Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Ink in Water: An Illustrated Memoir

Rate this book
At once punk rock and poignant, Ink in Water is the visceral and groundbreaking graphic memoir of a young woman’s devastating struggle with negative body image and eating disorders, and how she rose above her own destructive behaviors and feelings of inadequacy to live a life of strength and empowerment.

As a young artist living in Portland, Lacy Davis’ eating disorder began with the germ of an idea: a seed of a thought that told her she just wasn’t good enough. And like ink in water, that idea spread until it reached every corner of her being. This is the true story of Lacy’s journey into the self-destructive world of multiple eating disorders. It starts with a young and positive Lacy, trying to grapple with our culture’s body-image obsession and stay true to her riot grrrl roots. And while she initially succeeds in overcoming a nagging rumination about her body, a break up with a recovering addict starts her on a collision course with anorexia, health food obsession, and compulsive exercise addiction. At the request of her last real friend, she starts going to a twelve-step Overeaters Anonymous course, only to find that it conflicts with her punk feminist ideology.

Blending bold humor, a healthy dose of self-deprecation, vulnerability, literary storytelling, and dynamic and provocative artwork by illustrator Jim Kettner, Ink in Water is an unflinching, brutally honest look into the author’s mind: how she learned to take control of her damaging thoughts, redirect her perfectionism from self-destructive behaviors into writing and art, and how she committed herself to a life of health, strength, and nourishment.

272 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Lacy J. Davis

1 book22 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
299 (41%)
4 stars
291 (40%)
3 stars
96 (13%)
2 stars
24 (3%)
1 star
2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 158 reviews
Profile Image for Romie.
1,093 reviews1,269 followers
August 11, 2017
This graphic novel is a real gift.

Knowing it’s a memoir makes everything even more relatable, you know what I mean?
I’ve been fighting my binge & purge eating disorder for years now, 5 years to be precise, and I’ve never related with a graphic novel as much as I did with this one.

In this gn, you learn a few things about eating disorders : anything can trigger them, you don’t always look like you’re fighting, the fight never ends, sometimes you feel amazing but it doesn’t mean you can’t have dark days, you can spend years without having to deal with it and it’s back in a second, and it’s never your fault. Your disorder doesn’t define you as a person and doesn’t define your worth.

You see that even if you know you have a disorder and actively fight against it, getting better is really the hardest part. It’s something people without a disorder tend to forget about : just because we acknowledge our disorder doesn’t mean it goes away like that, we have to work a lot just to get better, and it never really goes away, it’s something we’ll fight our entire life.

I’m grateful this memoir exists, it’s important people start to see themselves in graphic novels, it’s important people who don’t have any disorder learn what it truly means.


Thank you Netgalley for providing me an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Scarlet Cameo.
609 reviews383 followers
November 5, 2017
First of all, at one point in my life I was in a similar situation so I appreciate this one, not just because it is accurate, but because created a real, hard and touching portrait about how it's live with an ED, but because is really encouranging.

Yes, you can endend up in a fuck up situation, but that doesn't mean that you are cursed to stay in this one, not even mean that is easy, but what Lacy show is that hard work pays, you can get better, you can change your situation and can be a happier person, and be in peace with yourself.

Honestly, this one is a good example of body acceptance, not only showing that you must appreciate who you are, but you must make an effort to stay healthy and be the best you can be, doesn't meaning you must fit in a size, but that you must try to be the best version if you, not beause beauty steriotypes but because is what make you happy and sane, and everything what come with that.

A digital copy of this book was provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
August 26, 2018
A first graphic memoir by Lacy J. Davis of her eating disorder and recovery, illustrated by first time illustrator Jim Kettner. Like Katie Green's Lighter than my Shadow, the style of the book would seem to echo the personality of the author. Green's is long, but quietly thoughtful, lovely, spare, sad. This one is written and illustrated LOUDLY with a punk aesthetic, too much on every page, just jarringly. . .. loud.

I'm really not a fan of the goofy art, and for a graphic memoir there are just too many words, but I get the feeling Davis (a self-help public speaker) is a big talker. The story is as one would expect inspiring, with lots of self-help guidance if you are also going through this (or could). Given the emphasis in this culture on women's bodies and the pressure that attends that, we need all the books about body-positivity we can get, in every shape and style.

