Watch Me Disappear by Diane Vanaskie Mulligan
ebook, 186 pages
Published August 23rd 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ecopy for review
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
I thought that Watch Me Disappear looked like a fun coming of age story where we would see some good character development and growth for the main character, Lizzie, but sadly that just what it turned out to be for me.
Lizzie is the new girl in school, and she wants to reinvent herself and start over fresh at this school. We really aren’t given much of her background information to know why that is. The only thing that we do learn about her is that she has very strict parents. She isn’t even allowed to go on the internet, so when she becomes a babysitter for a brother of one of the most popular girls at school, she sneaks onto her computer and makes a secret facebook account. Interesting idea for the story, but I had a problem with the characters. I couldn’t connect with Lizzie. I felt like she was too immature. She was whiny and kind of self absorbed. And my biggest problem was that she didn’t grow at all throughout the story. It felt like it was a younger ya story. But not completely because it dealt with some older concepts of parties and drinking and drugs.
I also thought that there were too many ya stereotypes. You had the overly strict parents, the “mean girl”, the new girl who is trying to be popular. The story had the potential to be interesting, I just had a problem connecting with the characters. I know a lot of people who argue up and down that teens are self absorbed and immature and and whiny 24/7 and so having that in books makes them more realistic. This might be the book for those people. But for me, it didn’t work. It was just too much. I had trouble getting through the story. Watch Me Disappear wasn’t for me. That is not to say it won’t be for others. I can see people who like younger feeling ya high school stories that might really enjoy it.
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