Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Review, Interview and Giveaway: Watch Me Disappear by Diane Mulligan

Watch Me Disappear Virtual Book Tour brought to you by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

Tour Schedule:

January 14 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
January 15 - Magical Manuscripts - Review
January 16 - Lov Liv Life Reviews - PROMO
January 17 - Mom With a Kindle - Interview/PROMO
January 18 - Addicted to YA Books - Review
January 19 - Snifferwalker - Review
January 20 - My Cozie Corner - Review
January 21 - Lovely Reads - PROMO
January 22 - Queen of All She Reads - Review
January 23 - Comfort Books - PROMO
January 24 - A Thousand Lives - Review
January 25 - My Devotional Thoughts- PROMO
January 26 - Book Briefs - Review/Interview
January 27 - Andi's YA Books - Review/Interview
January 28 - Books For Me - Review
January 28 - Sweet Southern Home - PROMO
January 29 - Oh, The Books You'll Read - Review
January 29 - My Neurotic Book Affair - Review
January 30 - Above Average, Below Special - Review
January 31 - Getting Your Read On - Review
February 1 - A Bibliophiles Thoughts - Review
February 2 - My Bookmark Blog - Review
February 3 - Books and Needlepoint - Review/Interview
February 4 - My Reading Addiction - PROMO

Title: Watch Me Disappear
Author: Diane Mulligan

About the book: 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.

Purchase Links: 
·  Smashwords.
·  Kobo

My Thoughts: I think that the author did a great job of portraying high school life.  Even though high school for me was many years ago, I remember feeling like Lizzie did, especially when it came to being the wallflower or the third wheel.  Fortunately, I didn't have to start a new school my senior year like she did.  Lizzie's parents are protective to the point of smothering and I think they could have lightened up on her a little earlier than they did.  In spite of that, she was able to make some friends, like Missy and Paul.  

Missy was a great friend to Lizzie.  Even though Lizzie thinks Missy is just about perfect, and feels frumpy next to her, Missy never does anything to make her feel that way.  She is very accepting of Lizzie and appreciative of her friendship, as she is also new to the school. Missy soon has a boyfriend, Wes, and though they try to include Lizzie, she often feels like a third wheel.  

Maura is Lizzie's next door neighbor, and the girl that her mom would like to see her be friends with.  Lizzie's first impression of Maura though is not a good one.  She sees her as shallow, non-appreciative, self-centered, and doesn't understand why her mother cannot see this side of Maura.  Slowly, though they have a rough start, Maura and Lizzie begin a fledgling friendship.  Lizzie doesn't really trust Maura, but a part of her would like the easy popularity that Maura has.  

Well, somewhere along the way she also became friends with Maura's ex-boyfriend Paul.  She knows that Paul has a crush on Missy, but he genuinely seems to enjoy hanging out with her.  Before she knows it, she has developed a crush on him.  With all his phone calls, invitations to dances and parties, and hanging out at her house a couple of times a week, is it any wonder that she would fall for him?  When things sour between Wes and Missy, Lizzie realizes that Paul is going to jump in to be her shining knight.  

I liked this book for all the memories of high school, both good and bad, that it invoked.  It showed that things aren't always what they appear to be on the surface and that generally everybody harbors the same insecurities, they just don't always manifest in the same way. I think most any teenage girl would enjoy this book, and while they may not believe that everyone has the same insecurities, it might get them to look at situations from a different angle.

~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reading Addicted Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~
From Chapter 6

I like the makeup better when I put it on myself. I apply it more lightly than they had, so it looks more natural. Try as I might, I’m not very handy at hairstyling, though. I can’t seem to tease the roots as Katherine instructed, and I have no luck with the up-dos they showed me. In the end, Katherine produces a small set of scissors and, while I hold my breath, trims some fringy bangs and layers, which we iron flat into a funky style. When we’re done, I don’t look like me, but I look sort of good. And good thing, too, because all the little pieces she cut are never going to fit into a ponytail.
“See,” Maura says. “That wasn’t so hard.”
“Maybe we should come raid your closet and see what we can do with that,” Katherine says, laughing smugly. She has gotten a little friendlier as the day has gone on. When I let her cut my hair, I think that sealed the deal. She is willing to at least consider extending friendship to me.
“You won’t find much interesting in my closet,” I say.
“What, no secrets?” Maura asks, suddenly turning our conversation away from the safe realm of appearances. My heart pounds. I’m not ready for this kind of conversation. Is this where they turn on me?
“No,” I say. “No cute clothes or skeletons.”
“How disappointing,” Maura says. “I thought there was a wild child in you that we had yet to uncover.”
“You’ve met my parents. They don’t allow much for wildness.”
“Exactly. Kids with strict parents are usually the ones who let it all out when they step outside their parents’ grasp.”
“I guess I’m still pretty much within their grasp,” I say.
Maura makes a tsk sound. “I thought for sure there was more to you, Lizzie,” she says.
I shrug. I wish there was more to me, too.