Ink tells an important and useful story about feeling inadequate, too big, not good enough (thanks in part to a partner who no longer is attracted to her). It includes guidelines for self-help and resources.
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,183 reviews247 followers
August 21, 2017
Lacy J. Davis has nailed it in this graphic novel memoir of her battle with an eating disorder in Ink in Water. She bravely takes the reader on a journey with her from its inception with thoughts of not being good enough to the beginnings of food restriction and anorexia, to compulsively exercising and finally bulimia. We watch on as her world shrinks along with her body, as she shuts out friends while her obsession with her body takes hold. We're taken inside her mind as she battles the thoughts telling her she's too fat and we silently cheer her on from the sidelines as we watch her courageously fight to become healthy again and triumph over her demons.

While everyone fighting an eating disorder is on their own journey, Lacy takes us on an unflinching ride through hers. Not sugarcoating (yeah, I know, weird word to use in a review for a book about eating disorders) her struggles, yet ultimately giving us hope, this book will speak to everyone who has had, has or knows anyone with an eating disorder. People who can't understand why they just don't eat more or why they don't just stop exercising so much will gain much needed insight into what life with an eating disorder looks and feels like.

There are as many stories behind why eating disorders begin as there are people struggling with them and what works for one person may not work for another as they work towards recovery. I applaud Lacy for showing us that recovery from eating disorders isn't a success only path but that ultimately there is hope.

Jim Kettner's illustrations are gritty and take us deeper into Lacy's journey than we could have gone with words alone. We become a part of Lacy's struggles and her grief, we're inside her head listening to the voices telling her she's not enough and we feel the hope that shines through despite her struggle.

I received an ARC from NetGalley (thank you so much to NetGalley and New Harbinger Publications, Inc. for the opportunity) in exchange for honest feedback. If you have an eating disorder I encourage you to keep fighting, don't stop searching until you find treatment that works for you and hold onto hope. Recovery is possible. Yes, even for you!
Profile Image for [S] Bibliophage.
950 reviews859 followers
December 31, 2017
When I saw the synopsis for this graphic novel, I thought I would be reading something boring an uninteresting. But my first impression isn't right because I finished reading this in just a few hours. Not to mention that this is also very helpful and inspiring especially those who are having eating disorder. Hopefully the release of this would motivate people to love whatever their shape or size they have.
Profile Image for Erin.
3,089 reviews484 followers
August 15, 2017
Thanks to NetGalley and New Harbinger Publications, Inc for an uncorrected proof of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.

An extremely candid graphic novel, Lacy J. Davis exposes the demons that abound in the world of eating disorders. I am so grateful that she wrote it! Through black and white photos, Davis speaks with such raw emotion of living each day with an ED. So very relateable!
Profile Image for Gurveen Kaur.
49 reviews62 followers
August 10, 2017
You know when you find a story that reflects purity, honesty and a good heart, and imprints all these emotions and thoughts in you and yet you're left speechless? Ink in Water by Lacy J. Davis and Jim Kettner does just that!

My very first graphic novel, this one's going to stay with me for a very long time.

Lacy shares her struggles with Life and her health that she's had to deal with since her early 20s. A normal girl, with a happy childhood, good people around and a healthy dating life - is suddenly pushed into this darkness that engulfs every fibre of her being. She deals with eating disorders, and I respect the fact that it's been talked about so truthfully in her story.
Her mind had kept this blob of an idea hidden there somewhere, waiting for one thing to go wrong, and spread like ink spreads on a paper and fills it with darkness.
Ink in Water is her story of survival and victory, and how she defeats all the troubles that come her way. It's a story about love, dedication and commitment.

The artwork is just amazing! It explains each emotion and moment so truthfully and vividly, that you almost start seeing yourself in the protagonist's situation. It is immensely expressive and explains the gravity of situations, being talked about, perfectly. I could sense the mixed emotions and frustration Lacy's dark thoughts brought along. It might not be an easy read for some, but it's definitely important and totally worth it.

I respect Lacy for her strength and for being true to herself even when she didn't think she knew how to be. And I respect Kett for being such a wonderful and generous human being and to always be with her through all her highs and specially her lows. Also, I want to thank Lacy for staying with herself despite all that went wrong and for choosing to do whatever it takes to keep their relationship going.

