October 11, 2017 | Posted by Victoria in Book Reviews | 4 Comments

Genres: Mental Illness, Young Adult
Publication Date: October 11, 2017 by City Lights Press
Format: eARC
Goodreads | Amazon
1.5 Stars
Source: Publisher via E-mail

Fifteen-year-old Lisa Jones just wants to go back to a time “when my dolls could talk and soldiers had minds of their own.”

But childhood eluded her way too early and caused wounds too much for her young mind to handle.

She’s a product of her environment and a poster child for dysfunction in the modern family as she looks out into the world and sees happy people, only to wonder why happiness and love elude her. Confusion and self-loathing boil to the surface.

When she finally gets admitted to the Renew Eating Disorder Treatment Facility, it quickly becomes clear that her problems aren’t about the food. Therapists place her on the trauma tract to dig down to root cause. What she finds there threatens to rip apart what’s left of her family and drive her completely over the edge.

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.

I went into this book blind, and did not know what to expect. I was confused most of the time I was reading, and there were so many random parts inserted into the story that didn’t make sense or add to the plot.

Imagine every bad experience that could happen to someone. They ALL happened to Lisa. I have no problem reading stories about people struggling with multiple issues, but none of them were resolved. Technically they were resolved, but there was nothing in the book showing how they were resolved, so it was very unsatisfying.

The book starts with the main character, Lisa, telling her sister and best friend about her relationship with her teacher. She’s thirteen years old, in a relationship with her teacher, AND NO ONE BATS AN EYE AT THIS. The only thing they do is give Lisa tips on how to break up with him, they don’t say anything about how wrong the relationship is, or tell anyone even though she’s thirteen and he’s a PEDOPHILE.

I was also not a fan of the writing in this book. The dialogue was not realistic, and any time a character spoke it felt stiff and formal. I felt like there were many times throughout the book where the author tried to use cliffhangers and foreshadowing, but it wasn’t done very well. I knew what the big reveal was within the first couple chapters of the book.

The story did improve when Lisa went to the eating disorder facility. I think the reason this part was better is because the author understood and drew inspiration from his daughter’s eating disorder.

There were journal entries throughout the book, but I don’t know why there were so many. I understand that the author wants the reader to see Lisa’s progression from semi-healthy to unhealthy, but there were SO MANY diary entries, that I just started skipping them. Instead of bringing something important to the story, they were just thrown in there. At one point even HER MOM’S diary entries were part of the story.

Like I mentioned earlier, there were multiple storylines introduced that were made to seem important, but they were never developed or resolved. In addition to this, there were chapters scattered throughout the novel from Lisa’s dad and sister’s point of view that were supposed to give more, unbiased, information about Lisa’s story, but they just repeated everything Lisa said.

I think the author tried to tackle too many issues in one book, and if he focused on only one or two of the issues with the character, the story would have been much better, and less confusing.


  1. Oh, no! I’m so sorry that it wasn’t for you. I can see why it wouldn’t be, though, based on your review and I’m inclined to agree with you re: your frustration/dislike of how it was handled.

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