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Insatiable: A Young Mother's Struggle with Anorexia

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  175 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
A provocative and engrossing memoir of a young mother's spiral into eating disorders and exercise addiction, and her subsequent struggle to reclaim control of her life.

At twenty-four, Erica Rivera appeared to have it all: a B.A., two daughters, a successful husband, a house in the suburbs-and a great body. But under the surface, Erica was struggling with an addiction. Sh
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Berkley Hardcover (first published January 1st 2009)
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Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonBrave Girl Eating by Harriet  BrownWasted by Marya HornbacherBeautiful Me by Natasha JenningsPerfect by Natasha Friend
Books on Eating Disorders
80th out of 111 books — 71 voters
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Best Eating Disorder Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 420)
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Sarah
Jan 26, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This book was just okay. Maybe I'm burned out on the genre or something. The story was compelling enough, but...

I suppose one problem was the use of Ana and BB (Binge Bitch) that irked me. I'm not trying to undermine her eating disorder, and it appears that's how she really referred to it while she was suffering, but it just feels so immature, like something you'd see on a pro-ana board. I just cringed every time she called them by those names.

One more iffy problem is that it basically turns int
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Ellie
Insatiable: A Young Mother's Struggle with Anorexia by Erica Rivera is an engrossing account of a woman's struggle with anorexia-which she refers to by the nickname popular among many anorexics, "Ana" and binge-eating disorder, which she calls "BB."

The narrator finds solace, friendship, stability, and ultimately love in the eating disorders that threaten to kill her and destroy her ability to create, love her two young children, and live a meaningful life. Her struggle is as much about her abil
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Rachel Kramer Bussel
Mar 12, 2010 Rachel Kramer Bussel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
Insatiable is not, like any memoir about an eating disorder, an easy read. There are binges and paeans to suicide and disturbing moments when Rivera leaves her two sleeping toddlers to go for a run. I found the chapters in which Rivera plans to commit suicide the most compelling, and they most starkly show the depths to which Rivera sank over the course of her eating disorder.

Yes, there are dramatic, detailed descriptions of food here and what Rivera did with it, everything from amassing it to h
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Desiree
Oct 13, 2015 Desiree rated it liked it
As I was reading this memoir I found myself really disliking Erica. How could she leave her two small daughters alone just so she could go out for a run, or go get dessert? Skip around some with comments she would make about them and my brain thought "How could she hate them that much"? I had to stop myself and remember that this was about a woman suffering through Anorexia and disordered thinking. Does it excuse the behavior? HELL NO, but it does give insight into how that disorder plays out an ...more
Mishaela Meadows
Aug 13, 2015 Mishaela Meadows rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eating-disorders
I read this book twice and love this book. I like the way the author wrote about her experience with restricting and over-exercising. She writes very honestly about how suffering from an eating disorder can make you do things you never thought possible, and the effect it had on her children and her relationships. She's so forward in this book, and speaks very openly of things she does that people without an eating disorder may say to be horrible, selfish, and absurd. I, myself, have suffered fro ...more
Chana Billet
Aug 01, 2014 Chana Billet rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this well-written, humorous, candid memoir of a young mother's struggle with anorexia.

Not having first-hand knowledge of the disorder, Rivera's carnal portrayal of her daily struggle (do I starve or binge-eat today?)was an eye-opener. Her detailed, descriptive prose created a book I couldn't put down. My body cringed in the sordid details of her overwhelming battle. I wished there would have been more resolution, but I guess that's the point. Recovering anorexics almost always l
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Katie
Nov 04, 2014 Katie rated it it was ok
I had a hard time pinpointing what bothered me about this book, but I think the main reason I didn't really care about Rivera is that she didn't really seem to care about herself. I realise that it may be partly due to her mental illness, but the entire book she comes across as very detached from her feelings and unaware of everyone around her and herself.

It seems ironic to call this "a young mother's struggle with anorexia" when it doesn't seem like she struggles at all. She's definitely proud
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Liralen
Overwhelming impression: The author was not over her eating disorder when she wrote this book.

Does she write well? Sure. Is it honest, and an accurate portrait of an eating disorder? Sometimes disturbingly so. I don't question any of that, but I had a very hard time connecting with the narrator's voice -- as with Marya Hornbacher's Wasted, Insatiable often felt... self-important, maybe.

The book opens with a scene in the doctor's office: Rivera answers some questions, is examined, and is told tha
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Erica
Jul 03, 2014 Erica rated it it was ok
Deeply disturbing, for many reasons.

Erica Rivera is an adult woman, a single mother of two girls, with an eating disorder. Strangely, she refers to her eating disorder by juvenile pet names, "Ana" and "BB," which was ridiculous.

