ed

Book Review: Wintergirls

22310019Another book based on eating disorders, which I’d definitely not recommend for anyone recovering or struggling with these issues. It also includes a lot of self harm and suicidal references, so just be warned.

This was another amazing book. I personally suffer with both anorexia and self harm, so this was so incredibly relatable to me. One major difference is Lia’s relationship with Cassie – her best friend who suffers with bulimia. The two of them encourage each other through their weight loss journeys, giving tips and even challenging each other to become the thinnest. I could not imagine having a relationship like this. I know several other eating disordered people, one of whom is a good friend, and we would never dream of acting like this. It was quite sick, honestly – I hate all the pro-ana stuff. But I suppose some people do it.

A quick observation: they never actually use the terms “anorexia” or “bulimia” which is interesting. There’s often a sort of rivalry portrayed between the two disorders, and the diagnosis of anorexia is held as some sort of accomplishment. It was refreshing to read a book that doesn’t mention that, and even sees them ‘working together’.

At the very start of the book, Cassie dies. Lia eventually learns how exactly that happens, but refuses to let it affect her because her and Cassie had fallen out a while ago. Lia’s eating habits seem to be getting worse (again) and her family think it’s Cassie’s death that’s triggered her, but Lia denies it. But when Cassie’s ghost starts haunting her and begging her to join her, Lia realises how out of hand it’s become.

The little details of the eating disorder were fantastic. The way Lia always quotes calories whenever talking/thinking of food, her estimating every other woman’s BMI against her own, even her initial “I want/need food” that she denies. It all felt so much like my own experience.

The ending was definitely one of those “inspiring” types; who ever would’ve thought Lia would actually work with the unit she’d been admitted to so many times and actually try to recover? I liked how honest this was, though. It wasn’t just a simple, clean recovery. There were fears and bad days and also the realisation that she had been avoiding real life, afraid of it. It’s hard to confront the underlying issues of a disorder like this.

I really loved this. It was just so accurate and inspiring and actually made me cry a bit. It did trigger me at times, but that’s probably just because I’m in a bit of a wobbly place right now. The ending has definitely provided me with hope, though. (Usually these books are focused on younger girls, but Lia is my age. It makes me feel like maybe I still have time to find my motive to recover.) 5 stars.Bookmarked Signature Logo

Advertisements

Graphic Novel Review: Tyranny

So as you’ve probably realised by now, I have anorexia. And because of that, I am always drawn to books about eating disorders, including this graphic novel I found in the library. It’s always good to see realistic and relatable presentations of ED’s, and I’m also always quick to point out when something is being portrayed wrong.

This book was a pretty accurate representation of my own personal battle with anorexia. It addressed the starving and the bingeing that many anorexics go through, as well as the body dysmorphia and unhealthy habits and routines. It included friends of Anna (the protagonist of this book) who are also suffering – one of which eventually suffered a heart attack and died. It’s not uncommon for people with anorexia to have friends who pass away as a result of the unhealthy habits brought on by the disorder.

Anna does eventually decide she wants life, and goes into treatment. She learns to tell Tyranny (the voice/persons of her ED) that she doesn’t care about being thin anymore, and eventually she gets her to leave entirely. (I can’t say that’s happened to me; it’s more of an ongoing, up-and-down struggle in my experience.)

One thing I wasn’t sure was so good about this book was the inclusion of weights – her weight loss process, the weight of another patient. This can be incredibly triggering for people suffering with an eating disorder, and can make people feel invalidated – feeling as if their ED isn’t as “bad” or “real” because their weight wasn’t quite as low. For this reason, I would be hesitant about recommending this book to people who are trying to recover from their disorder.

Overall, I felt it was a good portrayal of anorexia. It was brutally honest and included both the starving and the bingeing, which lots of people don’t often discuss. 4.5 stars.