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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,756 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews

Bright, popular, pretty and successful, Grace Bowman had the world at her feet. So what drove her to starve herself nearly to death at the age of 18? And what, more importantly, made her stop?

A grippingly honest account of life with anorexia nervosa, A Shape of My Own is Grace's hearbreaking, shocking and, finally, inspirational memoir. An extraordinary story, it is also

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published (first published 2006)
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I'm probably not the right target group for this book (or rather, I'm too right for it), but I read it anyway.

"Thin" is the account of the authorÄs anorexia and her recovery from anorexia. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, it wasn't as triggering as I had been led to believe it would be.

I found it very surprising that Bowman, as she tells it, slithered into anorexia unaware, not knowing what or why this was happening to her, not understanding why she suddenly wasn't able to eat anym
Judith Yeabsley
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book written by an anorexic girl would be sensationalist and gossipy and I'd last one chapter. It was the opposite. It was very honest, very down to earth and written by someone who can put across her thoughts and feelings very touchingly and in a way that draws you into her world and her mindset. Anyone who wants to understand the power of a mental illness needs to read this. The parallels with other mental diseases are frightening. It is also very much there but for the grace go ...more
Charlotte Phillips
This was one of those books that I had been putting of reading for a long time, due to the fact that I was constantly told how triggering it was. And people had not lied to me. The first half of the book is very triggering and in some ways it seems to be promoting anorexia than trying to show the horrors of this. But I think this all depends on the person that is reading it. For example, being someone who is still recovering my her eating disorder, I read it through the eyes of my anorexia and b ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won't lie... I pretty much skimmed the last 10 pages. Bowman tried to tell her story in a disconnected way which would reflect the chaos of the disordered mind, and hopefully not trigger others. Mostly, all it did was annoy and make the book uncomfortable to read - not because of what she was confessing or her life - just the way it was written. I may also be slightly jealous of her holier than thou attitude to recovery (this is my theory to make myself feel better for really hating this book) ...more
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read a few reviews of this book before I started to read it. A lot of people mentioned the moving between a first and third person narrative; I thought it would bother me but it didn't. I think using the third person narrative was a very interesting tool, especially for a book about an eating disorder because the way you think about yourself is in the third person, things do become confusing and fast paced and Grace manages to get that across very, very well in this book. You can really experi ...more
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
I’ve seen this book around for a few years now and I’ve wanted to read it for a while as I’m very interested in all books to do with anorexia. I finally brought this the other week and read it soon after and I was really impressed. This is a memoir by Grace Bowman who developed anorexia nervosa at the age of 18. Grace was a pretty popular 18 year old who decided to go on a diet before heading off to university. She starts the diet, and finds that she doesn’t want to stop and then can’t stop and ...more
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
I enjoy reading memoirs about screwed up or famous people (or both), so I bought this for my Kindle.

It started out ok. The writing and some of the terminology is very british, and that took some getting used to, but it was fine. What wasn't fine was how preachy and self-indulgent the author is! I really hate how some memoirs turn into self help books, and this one does just that. But I will give her credit for the parts that were more of a narrative; they were interesting. The end was anticlimat
Anorexia nervosa. A disorder where young females give up food, and virtually persist on water and air, to the point of becoming skin and bones. This disease has fascinated me from the time I came to know of it during my MBBS course. So I started this book with great enthusiasm, just to know how it feels to be an anorexic [fortunately, or unfortunately, I love my victuals]. But the narrative was so disjointed and drab,that I was forced to give it up at 30%. Or perhaps, I was a bit distracted to i ...more
Stephanie Vogel
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books of its genre.
Jessica Brake
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it

For a book I had been looking for, for quite some time, I have to say, I was kind of let down. It wasn't quite what I was expecting; it was still pretty good, though. I usually fly through books like this, but this one was a tough read. Not due to sensitivity, or emotions, rather, it was due to boredom. There seemed to be a lack of conflict, and no one really seemed all that concerned about Grace. They didn't even mention the possibility of sending her to an eating disorder treatment faci
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, it was ok but I think it lacked personal insight. It was mostly about facts and how everything happened. I wanted to understand how Grace felt, and I didn't get that.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is the single most immersive recount of anorexia that I have read to date. I have read and reread this book a number of times from start to finish and while I genuinely do love this book, I know it has its issues. I love Grace Bowman as an author, and I love the way she writes about herself. It's her writing style that sets Thin apart from books like Unbearable Lightness and Wasted - this book reads as a lot more solemn, a lot less personable. And that's one of the things I li
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book! There was some stuff I could understand her view points.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I find this book an important insight to anorexia for those wishing to better understand how a person with an eating disorders thinks, and behaves, and how warped their beliefs can become, people who struggle with eating issues may find this book highly triggering, and regard it more as "thinspo" than insight into their own behaviors.
Lee L.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
"If I share a secret with you, do you promise to tell everyone?"

In "Thin," Grace Bowman has done an exceptional job of portraying a young woman's decent into the illness of anorexia. This story is her own, yet it is also an experience many young women share.

Ms. Bowman writes with a lyrical yet staccato quality to her prose that engages yet holds the reader at arm's length while she writes in the third person throughout much of the book. She sets her story up as a stage play. The stage is set, th
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I love books about broken people, or people who survived their brokenness. Books about the emotional and psychological abyss.

