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Stick Figure

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  4,186 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews
An Alternate Selection of the Book of the Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club“Although it reads like a novel—a funny, touching, and absolutely gripping novel—Stick Figure is, astonishingly, the diary of Lori Gottlieb in 1978, when, at age 11 and all evidence to the contrary, she decided she was too fat and simply stopped eating…”
Boston Globe

Growing up in Beverly Hi
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Berkley (first published February 20th 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 16, 2007 Anastacia rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Shelves: memoir
I want my money back. This was HORRIBLE. I hate even giving one star to it, but I don't want anyone to think I just forgot to rate this piece of crap. I bought it to read a thoughtful memoir on an eating disorder and it is page after page of pure crap - the worst book on this issue (or, really, any issue) I have ever read. It just reinforces all the stereotypes and myths of eating disorders and god forbid anyone read this who knows someone struggling with the disorder because this is NOT what it ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Buffheart added it
Recommends it for: People interested in Eating Disorders
I heard all this hype about this book, so I bought it and read it. It was an interesting story, but I found the fact that she "cured" herself on her own to be quite ridiculous and fake. People with real Eating Disorders can't simply think themselves better.

Oct 17, 2011 Kat rated it did not like it
Shelves: ed, unfavourites
I don't think this book adds much to the sum total of ED literature. It's well written and Lori's 11yr old voice is compelling, funny and wise beyond her years (perhaps unbelievably so).
However, it's very triggering and lacks insight. Lori's mother is painted as an ogre, the doctors do nothing to really help her and I was left wondering where her apparently spontaneous recovery came from and how she fared after her hospitalisation. It's a book mostly about Lori's becoming and being sick, with r
Jun 20, 2010 Shawna rated it really liked it
This book purports to be the actual teenage diary of the author as she struggled through a year with anorexia. Having read hundreds of memoirs, I believe this book was heavily edited by the author. It does not sound like a girl writing extemporaneously, even a gifted child as she appears to be. It reads like a columnist writing for the local newspaper, who has an agenda. She wants us to believe that all girls are as weight obsessed as she and her classmates. However, they are living in Beverly H ...more
Mar 06, 2012 Josie rated it it was amazing
This is a true story about a young girl who becomes severely anorexic. The author/ main character is a pre-teen girl named Lori who never thought much about her weight until her mother and cousin started to judge her eating habits. The problem with Lori was that she was getting mixed messages about whether it was good or bad to diet. Doctors and her dad and mom would tell her to not try to lose weight, but all the while she'd be watching her mother not eat. This is what drove Lori to being obses ...more
Dec 13, 2008 Indra rated it really liked it
A true-to-life memoir of an 11-year-old with anorexia in the late 1970s, it has humor and observations that keep the reader absorbed and is a good primer for understanding anorexia. Shows just how warped the mind becomes when suffering from an eating disorder and how the issue of control is front and center. Every adult in this child's life is obsessed with what she eats and her mother, in particular, hammers home the message in constant and probably subconscious ways that the only thing that ma ...more
Apr 27, 2012 Stacey rated it it was ok
This book was read by one of my students in my Psychology of Women class. She brought it for me to read and I was excited to read it.

To say I was disappointed with this book would be generous. I thought this was an extreme trivialization of anorexia and the body image distortions that accompany it.

The story is told from the diary of the author as an 11 year old girl. However, I really don't believe that these are her actual diaries - it's a bit too neat to be completely authentic. Even if the d
May 13, 2010 Kimmae rated it really liked it
From an 11 year old pure viewpoint (Gottleib's journals): parents, dieting, expectations, anorexia. Parts of the book made me really consider body image and food as related to my daughter: Gottlieb wishing to be skinny for her 11 1/2 birthday wish then wonders what would be left to wish for when she is 12 because what else would a 12 yo girl wish for? She refers to wedding dresses that of course don't fit because of the need to diet for 6 months first, mother frowns on her large portions but enc ...more
Jan 25, 2013 Ashley rated it did not like it
This was mentioned a few times in an Abnormal Psych class I took last year, so when I saw it on the clearance shelves at Half Price Books for a dollar I figured I'd give it a shot.

...I really, really, really want my dollar back now.

