A college student takes readers through a harrowing, but ultimately hopeful and inspiring, account of her eating disorder. Her amazing story is told through the journals she kept during her daily struggle with this addiction and disease. Her triumphs and tragedies all unfold in this beautiful story of God’s grace.
MY REVIEW (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
I’m not sure if Diary of an Anorexic Girl by Morgan Menzie is the best book to introduce to young girls on the topic of anorexia. I’ve never had to deal with the disorder, but after trying to lose weight for so many years (and doing it successfully and healthily, I might add), I felt drawn to the book, thinking that it would help give me perspective on what NOT to do, giving me yet another reminder on why I should be proud to be treating my body well.
While I wasn’t expecting to be so shocked over the drastic weight loss that the main character, Blythe, went though (that is what the book is about, so I was expecting it) I found myself wondering how the book even got published. It seemed almost too young, too jumbled together, and void of any emotion. I also didn’t understand how Blythe’s parents didn’t too anything earlier, but instead waited for Blythe to have her own epiphany that she isn’t well and needs help.
Of course, that might just be my ignorance on the subject since I’ve never had anorexia. But, to me, the ending just seemed a bit too cliche – almost too hopeful for the subject matter. I expected more of a struggle. I didn’t understand how after seeing one girl eat very little at lunch one day led Blythe into a competition to see if she could be like that, especially since she wasn’t friends with this girl. Would it not be harrowing for a young girl to see someone like Lauren in skin and bones, pleading with you not to tell anyone about it? It seems like an odd thing to want to emulate.
One thing that bothered me was the huge emphasis on religion throughout the book. Blythe seemed to be led by God in everything she did and wasn’t afraid to say so – again and again in her diary entries. Some readers might find this to be a bit much, but given the subject matter, it kind of works with the book. Blythe finds her strength through God, which ultimately leads to her recovery.
The entire novel seems a little too simple, so if you’re looking for something to really reach you to your core – look elsewhere. After a while, Blythe driveling on and on about her latest crush can get to be annoying.
At the beginning, Morgan Menzie points out that the book is indeed fiction, based on her struggles as an anorexic girl. I think this ruined it for me. If the book is indeed a work of fiction, it could have been better. The “Dear Diary” format makes the reader jump ahead too much in Blythe’s story – sometimes you feel like you’re missing out on something seeing an entire month go by. There is very little talk on the disorder itself, but instead just day-to-day rantings of an adolescent teen.
I expected Diary of an Anorexic Girl to be more moving than it actually was, but if you are trying to introduce a teen to the disorder (who isn’t afraid to read about God), then this might be the book for you. If you’re looking for something filled with suspense, anguish, and more of a struggle, then there might be a better book out there.