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Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser. - Liane Shaw

Posted by on August 2, 2011

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Maddie has always felt a hole in her life, but she has finally found a way to fill it with her quest to mold her body into her ideal, thinnest shape. When she comes across the world of Pro Ana websites, where young people encourage each other in their mission to lose ever more weight, she realizes she is no longer alone. Finally, she has found a place where she is understood. Maddie quickly becomes addicted to the support and camaraderie she finds on Now in a rehab facility where they are trying to “fix” a problem she doesn’t think she has, Maddie is forced to keep a diary tracing how she arrived at this point. Angry that she is barred from accessing her online friends, Maddie resists therapy. Only when a tragedy befalls one of her comrades in arms is she shocked into admitting that she does need help.

Review: I loved the concept of this book very much. Simply because having been there as a teenager, I completely understand the expectations and pressures of being a teenage girl and wanting to feel slim as well. Whilst I never had an eating disorder (in actual fact I was an overweight teen), I related to the feelings of wanting to be thin.

The start of this book was a little bit too slow and didn’t really have an air of authenticity to it. The protagonist is Maddie who is a 17 year old girl who suffers from an eating disorder. I didn’t really understand the underlying reasons (if any) for her developing this illness asides from wanting to be skinny.

The first half of the book talked a lot about what Maddie said and did but didn’t delve nearly as much into how she felt. I felt the story line was really important, I just didn’t connect to it so much.

It really came into it’s own in the second half of the book that being said. The time Maddie spent in the clinic helped redeem the book in my eyes and I actually quite enjoyed the story from that point onwards. We start to feel her anger, her denial about even having an eating disorder, her feelings for her online friends… I actually felt something, which made the story that much better for me.

Definitely an important story for teenage girls out there who feel those pressures that society places on us. It shows the unglamourous truth about eating disorders as well as this “pro-ana” websites out there promoting this illness and actually motivating girls out there to get sicker. Books like this highlight just how serious a condition this is.

Rating: 3 out of 5

One Response to - Liane Shaw

  1. Cindy

    I like reading books on tough issues, but this one doesn’t sound like its for me. Great, honest review :)

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