Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Author: Liane Shaw
Published: 2009
Genre: Eating disorders, Life, Diary
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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.
From Amazon

Although was very informative, regarding the development and causes of anorexia, for me it was too 'text-book'. I understand that the author needs to present facts, as said here, but the dialogue seemed too forced, to make it 'match' the plot and the characters just didn't jump out to me. However, I do really appreciate that Shaw didn't present readers with the 'perfect solution', of Maddie being fully recovered from anorexia. Also, I never knew about 'pro-ana' sites, so it just opened up my eyes even more at how harmful the Internet can be when used in a negative way.

I don't really know anyone with/who had anorexia, nor have I had an eating disorder myself, so I do acknowledge that the book didn't have an impact on me, especially because I couldn't relate to Maddie or her family at all. I'd love to know how others who've read feel about this book (especially if you know someone who has/had an eating disorder, or even yourself).


  1. Ahh, I want to read this book. Even if it's a bit "textbook-y," I had a close friend who had anorexia and I just refused to see it even when it should have been obvious. By the time the problem really came out in the open, our friendship had dissolved but I regret not paying attention to the signs I saw and confronting her about it earlier.


  2. I don't really know anyone with an eating disorder, but I ger what you were saying when you said the book was too text book. That must've been annoying.
    DP? I'm taking the program in French so you're going to have to explain haha. So far I've done the "Personal Project" (lasted a year), I think we're going to be doing the tech project soon and I know we have to write a memoire in grade 12.


  3. Ok, I suffered from anorexia and bulimia for years, so I doubt this book is for me. That said, I think it's more important to get in the character's head than to know about the disease, itself...much like Wintergirls. Nice review :)

  4. Jordyn: I hope your friend is better now. Sometimes we don't know what to do ourselves :/ There's no harm in reading, so I do encourage you to give a go! :)

    MT: but I did finish the novel! :D

    Melissa: thanks :) Wow, I never knew that. I don't know what to say now... I suppose that even though you "doubt" this book wouldn't be for you, if you ever come across and read it, I'd love to know how true the story is from another young woman's POV.

  5. this book is very interesting and I like it how it is writtin as a jopurnal thing.. I don't know anyone who really has anorexia but I know that I had eating disorters for a very long time and I suggest anyone who has anorexia or eating disorters to read ths book. ;))


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