This was absolutely terrible. As many other reviewers have noted, I find it difficult to believe that an eleven year old wrote this "book" (diary). It was this weird mixture of all at once being too grown up for an eleven year old, but shockingly devoid of any insight
May 13, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it

I liked it.

I don't think the girl had anorexia. I think she had a self perception disorder, absolutely, and I'm not an expert (or anorexic) but I'm pretty sure it isn't something you can just decide to snap out of. She does thank The Group at the end of the book, so I have a feeling that her struggles were just beginning when she wrote the journals that inspired this book, but I doubt it's anorexia. I think she imposed the eating part of the disorder onto herself upon developing an image prob
Dec 07, 2012 7706marley rated it it was amazing
This realistic fiction and biography book called "Stick Figure" by Lori Gottlieb is a book about the authors former life. The author and main character Lori had anorexia. She was in denial. She wouldnt eat and would say she was dieting.Another problem in this story is that Lori starts losing most of her friends. Her problem becomes really big and is admitted to the hospital.

I recommend this book to anyone who feels that they are not skinny enough. I also recommend this book to anyone who wants t
Della Scott
Apr 28, 2015 Della Scott rated it did not like it
I found this in a Little Free Library in Seattle. I did manage to finish it, to see what happens. I've read a fair number of books on eating disorders and other compulsive behaviors(anorexics and bulimics are often cross-addicted) and this is probably the most disappointing. Ostensibly, it is a diary of a real 11-year-old southern California girl growing up in the late 70s, who after attempting to process all the mixed messages she's getting about food, femininity, body image and nutrition, beco ...more
Kristen Lounsbury
Oct 13, 2014 Kristen Lounsbury rated it it was ok
The book Stick Figure by Lori Gottleib is non-fiction and based on the diary entries of the author when she was eleven years old. Lori was a very smart girl but didn't have many friends. She thought that if she went on a "diet" then she would be thin like the popular girls and people would like her. Unfortunately, Lori's "diet" consisted of her starving herself to the point of being diagnosed with anorexia and put in the hospital. This novel tells about her experience with anorexia and how she g ...more
Joanna Acosta
Mar 13, 2014 Joanna Acosta rated it did not like it
Lori Gottlieb, the protagonist of Lori’s autobiography, “Stick Figure” is an intelligent
eleven year old girl from California. Lori’s begins to worry about her body image when her mother begins to criticize her eating habits. She soon falls victim to society’s image of a perfect woman. She soon starts to see herself as fat, when in reality she is too thin.
Although Lori is denial about her unhealthy weight her parents decide to intervene and seek professional help. Lori stops eating and is consta
Jan 07, 2011 Fatima rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the bests. It is a journey of a girl through a disease known as anorexia. This book taught me a lesson about how I should learn to like my self for who i am. Lori also learns this lesson in the book. One more thing i would say is that you should like yourself for who you are whether fat or skinny. If friends decide to use you for the diet plans your working on they aren't called true friends. So I guess deep inside this book it teaches you what the true meaning of friendship ...more
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Most books about eating disorder experiences are pretty serious, and rightfully so, but this one is written from the viewpoint of a preteen. I found her thinking patterns both interesting and enlightening, and could identify, too, with some of her many fears and anxieties. I feel this would be a good book for libraries to put in their YA section, so I'll probably offer it to my local one. If they don't want it, then I'll release it via BookCrossing.
Sep 17, 2014 Lexi rated it it was amazing
In this book Diary Of My Former Self: Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb , it will take your stomach on a whirl as if you’re on your favorite ride at the carnival. Lori Gottlieb makes you feel as if you were the girl going threw the disturbing idea that you don’t have the ideal body. This book will make you cry and then laugh because of her uplifting personality, not only is this my absolute favorite realistic fiction book but also you will learn real facts about eating disorders and get a feel of o ...more
May 23, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Gottlieb kept a journal of her short bout of anorexia at the tender age of eleven. Obviously highly intelligent and blessed with a dry sense of humor Gottlieb's insight belies her young age. Unlike many books written about eating disorders Gottlieb's voice is the primary player here as opposed to the intricacies of the disease. Because of this, she is easy to identify with even for those who have never struggled with food and weight issues.
May 21, 2010 Cassandra rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book, and was let down. A young Lori Gottlieb was very, very unlikable. I've never been so annoyed with a main character. I didn't give it one star because it is a diary of a very young girl and while it's a bit annoying, it does offer a genuine perspective of a mind of a (12?) year-old suffering from an eating disorder, for better or worse. I didn't get anything substantial out of the book.
Aug 31, 2010 Liralen rated it really liked it
It's a quick read, but I ached for the author's 11-year-old self. It's amazing how little analysis is needed to understand exactly where her eating disorder came from and how the well-intentioned people around her exacerbated the problem. Normally I'd wish that the book did have more analysis, but it doesn't need it. The diary entries stand on their own.

