by Meg Haston
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication Date: July 7, 2015 by HarperTeen
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Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.
Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.
Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.
In this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut, Meg Haston delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss, while posing the question: Why are some consumed by their illness while others embark on a path toward recovery?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I read the synopsis, I knew I had to request this book. Some personal issues in my life, which some of you have read about previously on this blog, have led me to love these types of books so I went in with high hopes. That’s the thing, guys. You cannot go in with high hopes or it is a very high chance you will be disappointed.
Stevie can be described as a very complex character whom I thought I would love as the story progressed, yet I didn’t. I didn’t feel any emotional pull towards her. I tried to like her and would even forgive things she would do but she still irked me a lot. I couldn’t comprehend what was going on through her head, which to be honest happens quite a lot with real life people. There were two characters I loved in this story and they are Ana, the shrink and Ashley, the roommate. Ana is what every aspiring Psychologist should look up to. Yes, she did quite a few minor things that are not okay by the APA (American Psychological Association) but she did everything she could to help Stevie. There are times where you even see her shedding a tear for Stevie because she truly cares. Do you know how hard it is to find a psychologist who truly cares about you? You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find one. The ones that are lucky to have one like Ana, should treasure them 110%. Then there is Ashley, another character who is a bit complex but is easy to love. In the beginning, Stevie didn’t quite like Ashley, which even led me to dislike her a bit but then I realized I was being stupid since Ashley is probably the best friend Stevie could have asked for in a place where she is. Ashley looks out for Stevie like no one has ever done, besides her brother. She is another character that cares for Stevie and is there for her.
Now let’s talk about the characters I didn’t like and one of them is Eden. Eden is Stevie’s friend from before she went into treatment and let me tell you, I wasn’t fond of her at all. While reading about her, I felt like she thought she was above everyone else and she would toy around with people’s emotions. I also didn’t like Stevie’s mom. She abandoned Stevie and her dad after the funeral and they hadn’t heard from her in a while. She also didn’t care about anyone but herself, or at least that’s how she was portrayed to me. It shows why Stevie has the behavior she has when it comes to her body image. Yes, it is Stevie’s mind and it was her choice, but sometimes the people that surround us play a role in how we act. In this case, Stevie didn’t receive love from her mom—only from her brother and father. This could lead to many negative thoughts running through ones head and in this case, it leads Stevie to take a negative action.
I have to warn some of you. This book has some triggering parts to those that suffer from Anorexia and/or Bulimia Nervosa and those who Self-Harm or have suicidal thoughts. I want to put that out there because people do get triggered by these things, even if it tries to portray a positive message in the end. With that said, even with my rating, I recommend teens to read this book—the reason being that it deals with many things that sometimes teens tend to be ignorant about, even adults. This book could serve as a learning material to some and even on how to deal with someone who suffers from the subjects mentioned above. These subjects are very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It was inspiring to read that this story was based on the author’s experiences at a treatment camp, which makes you realize that these things do happen in real life, no matter how frustrating a person can get. This book shows that you don’t give up on someone who suffers from this. You give them your support until the end.
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