I can't explain the entire story in words but more so through tears and emotions. I love how the story starts with her shoulders slumped but ends with her walking upright and glowing. I found myself clapping and cheering her on!
It's an amazingly empowering story and I'm really glad that it'll soon be shared with the world!

e-Book courtesy: Net Galley
Profile Image for Melina Souza.
357 reviews1,875 followers
April 11, 2018
Nessa graphic novel autobiográfica, Lacy J. Davis conta sua história com distúrbio alimentar de uma forma bem real. Lacy fala dos altos e baixos do processo de recuperação.
É uma leitura muito importante tanto pra quem passa por isso, quanto pra quem quer entender sobre anorexia e outros transtornos alimentares. É uma leitura emocionante (chorei um pouquinho), inspiradora e educativa. Imagino que muitas pessoas vão conseguir se identificar e se ver ali naquelas páginas e isso é muito importante.
Feliz com a mensagem que ela conseguiu passar compartilhando sua história :)
Torcendo para que alguma editora traga esse livro para o Brasil para que mais pessoas possam ler.
Profile Image for Manon the Malicious.
1,021 reviews56 followers
September 19, 2017
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ink in Water is an illustrated memoir that tells the story of Lacy. It tells her journey, mostly focusing on her eating disorder and anxiety.

I really liked this book, the story was captivating and I couldn’t put it down…
I loved Lacy, she was so relatable.
I teared up a couple time, it made me feel so much.
The only reason this doesn’t get 5 stars is that even though I liked the art I didn’t LOVE it…
Still, a great read that I would strongly recommend.
Profile Image for Deepika.
228 reviews76 followers
August 4, 2017
"It doesn't matter how big you feel; the sky is bigger than you," says Lacy J Davis in her epilogue.

'Ink in Water' records Lacy's struggle with eating disorder. She was always feeling big. Every food seemed unhealthy. She was losing friends, jobs, and finally herself to the disorder that was spreading like ink in water.

The illustrations are haunting and moving, for in the panels which show her battle with bulimia, Lacy looks like an X-Ray projection of herself. As she is aided by her boyfriend to climb out of the abyss, to embrace the dark blotches in her head, Lacy discovers her way to body positivity.

This feminist memoir is an honest account on how so many of us are trapped in our bodies, how we succumb to the dark voices in our head, and how we miss the good part of our lives, lest we become someone who doesn't meet the beauty standards established by the society.

I enjoyed 'Ink in Water', for it celebrates life. Eat cupcakes. Lift weights. Take enough rest. Be obsessed with creativity. Pay the kindness forward. Above all, live well.

"Those dark thoughts still occasionally crackle deep in my gray matter. Sometimes they spread. But one thing I've learned is that hope spreads too. Creating a positive dialogue for myself... Being a friend to myself... is like water in ink. It dilutes the bullshit and washes it away."
Profile Image for Katie Kempski.
97 reviews17 followers
August 4, 2017
If there's a right way to write a book about ED, this is it.

I used to have an eating disorder, one that was actually extremely similar to what Lacy describes. Most books I've read during and since have been triggering, usually glamorizing eating disorders or lessening how harsh and terrible they really can be.

But this book doesn't do that. Thank God.

Ink and Water is difficult to read at times, but only because Lacy doesn't hold back on how much she struggled and how much her ED affected her and everyone around her. The book itself is extremely well written with a natural flow and truths laid out in easy-to-follow internal and external dialogue. The illustrations fit in perfectly. Though all black and white, the lines and shading perfectly reflect the mood as it develops, white and vibrant in the good times, gray and black in the tough, and extremely well done throughout.

I am duly impressed with Lacy's ability to get her message across in such a powerful way. I couldn't help but fall in love with her, feeling her pain while she grew sick and worked to get well again yet understanding her hesitancy in acknowledging her problems and sharing them with her loved ones.

I'm glad Lacy shared her story, showed that eating disorders are incredibly difficult to deal with, not at all as glamorous as the media portrays, and, above all, ABLE TO BE OVERCOME.

Her overarching message of body-positivity and self-love is obvious and something that all women (and men) can benefit from, whether or not they have struggled or are currently struggling with an ED.

