What I Lost - Alexandra Ballard | ARC Review

This was a hard read but so important. I've heard of so many statistics on how many young adults and adults suffer from eating disorders! The relationship with food and body positivity is a difficult one and I know so many people have a complicated relationship with both. Something I wanted to note is that eating disorders are mainly perceived as a disorder females suffer from and males suffering eating disorders are overlooked. An eating disorder does not discriminate in gender and there needs to be support, understanding, and exposure for males suffering eating disorders too. The last few books, shows and movies handling eating disorders I have read or watched all focused on female protagonists.

Book Details:
Pages: 400
Format: Hardback
Publication: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: June 6, 2017
How I got the copy: Raincoast Books
Rating: 5/5 

What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again.She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size-zero obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

This eloquent debut novel rings with authenticity as it follows Elizabeth’s journey to taking an active role in her recovery, hoping to get back all that she lost.

⚠️Trigger warning: eating disorders. 

absolutely loved this book. I think it depicted a true and honest story of a girl battling anorexia. Personally, I didn't have an eating disorder but when I was younger there was a time when I had a difficult relationship with food and I found this book hard to read at times, which I'm guessing would be even harder for someone who is or has struggled with any an eating disorder.

I found What I Lost well researched coming from a person who at one point had a difficult relationship with food. There were definitely times while reading Elizabeth's thoughts and decision-making process when I could relate and still see the rationality in Elizabeth's thought process but I also know how wrong and unhealthy her decisions are. What I Lost is spot on about eating habits, relationships with friends and family and daily struggles living with anorexia. 

This book is addicting and I thought it handled Elizabeth's eating disorder realistically. In What I Lost we don't only read about Elizabeth's eating disorder, we also read about her mothers struggle with food and how negative comments and how the lack of support for young and impressionable children can negatively affect their relationship with food, body image, and self-confidence. 

I loved this book, it's an honest, accurate and engaging story about anorexia. I definitely recommend What I Lost. 

Side note: I remember reading this on the train during my commute and I was kind of embarrassed about other people seeing the cover. This book doesn't have an embarrassing cover, I think it's cute, but for some reason, I felt like people knew what I was reading about just from the cover. Even though it doesn't really matter if people knew... Anyway, I loved this book and want everyone to read and love it.


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