Book Review: What I Lost by Abigail Ballard


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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 0 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?

My Review:

Trigger warning for eating disorders.

I've seen so many people raving about this book. Many people say this is one of the best representations of anorexia. I am 100% standing by them with stating that. I personally do not suffer from an eating disorder, but other people have and read this book and said it was great representation. I'm not going to pretend I know what I'm talking about, so I will not give my opinion on the representation. 

What I Lost follows Elizabeth, a junior in high school who suffers from anorexia. She gets sent to an inpatient treatment center called Wallingfield where girls with eating disorders go to get better. You see the struggles Elizabeth and the other girls go through on their journey to recovery. 

I personally didn't have a connection with this novel. The only connection I was close to having was with Tristan. I've never had an eating disorder so I have no understanding what's going on through these girl's heads. It was really educational to see how someone with anorexia really thinks and acts though. 

I really liked that this book was realistic. I could see all of these things happening in real life. Even when it came to Heather posting about them on social media. It's crazy what kids go through with school and other kids at school. I wish it would have discussed more on how she coped with going back to school and into an environment she wasn't necessarily comfortable in.  

I loved seeing her improvement through the book. I felt like a happy parent every time she ate or even discussed how she was feeling. 

I recommend this book to anyone who thinks an eating disorder is nothing and is something that can easily get over. I recommend this to people who have anorexia and want to get better. I feel like this book could really help with encouraging people. Just don't read it if you get triggered easily.

3/5 Stars

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