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Lighter than My Shadow

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  4,731 ratings  ·  852 reviews
Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast.

But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly.

Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and
Paperback, 509 pages
Published October 3rd 2013 by Jonathan Cape
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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,731 ratings  ·  852 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first discovered this book when I was in the Amazon book store in San Jose. I knew I wanted it then....but I was with a friend, ( Will), doing much more walking for the day — and it might be called “Lighter Than My Shadow”, but physically it’s a very heavy-weight book to lug around.
A couple weeks later in the same store with a friend ( Celia), I bought the book before walking back to the car.

The book cover first caught my attention, but it was the introduction that brought tears to my eyes —
This is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful stories I have ever read. The bravery with which Katie Green shares her story is beyond amazing.

I have never had a personal experience with an eating disorder. But, the way Green shares her story, I could feel her anxiety deep in my bones. I was uncomfortable, and I should have been. She shows us that mental illness is truly an uncontrollable monster. You can't just brush it aside and say "you should eat more" or "stop binging - just don't eat e
This is a personal story of Katie Green and her struggle with food for most of her life. It's interesting her need for control and food was the thing that she can control. I know there are many people out there with eating disorders and this is a great story of someone who has been through this. It took her years to come to terms with what was going on inside.

One of the break-throughs she had was to forgive herself when she binged. When she had compassion for herself, she was able to gain contr
[Shai] Bibliophage
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I've read a graphic novel this week that tackles a similar topic of anorexia. I don't have an eating disorder; I think I'm fortunate to have a fast metabolism that's why I don't have a problem with diet or being stressed with weight. Probably it's the exact opposite for me. If anorexics thinks that they are fat or getting huge because of eating even just a small amount, when in reality they are not, having a fast metabolism is like sort of a problem for some because we need to eat double or trip ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
At more than 500 pages and in full 8 1/2 x 11 page format, this is an epic memoir by British graphic artist Katie Green about her struggles with various issues around food, including actual eating disorders, which becomes the eventual focus of the whole book. Much of it is familiar territory, if you know anything about eating disorders, or if you are one of the majority of humans, it seems, who endure various "food issues," but it is deftly drawn with plenty of space and not too much text, (whic ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I went into this graphic novel knowing nothing about it; it was on the "read now" list on NetGalley, and I was in the mood for a quick graphic novel. (Joke's on me - this graphic novel is over 500 pages long!)

Essentially, Lighter Than My Shadow is a story about eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and sexual assault. It's a memoir in the form of a graphic novel, written to tell the story of Katie Green's own childhood and teen life. It's a very sad and haunting story, but unfortunately, it's just
Joce (squibblesreads)
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it

This graphic memoir is incredibly important. Katie Green was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa as an adolescent and she experiences disordered eating behaviors and thoughts about her body into young adulthood. She also experienced a traumatic event that involved non-consensual sexual activity (content warning). It is written in pretty much 100% black and white, but when the color appears in the book, it truly symbolizes the only flecks of hope the author/artist fel
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A poignant look into the author's battle with an eating disorder and as a victim of sexual assault. This felt more directed to YA than Ink in Water: An Illustrated Memoir, as the protagonist takes us from early childhood until adulthood. I felt that Katie Green's story is just as candid as Lacy J. Davis and that the story combined with its pencil drawings is going to turn heads when it is released in October.

Thanks to NetGalley for an uncorrected proof of this book in exchange for an honest re
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a graphic novel with really much pages, so I hoped from the beginning that I would love it. And I did. The pictures are draw in sober, grey nuances and are simple but beautiful. I quite like this kind of drawing style which doesn't overwhelm you. I also think this underlined the problematic and somehow isolated situation of Katie, who doesn't love how she looks and doesn't love who she is and who is very uncertain about everything. She develops an eating disorder and that's what the book ...more
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-memoirs
5.0 Stars
This is the most powerful graphic memoir I have ever read. I connected with this story more than I want to admit.The author was very brave to share the intimate details of her personal struggles in such a public manner.

The simplistic artwork fit the weight of subject matter perfectly. The color choices, primarily done in shades of grey, matched the serious, quiet tone of the narrative. The drawings, themselves, were incredibly creative. The author expressed her mental state to the read
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)

First read in 2018! Read this graphic memoir in one sitting. For the most part I thought this book was very well done - and definitely readable - Katie makes her struggle with eating disorders palpable. One of the things I appreciated so much in reading her account was that it had so much to do with what it *felt* like to have the disorder; it didn’t feel like a spectacle, it felt like taking a step into the mind of someone who struggles with painful patterns and spiraling thoughts. That was
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
'Lighter Than My Shadow' is an emotive comic book memoir about Katie Green's struggles with eating disorders, the anxieties and pressures of growing up—particularly body image anxieties, the burden on her family, and her striving to recover. It's fairly large (528 pages) and heavy (~1.7 kg), and of the usual high printing standard seen in Jonathan Cape comics.

I was fond before the story began. There's a pre-story sequence of a sinister looking dark cloud of scribblings representing her disease (
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I requested this book on Netgalley in return for an honest review

This hit me hard!

