Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thin” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,488 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Critically acclaimed for Girl Culture and Fast Forward, Lauren Greenfield continues her exploration of contemporary female culture with Thin, a groundbreaking book about eating disorders. Greenfield's photographs are paired with extensive interviews and journal entries from twenty girls and women who are suffering from various afflictions. We meet 15-year-old Brittany, who ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 12th 2006 by Chronicle Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thin

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book makes me so mad.

Renfrew is a horrible treatment center. I can't
even believe the people running that place are
professionals. Those poor girls that go there.
You can't blame them for getting worse after
they leave. They go their for help and don't get
it, and then become more hopeless. It is so sad there
are places out their like this- SO many of them!

I feel so blessed and fortunate to have gotten the
treatment I got- at one of the best treatment centers
in the world.

The professionals in
Tidier, probably lengthy review to come. But it's important.
Worth reading but has its issues, though they don't come from the book itself so much as its implications. In short (and this goes for both the documentary and accompanying book):

Positive - Great photography, great concept, gives a voice to women who may not have been given one otherwise. Enlightening to those who may not be aware of these disorders and what they are like, though not as enlightening as it should've been.

Negative - Unint
Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
I don't agree with Renfrew's treatment. Wth would you force someone with an eating disorder to eat junk food? These girls and women need to learn proper ways of eating. And I understand why they don't allow exercise, but because they aren't allowed they get the fat belly and that isn't
Healthy. Eveything in moderation and it isn't being taught at renfrew. The stories of the girls are similar in many ways. I hope they all succeed in bettering their lives.
Let me just add, since there have been a fe
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Thin is a conflicting book for me. A photographic essay set at the Renfrew Centre and curated by Lauren Greenfield presents a series of trauma narratives intended to highlight how eating disorders do not discriminate. Much has been made of the access Greenfield was afforded to the lives of patients and the trust she earned. Excerpts from journals were selected, as were some collages - but it really should be noted these were carefully selected to present a specific narrative designed by Greenfie ...more
Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-class
I think that this book would really appeal to teenage girls, seeing as anorexia and body image are such common problems with this age group. The pictures are gripping and the way in which the story is told (through first person accounts of anorexic girls and their journal entries) is not only believable but also very powerful. The book is a quick read (I read it all in one evening) and I think it would also appeal to a reluctant reader; the images definitely help to break up the text.

The book ad
Michele Fortier
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really powerful and devastating book that explores Eating Disorders and the girls suffering from them. It follows four main girls, but also tells the stories of many, many other women being treated at Renfrew, an inpatient treatment centre for people with eating disorders. It's a tough book that doesn't gloss over any of the horrors of suffering from an eating disorder, but it has heart and really explains the mindset of someone suffering from an ED. The photographs were amazing and the personal ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: B

THIN is a photo essay coffee table book profiling twenty girls from are free Coral Gables, a world renowned eating disorder clinic. The teens and women profiled through photographs, interviews and journal entries tell their struggles with varying degrees of insight and in different stages of the recovery process. Four of the women, all who have relapsed also report after they've left treatment. Three doctors are also interviewed.

I first saw the 2004 HBO documentary THIN, and decided to c
Nov 14, 2008 added it
The relationship between food, emotions, and women's bodies, my goodness. I didn't intend to be in the library for more than fifteen minutes but the cover of this book grabbed my attention and, soon enough, I was planted at a desk completely engrossed in the photos and stories. Some of the photos are quite disturbing but the nature of how anorexia and bulimia take control of one's mind and body is such a complicated and widespread matter that it merits such honest documentation. To make the expe ...more
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone working with ED, anyone with ED.
Recommended to stephanie by: Annice
this is the companion book to the HBO documentary with the same title. having just watched the doc again, i have to say, i like the book so much more. while it is a sort of "supplement" you get to see more into the lives of the girls than i felt you did in the film. there are excerpts from journals, lots of photos, and way more history and background to shelly, polly and britney, especially. (also alicia.) with the fact that polly passed away late last year, this book takes an even more poignant ...more
Payton Landrum
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A year ago this book would have been heartbreaking and informative while distant and out of reach. Now, as I have a friend with an eating disorder that went to renfrew, the book offers a deeper look into the struggles that I have experienced second-hand. What better way to begin to understand mental illness than to be told about it by one who struggles with it?
Lauren Greenfield’s photographs show a rare look into a disorder that is misunderstood and marginalized in our culture. The candor and i
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfic, art
Lauren Greenfield is a wonderful photographer. She has a great clarity to her work, and a directness that I really like to look at. (At which I really like to look). I can't really judge that well because I've never had an eating disorder (just usual girl-body-image stuff), but I thought Thin (the documentary) was crazy compelling and and an honest look at the toughness of treating the illness.

The book is also crazy compelling. It would be good stand-alone, and it adds more to the stories than t
Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
As many other reviewers said, the photography is this book is beautiful (although haunting might be a better word). Lauren Greenfield seems to have developed enough of a camaraderie with the girls and women in Renfrew to take fairly candid shots.