The upshot: It's sad, it's funny, it's worth reading.
Ashly Torres
Oct 14, 2014 Ashly Torres rated it really liked it
I think is a great book because it though you a lot of a girl of 11 years old that like to be popular, by been anorexic and not realizing the hurt she is making to herself.
Aug 16, 2009 Bridget rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2008 Becca rated it it was ok
interesting book...I like it up until the end. I thought that there was too quick of a shift in the events described and then it just ended. The beginning and middle of the book were better. I wished the author, considering she was telling her own story, would have spent more time discussing/describing certain things
Matteah Dawson
Sep 10, 2014 Matteah Dawson rated it it was amazing
Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb was beautifully written. When i picked up this book i had no idea what it was about, i've never even heard of it until my friend gave it to me. She gave it raving reviews and i had no choice but to read it, and i am so glad i did. It was about young Lori who grew up in a society who was obsessed with being ladylike, dieting, and being thin. Lori on the other hand was a girl who liked to eat and and play with the boys. But on a family trip to Washington D.C. she and ...more
Sep 08, 2010 Crystal rated it it was amazing
A really great book! you can read it here:
Gripping and sad story about the author's struggle with an eating disorder, but there was not enough detail to the story or follow-through. Just okay. I heard that Wasted by Marya Hornbacher was better, but I don't know if or when I'll get to it.
Oct 01, 2014 Dolores rated it really liked it
Lori was a precocious eleven-year-old, growing up in Beverly Hills, when she wrote in her diary "I wish to be the thinnest girl at school, or maybe even the thinnest girl on the entire planet." "Stick Figure" is an absorbing story of the mindset of an adolescent with anorexia, but it is more than just that. It is compassionate and funny...about a girl dealing with growing up.

A huge percentage of women are, for whatever reason, constantly worrying about how they look and how much they weigh. It c
Oct 28, 2007 Sera rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir, own
A haunting look at anorexia and a teen's attempt to recover from the disease. I enjoyed the book, but it would have been better if it offered more insight into the psychological ascpects of the disease.
Booktalk: Women don't eat desserts; they save them for the guys. Women are always on diets. Boys don't like girls who have thunder thighs. You can never be too thin. Thin is in. This is what Lori sees and hears all around her, everyday, at school, with her friends, in her own family. And since every one at school thinks she's a weirdo anyway, maybe being thin is the key to being popular. So Lori goes on a diet. Read pp 90-91 starting with " lunch everyone at our table...think I was a phony. ...more
Mishaela Meadows
Aug 20, 2015 Mishaela Meadows rated it really liked it
Shelves: eating-disorders
I really enjoyed this book and found Lori to be extremely amusing and intelligent. Although suffering from anorexia is far from funny,( it's hell; I've been there myself), she is a very humorous girl with quite a quirky personality. What I did not like about the book is how I was very confused at the fact that she just "decided" to not be anorexic anymore. From personal experience, as well as knowing others suffering from an eating disorder, you do not just SNAP out of it and all of the sudden s ...more
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Lori Gottlieb is the author of national best-seller Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self, and a regular commentator on NPR. A journalist and columnist, she has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Atlantic Monthly, People, Elle, and Glamour. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
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“I started going over the lines in my head for this French play I’m in at school. I play a rabbit called Janot Lapin, who’s the leader of a group of farm animals. It’s not the most interesting play in the universe, but we only know three verb tenses so far so we didn’t have a lot of choices. There’s this one scene where I’m really hungry because the landowners aren’t feeding us, and I keep saying, “J’ai faim.” In case you don’t know, that means “I’m hungry,” but it really means “I have hunger.” That’s what real French people say. I think it’s neat how French people have hunger, but they aren’t hungry like Americans are. I mean, it’s a lot easier to try not to have something than to try not to be it.” 3 likes
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