She's also almost certainly setting her daughters up to become eating disordered. In the book, she talks about watching her daughters chew and spit. She leaves them home alone while she goes out and runs.

Rivera claims to have anorexia, but I think she's actually bulimi
...more
Kathleen Q
Apr 17, 2012 Kathleen Q rated it really liked it
This story is dynamic: it's heart-breaking, gripping and a little bit humorous (author's intention!) In the beginning of the book, you think like Erica, thinking what she's doing is almost okay. That she has it under control, and isn't running healthy? But then you see the damage her disorder is doing to everything in her life, and then you see her take the journey to recover. She does not glamorize the disorder, but she takes you into her mindset at the time before laying it out and saying, "Th ...more
Toni
Mar 17, 2012 Toni rated it really liked it
I can't say I liked this book - having a family member who has struggled with this insidious disease for years it hit too close to home. I couldn't help but feel the author went into too much detail about her actions. My fear would be that other young women would find alot of trigger behaviors reading this. I do believe that Rivera is a talented writer and I wish her well in her continued recovery.
Susan Jackson
Jul 26, 2012 Susan Jackson rated it really liked it
I usually avoid books or memoirs about eating disorders as I find them annoying, but this one seemed to be different than the usual fare,probably because the writer doesn't fit the profile one associates with the eating disordered. It captured my attention from the first page and kept it until the end. I really appreciated and admired the writer's honesty in telling her story.
Michelle
May 31, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs, adult, ebooks
While this book was interesting to dive into the mind of a seriously disturb individual I found it really hard to read and stay focused on. The entire book could have been summed up within 50 pages. It would have been much better had their been more substance to her story rather then just a whining individual that clearly still needs help.
Lark Alexandar
Jul 02, 2012 Lark Alexandar marked it as to-read
I swear to god I die a little bit inside when google book preview decides to inform me that "some pages are omitted from this preview". The preview was damn good and we all know they are practically teasing you. I am sold on this book, LOL!! It's super good and it has some sarcasm in it which is totally me (if u didn't already know)...
Stephanie
Jul 18, 2010 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
A great memoir for those seeking to understand the hidden thoughts and behaviors of anorexia - for example, great for family or friends. NOT recommended for those with an active eating disorder. Also, as much as I *loved* the bulk of the book, I was a bit disappointed that her recovery was summarized in about 20 pages.
Gayle
Jan 19, 2010 Gayle rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK. Though she is half my age I could identify with the author's struggle with ED and being a parent. It was very triggering though so in that respect I'm glad to be finished. I had all but forgotten about the package of laxatives in my cabinet :(

Still in all, excellent memoir!
Brianna Ritchot
Feb 24, 2013 Brianna Ritchot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very well formatted and has a very great description of the characters. I really enjoyed this book. It was very touching and does give you a very different perspective in life. I do recommend this book to people who love suspense and a very touching ending.
Lisa
Aug 10, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Great! The story was easy to read and hooked me after the first chapter. The tone isn't so much Erica complaining or having a pity party but an in depth account of her struggle. I sympathized with her and sometimes her family. I was rooting for her throughout the book.
Danielle
Aug 01, 2014 Danielle rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
This started out really gripping and interesting and then the last 1/4 of the book had me saying wtf? Just like Wintergirls, her recovery only took like a minute. Not realistic. Still can't get over the fact she ran 70 miles a week.
Meg Marie
Jan 02, 2012 Meg Marie rated it liked it
A horrifically honest memoir of a young woman's struggle with eating disorders while also trying to raise two little girls and survive a divorce. Her writing is raw and powerful, though unbelievably disturbing and infuriating in places.
Becky
Mar 07, 2011 Becky rated it liked it
I thought this memoir would be more about how her eating disorder affected her daughters' lives. While it was brutally honest, I felt like she complained about what a pathetic mother she was too often.
Angela Gambrel
Okay, but she uses a lot of cliches and seems fixated on anorexia when really bulimia (binging and purging) is her main problem for most of the time. Meh. Also a cliche ending.
Saskia
Sep 05, 2012 Saskia rated it really liked it
The voice could be annoying, plus it read as a series of ups and downs, with extreme drama. But I suppose that's the truth of this woman's life, as it is a memoir.
Elizabeth Larson
Apr 27, 2013 Elizabeth Larson rated it really liked it
Wow, first book I read on an eating disorder. It was interesting and funny and kept my interest throughout the memoir - definitely recommend it.
AJ
This book is incredibly triggering, and I would not recommend it to anybody who suffers from disordered eating.
Thenareading
Thenareading marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Jana Kristin
Jana Kristin marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
Mattie Richards
Mattie Richards marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2016
Kirstie Rae
Kirstie Rae rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2016
Paige
Paige marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2016
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