Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia. Read more...
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Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia. Told entirely from Elena's perspective over a five-year period and cowritten with her mother, award-winning author Clare B. Dunkle, Elena's memoir is a fascinating and intimate look at a deadly disease, and a must read for anyone who knows someone suffering from an eating disorder.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-06
- Reviewer: Staff
In a raw memoir, Elena Dunkle, writing with her mother, documents her long struggle with anorexia nervosa, beginning when she was an overachieving teen; Clare Dunkle’s parallel account, Hope and Other Luxuries, is being published for adults simultaneously. (The publishing setup recalls that of David and Nic Sheff’s father-son memoirs of drug abuse.) By the time Elena starts on the real road to recovery, she has been through numerous hospitalizations, treatments centers, and therapy sessions, and she has “purged so much” that she can no longer tolerate a feeding tube. In an afterword, Elena writes that “nothing about eating disorders is simple,” something she makes painfully clear as she reveals the often terrifying inner workings of her mind and self-destructive behavior. She goes to great lengths to pretend to eat, all while a harsh internal voice constantly criticizes and humiliates her. It’s only after years of work that she is able to start getting to the root causes of what brought on her dangerous behavior. This authentic, painful story adds a valuable firsthand perspective on eating disorders. Ages 14–up. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (May)■