I admire Lacy's bravery in sharing her story, and I'm impressed by her ability to convey it in a visually compelling graphic novel. Can't wait to read more from this author.
Profile Image for Valerity (Val).
974 reviews2,748 followers
September 23, 2017
I really enjoyed this graphic novel format, a first for me of an illustrated memoir by Lacy Davis about her battle with an eating disorder that really began to mess up her life while she was in college. It seemed to begin after a really painful breakup of a relationship and only got worse until finally, a friend talked her into trying a 12 step program. That helped some but she still had to find her own way in the end. A well-told story in a relatable format. I was given an ARC by NetGalley and the publisher.
Profile Image for A Bookish ✧ Fable.
101 reviews19 followers
September 14, 2017
Having a eatingdisorder, there's alot in this that you can relate too. Very nice and also infomative for related people that wants to know more from ones perspective.
Profile Image for Maia.
Author 27 books2,522 followers
January 25, 2019
This book has been on my to-read list for a while, and I'm glad I finally snagged it. It's a beautifully drawn black and white comics memoir of self-esteem, eating disorders, recovery and body positivity. At the start of the book, Lacy is an art student living in Portland, Oregon. She's a punk, a zine maker, a feminist, a voracious reader, bisexual and owner of many Bikini Kill albums. But despite her politics, the seeds of a deep body anxiety are waiting in the dark to grown into an addiction to exercise and food control which ends up taking over Lacy's entire life. Her path to recovery is long and includes some painful set backs, but with art, music, and love at her side Lacy works to regain her balance and move forward.
Profile Image for Julie.
290 reviews25 followers
July 2, 2023
A memoir about a girl and what led her into disordered eating and obsessive exercise. Such a common issue that many struggle with. The story does wrap up with a positive message.
Profile Image for Savanna .
341 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2023
This graphic novel felt so different than the ones I’ve been reading and at first I felt hesitant with the illustrations and story but once I got into the book I couldn’t put it down. I found it interesting to learn more about eating disorders and to realize just how many people may be struggling and suffering with this. I loved the ending and how everything wrapped up, realizing that every body is wonderful and instead of focusing on what it looks like, focus on the amazing things it lets you do.
Profile Image for Julie Ehlers.
1,111 reviews1,412 followers
December 31, 2017
Ink in Water is like the grown-up older sister to Lighter Than My Shadow, which I also read this year. In addition to having much more vivid and evocative art, Ink in Water is also edgier and just plain more adult—which makes sense, because Lacy J. Davis actually was an adult when she developed her eating disorder. As a result, this book tackles the issues head-on in a way that Lighter Than My Shadow doesn't quite do. It's probably not entirely fair to compare the two books; Lighter Than My Shadow seems meant for a younger audience, so naturally the reading experience would be different. Still, the more mature perspective in this book means it's more relatable for adult readers, and just an all-around more interesting and compelling read. I could have done without the perky subtitle, which oversimplifies the book's contents, and both this and Lighter Than My Shadow would doubtless be helpful for someone struggling with disordered eating, but as an overall reading experience, I preferred Ink in Water.
Profile Image for Clair Sharpe.
538 reviews42 followers
August 16, 2017
I received this in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, Lacy Davis, and the publisher, New Harbinger for this opportunity.
Ink in Water is a memoir of Lacy Davis’ upsetting struggle with negative body image and eating disorders. and how she rose above her own damaging behaviours and feelings of inadequacy to live a life of strength and empowerment.
Told in the form of a graphic novel, it covers her friendships and how they break down, the beginning of her recovery on an overeaters anonymous course and the relationships she forms. Over the course of the book she suffers from both anorexia and bulimia and also partakes in extreme exercise.
It is heart-breaking in places and I found I was able to totally emphasise with Lacy. I liked her and was cheering on her recovery. The illustrations are amazing and I can’t rate this highly enough. I don’t generally read graphic novels but after having some family experience with eating disorders I wanted to know more about it and the feelings people have.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,536 reviews197 followers
November 5, 2017
As much as I admire Lacy Davis' bravery in surviving her ordeal and telling her story, I could not get past how much the art irritated me. Seriously, just flipping through the book as I write the review, I feel myself tensing up and becoming unhappy. It's the visual equivalent of fingers on a chalkboard for me.

The character art is just ugly, with unnecessary lines, needlessly exaggerated features, and a distracting pointiness. In a work about eating disorders, I find it annoying that the diversity in body types for side and background characters ranges mostly from thin to fit, with the only prominent obese character in the book outside of an Overeaters Anonymous meeting being the grumpy customer in a coffee shop. And the overuse of gray wash and special effects just make even the emotional high points of Davis' story look murky and depressing. With any other artist, this would probably have been a three-star book for me.
Profile Image for Jocelyn Schenk-Laewetz.
12 reviews1 follower
August 10, 2017
A captivating memoir! One of struggle, relapse, raw emotions and empowerment. This memoir will have you hooked from the very start! It is organized well and captures the readers interests. Lacy J. Davis does a fantastic job illustrating her journey with her Eating Disorder (ED) and provides the reader with the opportunity to peak inside the world of an ED. The memoir is graphic at times and does contain explicit language so keep that in mind if considering incorporating into any sort of curriculum for youth. Overall the memoir is brilliantly executed and the illustrations provide a complimentary backdrop to tell the story.

