“While it does tackle mature issues and themes, it does so in a responsible manner, and one that readers of that age should be mature enough to appreciate.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
A powerful and personal tale, told in words and pictures, this was a wonderful, and at times heartbreaking read. Illustrated by the author, this is the story of her struggle to overcome issues with food, and her quest for control and perfection.
A picky eater since childhood, as adolescence hits the resulting changes in her body become something that she struggles against, and soon she develops full blown anorexia. Unfortunately this is just the beginning of what will be a years long struggle to develop a healthy relationship with food, exacerbated by abuse from a person she trusted to help her with the problem.
The book is simply, but effectively illustrated in pencil style drawings and a muted palette is used throughout, visibly reflecting the darkness of the struggle she was undergoing. This also makes even more effective the limited use of more vibrant colours such as purple and green, to accent particular parts of the story. Occasionally the pages and panels seem repetitive at times, but in fact this just emphasises the constant daily struggle she faced.
I also found the use of dark, incoherent scribbles to represent the dark thoughts she was dealing with, particularly effective. The story being told, while highly personal is something that many young girls will relate to, in some form or another, and this is a book that I would highly recommend to young adult readers.
While it does tackle mature issues and themes, it does so in a responsible manner, and one that readers of that age should be mature enough to appreciate. I also thought it was good that there was some focus on the family dynamics surrounding the illness, and how it impacted on family life.
While the message of the book is ultimately hopeful and positive, it is also realistic, and for this reason it is one of the best memoirs in graphic novel form that I have read.
Added 11th September 2019