What I Lost

Alexandra Ballard. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-374-30463-8
After being sent to a psychiatric facility to face her anorexia, 16-year-old Elizabeth can see that the other residents are dangerously underweight, but she’s jealous of their protruding bones and terrified of the weight she’ll be forced to gain in treatment. In order to regain a healthy outlook, Elizabeth must embrace outside help and accept that anorexia “isn’t a disease where you take your medicine and then wait” (“Your recovery is 100 percent up to you,” she’s told). Elizabeth’s dealings with her parents, especially her mother, are both fascinating and frustrating; it’s clear that her mother has been modeling restrictive and unhealthy eating behaviors, which have affected Elizabeth’s views of food and weight. Elizabeth’s relationship with her ex-boyfriend and with the brother of a fellow patient are engaging, but not driving forces in her recovery, happily. Through Elizabeth’s painful uphill battle, newcomer Ballard skillfully illustrates that although unhealthy eating habits may start as a choice, an eating disorder is a complicated illness that cannot be battled without support and vigilance. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kent D. Wolf, Friedrich Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 06/06/2017
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-0-374-30464-5
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-250-15842-0
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