Vicky Decker is a master of becoming unnoticeable, especially in high school, where people remember nearly everything you do. With Vicky’s best – and only – friend Jenna living in another state, life has been more difficult. After Jenna butt-dials her and she overhears something she shouldn’t, Vicky decides to invent a social life. Vicky Photoshops herself wearing a crazy costume into famous movie scenes, red carpet events, and tourist attractions. Her Instagram persona Vicurious is an immediate hit among celebrities and people who relate to Vicky’s first post tagged #alone. At school, Vicky’s guidance counselor urges her to join yearbook club. She becomes almost-friends with a boy from her world history class due to an incident in the hallway involving flying drumsticks and Frankenstein. As Vicurious becomes more and more popular, Vicky finds it harder to cope with her growing social media popularity and struggles at school. She has to find a way to face her anxieties, stop living vicariously, and step out into the world.
As it turns out, Vicky suffers from social anxiety. Social anxiety in its many forms is very common, especially among high school teens. I have several friends who deal with some form of an anxiety disorder every day. How to Disappear shows the struggle of making it through the day with such a disorder. I would recommend it to any teen who enjoys an emotional story. Vicky’s character completely shows how difficult it is to interact with peers when you believe everyone is making fun of you. For all the teens out there with anxiety – You aren’t alone, and you are strong for simply living with anxiety. Don’t ever give up.