“You never see anything good about yourself.”
What I lost by Alexandra Ballard
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mental Health
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)
Elizabeth has lost a lot of weight to get to a size 0, but she ended up with an eating disorder, anorexia. She goes to Wallingfield treatment centre to be cured, but she’s intending to restrict her diet once she finally gets out of the place. Elizabeth also believes that her mother, who has a size 0 obsession needs treatment too. Elizabeth starts receiving packages, possibly from her ex-boyfriend or even a secret admirer.
I personally couldn’t relate to having anorexia, but I do understand the pain of not being able to eat a lot, especially when my anxiety kicks in. And the peer pressure of people kinda forcing you to finish your food and make it seem that you’ve sinned against the entire world by not finishing the food on your plate. On most normal days I probably only eat 3/4 of a meal and with anxiety I even even lesser than that and urgh, I’ve had so many bad experiences with people forcing me to eat.
It’s clear that Elizabeth’s mother has an obsession with being a size 0 and it negatively affects Elizabeth. But her mother is good at masking it and her father is kinda of in denial of the entire thing. I was really upset since the main problem seemed to have stemmed from Elizabeth’s mother’s poor choice of words and actions.
I love that this book addresses sensitive issues and also the prejudices against eating disorders. It also straightforwardly brings the negative aspects of eating disorders to light.
I love that Elizabeth finds support in the people at the treatment centre and you can see throughout the entire book that she’s really trying. Also, I like that there is a subplot of the romance, but it doesn’t distract you from the main story. Elizabeth slowly overcomes her eating disorder, but not for a guy, she does it for herself and by herself. I really liked the character arc and story progression of this book.
Also, I really LOVED the use of Kelly Clarkson’s song, ‘Stronger’, because that song really helped me through a tough time as well!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