeying her strict parents’ rules. Lizzie’s father has moved the family around every few years to advance his career, so she has never had a chance to develop the kind of “BFF” relationships she thinks most kids have. 

She’s bracing herself for another lonely year at her third high school when her neighbor Maura gets sick of watching her little brother when she could be partying. Thanks to Maura’s plotting, Lizzie becomes everyone’s new favorite babysitter. Seeing her opportunity, Lizzie decides to break her mother’s rules by using Maura’s computer to create a secret Email address and Facebook account. She is quickly friended by Missy, a fellow transfer student as eager for a friend as she is. 

Things are looking up for Lizzie until Maura’s ex-boyfriend Paul sets his eye on Missy. Caught between her new best friend and the neighbor whose friendship promises instant popularity, Lizzie doesn’t know what to do—because she’s fallen for Paul, too.

My Review 

Oh where do I begin.....well, I've just started into reading more YA or New Adult books and the title for this book intrigued me.  I remember high school and while it's a fun experience for some people, I really felt as if I had quite a bit in common with the heroine - Lizzie - of this story so I wanted to give it a try.  With plenty of laughs, a lot of insight and likable characters, Diane Vanaskie Mulligan reminded me about the best and worst of living through the high school years.

A senior in high school, Lizzie Richards isn't looking forward to starting at a new school.  A kid who's gotten used to moving around a lot, she's a little distraught at the limitations put on her life by her parents - no private computer, no Facebook and for some strange reason her parents insist on meeting the parents of her friends.  Babysitting for the neighbor's little boy, and inadvertently checking on their teenage daughter's room, Lizzie suddenly finds herself sneaking behind her parents backs and creating her own Facebook profile -and making new friends.

As the school year advances, and Lizzie becomes more involved with school and some of the people she's met online, she begins to realize that life isn't always as we imagine it to be.  The popular girls aren't always who we think they are and sometimes they're just as insecure as the rest of us.  Sometimes they're also really good at being mean.  Add in raging hormones and the opposite sex and high school can become the place where we begin to shape who we will be when we really grow up.  Ms. Mulligan did a really great job developing Lizzie's character and I really liked how she grows up throughout the year - while Lizzie makes plenty of mistakes (and which of us didn't wish we could go back to high school and change who we were) it's her ability to grow that lets us know she'll turn out okay.

The secondary characters were well done and all contributed to the story.  From Lizzie's parents (her relationship with her mother cracked me up!) to her best friend Missy, they all gave Lizzie plenty to think about.  Adding in Paul and John, two boys she finds herself attracted to, gives Lizzie even more to learn.  Then there's Maura, her sometimes nemesis and sometimes friend, who lives next door.

Will Lizzie learn who she really wants to be as she gets ready to graduate from school?  And will she learn to like herself as she is and how to both have friends and be a friend?  You'll have to read Watch Me Disappear to find out.  I think Ms. Mulligan did a great job with this story and I know it's something I'll want my nieces to read when they get a little bit older.  

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.


  1. Great review and another one for me to read. I'm on a YA kick right now and this one seems perfect for me.


  2. Thanks so much for this thoughtful review! I really appreciate your comments. I hope you'll stay in touch on Facebook or GoodReads!

  3. Great review Maria! I'm really loving New Adult right now, but I just can't seem to get into YA anymore. Though this does sound like a book that my 17 yr old would love.