Diane was nice enough to answer a few questions for me - 

Do you have much say in the title or covers of you books?

I’m an indie author, and one of the big perks was having complete control over my cover. I worked with my sister to create the design. We started with the concept of makeup to try to clarify that the “disappearing” the title refers to is not magic but disappearing into a new persona. I’m still not sure if I’ll publish my next book myself or if I’ll seek a traditional publisher, but if I do go traditional, I think control over the cover is one of the things I’ll miss most.

Do you have a favorite author/book or one that you always recommend?

I always recommend Jonathan Franzen. He’s a genius. I fell in love with THE CORRECTIONS from the very first page. The writing is stunning and the characters and flawed, funny, and so real.

Do you have a job outside of being an author?

Indeed, I do. I am a high school teacher. I dream of a day when I’ll support myself as a writer, but for now, my day job pays the bills. Luckily as a teacher, I have summers off, so I can devote that time to writing.

Do you have a favorite quote?

Lately, in the face of some less-than-glowing reviews, this quote keeps coming to mind:

“I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

--W.B. Yeats

In one sentence, why should we read your book?

You should read my book to get back in touch with your high school self and to have empathy for teenagers, who often get a bad rap!

What does a day in your life look like?

A day in my life: I wake up at 5:45 and get ready for work. I must be at school by 7:45. I spend the day teaching (5 classes), working with students, and moderating activities. I usually leave school around 3:30. As soon as I get home, I have the highlight of my day: Playtime with my dog. After that, I put on my author hat, which is also my
business-woman hat. I check my author-Email, quickly visit my social networks, take care of my blog, and then—finally!—work on my work-in-progress. I also managed THE WORCESTER REVIEW, so most afternoons I have to take care of correspondence with submitters and editors as well. I love to cook, although lately I don’t have much free time, but I try to have something yummy for dinner. I just got America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook and I love it! Delicious and fast. A weekday isn’t complete without watching The Daily Show and Colbert Report,
and then off to bed to regroup before another day! My day is a caffeine-fueled whirlwind, but I like it that way.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

I am lucky to have a wonderfully supportive family. My mom, dad, sister, and brother were my first readers of WATCH ME DISAPPEAR, way back when I had just completed my first draft, and my dad was the last proofreader of it before it went to print. They are all really proud of me, and I couldn’t have taken the plunge into self-publishing without them.

Silly questions –

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I would be able to fly. How awesome would that be?

Night owl or early bird?

Early bird. I’m barely functional after 8:30 at night, and I feel like I’ve missed half the day if I sleep later than 7:30 in the morning.

Guilty pleasure tv show?

Game of Thrones. It’s the ultimate in guilty pleasures.

Thanks so much for hosting me!

About the author: Diane Vanaskie Mulligan began writing Watch Me Disappear during an after-school writing club she moderates for high school students. This is her first novel. She holds a BA in American Studies from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s degree in teaching from Simmons College. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she’s the managing editor at The Worcester Review and the director of The Betty Curtis Worcester County Young Writers’ Conference You can also find her occasionally strumming her guitar and singing at various bars in central Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband.

Connect with Diane:

There will be 3 $10 Amazon giftcards given away to 3 random commenters on the tour - so leave a comment with your email address!


Deb PelletierC said...

A Love triangle,friend or boyfriend,sounds interesting.

Izz said...

Hi, I'm trying to read more Young Adult books right now. It always interesting to get to know a new book. :)

pinglecoon at gmail dot com

Deb PelletierC said...

forgot email,sorry.

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I love reading a book about secrets. Love to read it.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a very good read.


traveler said...

A captivating story. Thanks for this feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

thanks for this giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

This sounds interesting. Thank you (:

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a very interesting story. One that I would love to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Diane Vanaskie Mulligan said...

Thanks so much for hosting me and for your thoughtful review! And thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented. I was traveling yesterday and unable to visit, but I appreciate all the kind remarks!


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