What I really disliked about this one was, that nothing really extraordinary or "extreme" happened, if you are already used to this kind of books. Many people who write books about disorders live through manic phases, which are, for lack of a better word, "Fun" and entertaining to read, just as the deepest lows are, when the soul just hit the ground at full force.
"I was drowning in my own desperate bid for control, people sent me many a life-jacket and multiple rescue boats. People sat, swam, sunk in the water with me, even when I told them to go away. They even tried standing on the shore, keeping their distance (because they had given up on the other routes), while they watched me try and drown myself, even hough it was the most painful thing for them to do."

What makes “Thin” by Grace Brownman so interesting is the fact that – in contrast to many book
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's a true clinical schizoid detachment from emotion in this book which made it impossible for me to invest in emotionally simply because there were NO emotions involved. The reader is kept at such an arm's length from all that is happening that I never got a sense of any internal life or real feeling. Supposed close people are never even given names or the most rudimentary personalities, just "Boyfriend" and "Best Friend." Yet at the same time, this was, on the intellectual level, one of th ...more
Carla Coulston
Thin is definitely one of the better examples of the eating disorder genre; but took a while to get into. The author initially uses a third-person voice, 'standing outside' (or above) looking down on her memories, a device I found supremely irritating and pretentious. Anorexics tend to be highly intellectual over-achievers and their biographies (of which I've read quite a few!) reflect this, often getting a bit too clever for their boots. The best story develops - and this was the case with this ...more
Lori Song
May 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful piece of writing. Grace Bowman knows exactly what she is talking about. Having recovered very recently, I had to put the book down for a while just because this brought all the memories back. But not for long. Grace Bowmans writing style is easy to read and interesting and reading this has been like reading about myself and I saw my behaviours, outlooks and thoughts reflected in her words. I especially liked the parts where a situation is written in the format of a play, because it a ...more
At first i found this book really interesting as it is an insight into annorexia which is something i am not too familiar with. It seemed like the author was being very honest about the thoughts and feelings that she had at the time. My problem with this book was that it was split into little sections. One was written in as a story then it would stop and she would wrtie about how she sees things now and these pages are littered with facts and statistics and then there would be a part that is wri ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I admire the courage and bravery it took for the author to navigate through the reality of such a gripping disease. I am grateful for her courage to offer such an authentic and deep insight to those outside her world. Excellent memoir.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know very little - in fact, closer to nothing - about anorexia or other eating disorders and after reading this I don't feel I know much more. What I do know though, is Grace Bowmans story and experience with it and I love that she takes the time to explain that her experience is not the same as the next persons.

She has written a very personal account of her descent into, and recovery from, anorexia and it is compelling and painful to read. It's a combination of first and third person narratio
Leanne Hunt
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
"Thin" is a very insightful and enlightening book. I came to it expecting the usual anecdotal narrative one finds in a memoir but was pleasantly surprised to find a truly rounded account of the author's experience of anorexia nervosa.
Grace Bowman is a talented writer who manages to vividly depict both her feelings and her thought processes. She takes a very responsible stance, telling the story of how she developed her disorder with raw honesty, but also includes reflections on how the disorder
Thin is Bowman's memoir of having anorexia. She isn't the best writer in the world, nor the worst, but Thin was difficult to get through and at times, I really had to force myself to finish it (if it wasn't for an essay I'm working on that references this book, then I probably would have stopped halfway through). The switches from third person to first person were annoying - the third person parts were made to sound even more 'woe is me' and weak because of this (Grace can't eat this, Grace has ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Grace Bowman has a story which is both incredibly compelling and incredibly sad. I loved this book for its frankness and honesty, but most of all I loved it for the way that she let us inside her head. A lot of stories about eating disorders, whether fiction or non-fiction, usually depict the outside world of the eating-disordered person but rarely do they show what's going on inside. This insight creates a thought provoking opportunity to examine the inner compulsions and psyche of the troubled ...more
The book was okay and I'm sure her story is very moving, but all the time I was reading I was conscious of me reading a book, so I could not get into the narrative at all. I liked the way she has tried to approach telling her story about anorexia from several different viewpoints, but I'm not really sure it worked as smoothly as it could have. The book felt a bit unpersonal and out of touch. I'm sure this is on purpose, as the author don't want to trigger anyone struggling with this diseases, bu ...more
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I thought this book was written well, I liked the style. It was very sad. yet hopeful. It goes into the life of herself as a teen and older her anorexia. I think that this would be an exellent book for anyone with an eating disorder to read, even those who do not, it is good for understanding. Those who do not understand/know little will have a better concept of the disease. I think she did beautifully explaining it. A must read for anyone!
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brutally honest memoir of one girl's experience of developing, living with and overcoming an eating disorder.
Interesting prose and style choices which added to the novel beautifully.
One of the best books on this topic I have read, but did feel somewhat repetitive and long. I wanted more focus on the last few years in which she is overcoming it, all of which were skimmed over.
However, I enjoyed the way author explains what happened in her head/her thought processes. Insightful.
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“We always take ourselves back to the start to try and find out why things happened; to try and force some blame into some day or some month or into some half-shaded memory.” 4 likes
“Thumbing through photo albums I see pictures that show I once smiled and tell me that I existed, but if you took them away, I wonder if I would remember anything much at all.” 3 likes
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