I have never struggled with an eating disorder of any kind. I did work with a girl who struggled with anorexia and it is a hard thing to look at, knowing that there isn't much you can do. The fight was in her head and she didn't win. Reading about Katie who's fight did have a positive ending makes it all the more difficult to think about that young woman who always made me a cup of tea, could make the best cakes
Julie Ehlers
I feel bad saying a book about such harrowing topics was so low-impact, but... for me this was kind of low-impact. As my GR friend David has noted, all the characters kind of look the same and it's sometimes hard to tell who's who. On the whole, the art is nice but not particularly affecting. I'm sure this book will help some people, and I admire Katie Green for telling her story so bravely, but I think this is a book for younger readers, maybe older high school or college. I did wonder if (view ...more
Elizabeth A
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Book blurb: Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.

Moved this up my TBR for non-fiction November, and I've procrastinated writing my review for this graphic memoir because I'm not sure I can adequately convey why I love it so. I find that's often true for things
This is one of the most powerful graphic novels I've read recently, maybe even better than the graphic novel, Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, although I would highly recommend both. In some ways, this felt even more emotional, probably because the author is also the illustrator and she is telling her own story. I am in awe of her bravery in sharing her story in hopes it might help others. You experience her pain, despair, pain, and very loud voices as she struggles to fight/live with her demons ...more
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
I want to thank NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review

4.5/5 Stars

you can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought.


I went to this book without knowing anything about it and it has left me pleasantly impressed, the work put in here is so good. I just found out that it's a kind of autobiography, since the book tells the journey for which the author has had to cross and is even more meritorious and I thin
This book is 500 pages long. This book is raw. This book bares all about the authors struggle with her eating disorder, and how hard it was to overcome it.

She tries, and wins, and fails, and tries again. It is heart breaking when she binges and blames herself, and can't figure out when to eat, and starves herself, because that is the only way she is in control of her life. It is all laid bare, and 500 pages of it.

It would seem that that would be excessive, but it works. It would seem that having

*Disclaimer: A copy of Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green was provided to me by Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Wow. That was a tough one to read. Lighter Than My Shadow was raw and emotional from start to finish. This graphic novel deals with some extremely hard hitting topics such as Anorexia, OCD, Anxiety and Sexual Abuse. It was really hard to get through due to the subject matter, but it was very well do
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely incredible.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
**Thanks to NetGalley for providing a complimentary copy of LIGHTER THAN MY SHADOW in exchange for my honest review**


Katie Green's graphic memoir tells the story of her eventual recovery from eating disorders and sexual assault.

The strongest part of LIGHTER THAN MY SHADOW was the use of metaphor in the drawing. The illustrations of people were also the weakest component in that many the characters were almost indistinguishable from each other.

I was confused in the beginning of
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Beautiful, moving, and completely relatable even if you haven't suffered from anorexia, binge eating disorder or abuse at the hands of someone you trusted. Reading the acknowledgements almost made me cry. The art was beautiful and I loved the way Katie Green utilized a variety of panels on each page, alternative structure on full artwork pages, illustrated the passage of time, and used white space to denote her emotional state at that time. I'm interested to see the difference in the artwork in ...more
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down, a beautiful and touching work - I can't imagine the emotional effort it took to draw and write out her story, but I'm glad she did. ...more
Katie had (has?) an eating disorder. She starts the book from when she was a little kid which set off all kinds of warning bells for me. Sure, it's important to know that things can start as a kid. Things can happen when a child is young that push their way into a psyche and bad shit can happen to anyone at any age. But she says "she had a perfect childhood...". I feel like I can see all the people who work with EDs shaking their heads right now. She also says she didn't want to grow up. More no ...more

Lighter Than My Shadow is the strongest, touching & intense autobiographies, let alone nonfiction graphic novels, that I have ever read.

Warning: there a number of triggers in Lighter Than My Shadow which include:
--eating disorders
--Sexual & Emotional Abuse

If these are triggers for you, I highly recommend for you to be in some type of mental health treatment while reading it. Even if you have a history & consider yourself "graduated" & don't think you need support, please don't r
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
I came across this book as a blind book date and I'm glad I chanced upon it. It is a beautifully illustrated real story about anorexia. It is relatable to anyone who is a perfectionist or has had anxious, depressive tendencies, thoughts of self-harm or suicide. The illustrations are beautiful and convey the thoughts of someone going through a mental illness in a touching way. ...more
Rod Brown
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The physical weight of this book is a pretty good indicator of the emotional heft it bears for the creator and the reader. Katie Green beautifully and painfully recounts the spiraling and obsessive thinking she experienced while sinking into and recovering from anorexia.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Jessica Haider
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of those GIANT 500+ page graphic novels. The book itself is definitely not lighter than a shadow. :D

In Lighter than My Shadow, Katie Green is open and honest about her experiences with eating disorders in high school and college. What starts as body image issues morphs into needing to feel in control of herself. The story is sad, but important to get a better understanding of what battling an eating disorder can be like from someone who has lived through it.
Judith Johnson
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-book
This book came in a pile of books selected by our local librarians to collect from our locked down library - I’d requested a graphic book from what was available. I’m so glad and grateful to have read this absolutely stunning work. It is an outstanding example, like Art Spiegelman’s Maus, of how graphic books can tell a story. I have a good friend who is a recovering anorexic, and it has given me further insight into the illness. I will definitely be recommending it.

Thank you, Katie Green!
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Katie Green grew up in the London suburbs and moved to Bristol in 2002 to study, where she lived for ten years before moving to her current home in Devon. After completing a degree in Biology she studied Sequential Illustration, graduating with first class honours in 2009.

Her graphic memoir, Lighter Than My Shadow, began as a degree project and was signed up by Jonathan Cape in early 2010. The com

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