So, I haven’t been posting a lot of reviews and figured I would try my best to post more often. What I Lost came out recently and I thought it would be a great book to talk about. I haven’t seen many YA books about eating disorders/mental illness and since this book has been a little popular I thought I would help get some more exposure for a book that deals with a more serious topic. Anyway, I hope y’all enjoy the review.
“What he didn’t understand was that we weren’t choosing this. Not anymore, anyway.” ~What I Lost
What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard: 5/5 Stars
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?
I know I’ve been doing quite a few spoiler free reviews, but I felt like making this one spoiler free as well.
This book stars with the main character, Elizabeth, going to a treatment center and as the story goes on we, the readers, see how she deals with her eating disorder and we follower her along on this journey of hers. I really liked Elizabeth as a character because she didn’t seem fake. She was pretty honest and you got to see how she really struggled with her eating disorder. It’s not like the book sugar-coated it and she immediately got better. Instead it showed all the ups-and-downs of recovery. Elizabeth knew she needed help, but like most she was afraid to admit it, so as the story went on you saw her slowly begin to accept that she did need help.
I do want to say that this book may be potentially triggering to anyone struggling with an eating disorder or anyone who may have struggled with an eating disorder, so only read it if you think it’s something you can handle.
I did think this book had an amazing message that was told in a different way. I haven’t read, or even heard of, many books about mental illness, so I knew I had to get this book. I think it’s good to see more of these books that deal with a serious topic in the book world. Often times mental illness can be overlooked or abused; and by abused I mean that people like to claim they have something wrong when they don’t and that can hurt those who do have something wrong with them. Therefore, I think exposure to these types of things is good.
Back to the review. The writing in this book was good and I didn’t feel like the book ever got boring or dragged on. I liked reading and seeing how Elizabeth handled her problems and how she slowly began to manage her problems. Most people don’t learn to manage their problems they only know how to deal with them, so seeing someone learn how to manage something like an eating disorder can be inspiring and it’s good to see. It showed that she still struggled, but in the end it was her choice to get better and get help and I thought that was very encouraging and great to see.
Overall I really liked this book and I recommend it to anyone who may be struggling, but wants a book that can help be a pick-me-up. Obviously, if you’re struggling with an eating disorder you should be careful and know that this book can be triggering. The important thing to take away from this book is the message it tells, so if you’re looking for a good contemporary novel with a good message than I suggest this book! Also, sorry it’s not a very long review!
I hope y’all enjoyed reading my thoughts on this book! If anyone else has read it please comment and let me know what you thought!