Of course, the book also reads like a warning against (and simultaneously propaganda for) Renfrew. You'll (be forced to)eat while not exerting yourself. You might pick up hints and tricks from mother women at the center. You may create some of your first
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was awfully intrigued, and somewhat excited about this book when I first picked it up. When I started reading THIN, my excitement disappeared and I was disturbed by each story. Some of these girls got better, some of them were readmitted to the clinic, and a few died. I certainly recommend this book to those curious about the subject and want to gain deeper insight to how these girls think. I also recommend watching the documentary, too.
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Recommended for those who are interested in learning about eating disorders. This book does a good job of showing how EDs are really not about food at all, but about so many deeper psychological issues. The first-person blurbs are excellent samples of the distorted thinking that is usually present in EDs. Not recommended for those with an active ED, as the photos and statements could easily be triggering.
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Disturbing portrait of patients at Renfrew, a residential treatment center for women with eating disorders. Includes commentary from several experts in the field as well as personal first hand accounts of patients' experiences at the center. Unfortunately, few of these women seemed motivated to change and many suffered multiple relapses.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book after being a fan of Lauren Greenfield’s documentary of the same name for years. I did find the documentary to be a stronger piece compared to the book, but I did like the book told so many stories that were not in the movie (along with finishing a lot of the stories that were in the movie [like the four main girls]). You can tell that there are repetitive themes in the book pertaining to eating disorders such as physical and sexual abuse (almost always taking place i ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is super brutal to read and see (the photos) but is interesting, well-done, and worth reading. The women who share their stories are very honest and open. The writer picks women with a variety of stories and backgrounds but you'll see some commonalities too. The imagery adds something. Besides the photos, which are well-shot and curated, there are some images of the women's diaries, illustrations, etc. It adds something. If you couldn't see them it wouldn't have been the same.

I picked this
Jane Woods
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A really tough book that brought back many bad memories for me. I spent 30 years at 5 ft 8 inches and weighing 78-100 pounds. I nearly tore my entire family apart and wasted a good portion of my life. I ended up divorced. Thankfully it is all in the past. I recommend this book for the reality. Don't climb ontothis fast moving train, you may not get off. A 27year old dear friend died in her sleep.
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Heart-wrenching tales about females who have allowed FOOD to become the MOST IMPORTANT thing in their lives! That leads to them ending up in a food rehab situation where the author quizzes them on their existence, food intake, and virtually non-existent relationships with anybody else. Images of virtually wasted bodies, sad.
Debbie Love
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very enlightening, but extremely sad
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gave an in depth look of girls and women who were going through the sorrows of the eating disorder and the struggles to either get better or stay sick.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. It's full of pictures of the girls in the treatment center. You can see their progress and their emotional faces during their time there.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
good...but triggering as fuck
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy this book, it was really eye opening to the inside life of anorexic girls and women and there road to getting help. everyone should read this book to get a better scene of what it is like to live an anorexic life.
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I saw the HBO documentary Thin a few weeks ago, I believe, and I waited on checking on this book because it was thick and heavy and I walk to and from the library most days. I'm a weakling... After watching the documentary, the urge to check out this book heightened, especially after I saw the some photographs/images from the website and wished they were explored more in the documentary.

Wow, this collection of stories from all sorts of different backgrounds, besides the cast of the 4 main female
Lydia G
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A good follow up to the documentary.
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
So I'm going to be reviewing the movie and book sort of together, because they are pretty much the same thing. The documentary took four of the girls from the book and followed them around during their treatments and such in Renfrew. I'm not sure how I feel about Renfrew. I mean it seems okay at times, but having never been to a facility like that, I don't really have much to compare it to. The therapist Adam seemed like the best person in that whole place. He was one of the few who seemed to re ...more
Kenzie Sheridan
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody
Thin arranged by Lauren Greenfield is the companion to Greenfield’s documentary on HBO with the same title. The book (and documentary) is about eating disorders, and focuses on anorexia. It is filled with journal entries belonging to the patients in the Renfrew treatment facility. There are also narratives belonging to those people, telling their stories. I really enjoyed reading this book. I’ve always been interested in learning about eating disorders and the people who suffer with them, and ha ...more
Nov 02, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NOBODY!! DANGEROUS & IRRESPONSIBLE!!!!!!!
This book is a trigger book. Don't even pick it up!!!
Eating disorders should not be a topic for photojournalism... does the general public really need to be "educated" on Eating Disorders IN THIS MANNER??? To the extent of seeing nearly naked ana girls starve, vomit, and show all the "secrets" of this deadly and destructive way of living? Maybe we should start holding classes at the local library with demonstrations of how to purge as well, or how to pretend to eat so nobody catches on, or which
Mar 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
I personally found this book to be voyeuristic and unoriginal. Granted, as a photographer, I can appreciate Greenfield's ability to capture sound shots. As a human being, though, I find Thin to be distasteful in concept, or at the very least naïve. Before you jump to conclusions about what I mean by that (it's tempting, I know, I really do understand), allow me to explain exactly what I mean.

My problem is not a simple objection to graphic material. I believe as much as any other proponent of fre
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Gaining: The Truth about Life After Eating Disorders
  • Perfect: Anorexia & Me
  • Purge: Rehab Diaries
  • Slim to None: A Journey Through the Wasteland of Anorexia Treatment
  • Going Hungry: Writers on Desire, Self-Denial, and Overcoming Anorexia
  • Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa
  • Biting Anorexia: A Firsthand Account of an Internal War
  • Stick Figure
  • Hunger Point
  • Thin
  • Appetites: Why Women Want
  • Unwell
  • More Than You Can Chew
  • Life-Size
  • After the Strawberry
  • The Best Little Girl in the World
  • The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa
  • Skin Game
Lauren Greenfield is an American artist, documentary photographer, and documentary filmmaker. She has published three photographic monographs, directed four documentary films, exhibited in museums, and published in magazines and other publications.