I was pleased to receive this memoir through NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you to not only NetGalley but as well the publishers and author/illustrator of this book.
Profile Image for marlin1.
651 reviews20 followers
August 1, 2017
My first graphic novel and I thought the subject matter sounded interesting. The overall feel of the story is dark and I think this is enhanced by the black and white pictures but ultimately it is very uplifting and empowering. Exploring a multitude of topics: self doubt, relationships, friendships, obsessive disorders including eating and excerising and learning to love yourself again.
A very interesting format, no waffling, just feelings which are straight to the point which makes it very easy to read.

Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy to read and review
Profile Image for Rianna.
365 reviews49 followers
October 12, 2017
48/45 books read in 2017
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

An extremely powerful account of the start of an eating disorder and the continuous struggle of living a life during recovery from said ED. Although I have never officially had an ED, I do know the struggle of living with and despite your demons (for me, my demons are more perfectionism/anxiety based). This story gripped me and I felt like I was right there with Lacy. I definitely recommend this to anyone, whether you are recovering or just curious to know more.
Profile Image for Beth .
290 reviews215 followers
August 2, 2019
Beautiful story and artwork, but I just don’t think graphic novels are for me.
Profile Image for Jeimy.
4,721 reviews32 followers
October 26, 2017
Harrowing memoir about a woman's struggle with the eating disorder that took over her life affecting her work, friendships, and love life.
Profile Image for Gina.
Author 5 books24 followers
February 14, 2018
A friend invited me to see the authors at Powells, so I got to know a little more about the making of the book. Two things that particularly stick out are that authors do not have control over the full title. That parenthetical was not their choice, though there was a worse option that they did get to turn down.

Also, I will always remember that there were complaints about the drawings of Lacy not looking pretty, especially when she was sick. I think that says something about the pressure put on women's appearance.

There is also, early on, before the illness, some brief scenes of Lacy as a punk girl judging the "normies", and while it isn't spelled out, it would not be unreasonable to consider that judging others leaves us feeling vulnerable and judged, but overall it was more about the small cracks that are there until big cracks come along. And then, even really big steps toward healing may not be enough, or may only get you to a certain point, or that big steps forward can't always protect you from big steps back. It is complicated and that is true.

It is still very important to see how connection matters, and support matters, but also doing things for yourself matters. There is a lot to being well.

FYI, contains adult content.
Profile Image for Rachael | booksforbrunch.
216 reviews38 followers
March 14, 2018
This graphic novel mainly set in Portland, OR (also takes place in the Bay area and Philly), gave me insight to eating disorders and body image. Not often a topic of conversation, I know little about what it’s like to grapple with this illness. I’m grateful Lacy Davis shared her story with the world and I hope it helps people in similar positions.

This graphic follows Lacy’s journey with anorexia and eventually bulimia. I know what they are but to be in Lacy’s thoughts while she’s out celebrating with friends staring down a big milkshake, it was so raw and eyeopening. I’m glad to have read this.

I’m also super glad Lacy met and fell in love with Jim Kettner! He is the illustrator of this GN but also a main character and Lacy’s main squeeze! It was very comforting to know Jim supported Lacy and continues to support her because like she says in this book, “I don’t think being recovered is possible. That’s why I will always call myself a person in recovery. Because it’s not over, and it never will be.”
Profile Image for Laura.
529 reviews31 followers
August 1, 2017
I really enjoyed this book simply because the concept is so different. I read a lot of biographies and memoirs, but this is the first I've seen in a comic book format, and it really works. It's much easier to read, with the information and accounts much more succinct, offering only the bare bones. The monochrome colour scheme really works well to complement the topics covered; eating disorders and recovery, dating and relationships, amongst others. The only thing I didn't like was the odd swear word which didn't seem necessary in the context. The book ends with talking about recover and, living with an eating disorder, as well as a short page of advice on living with an eating disorder. On the whole an enjoyable read with a really novel concept.
January 16, 2019
Ink In Water is a comic memoir about its author, Lacy J. Davis, and her battle with an eating disorder. The book starts out with telling you about how she was when she was younger, being a punk rocker type of person that doesn't dwell on social faux pas. At this point she doesn't have an eating disorder. This only happens after her boyfriend breaks up with her. This causes a lasp in her brain of thinking that she got broken up with because she didn't look good enough. That she was too big. This leads to her spending almost all of her time thinking about her weight, having bad thoughts about her body, over counting her calory intake, and over excersizing. Eventually she gets enough courage to try dating again. She meets a guy online who goes by Kett. This guy is actually based on her real life boyfriend, Jim Kettner, who actually helped her with some of the art in this book, which I think is so awesome. So they start talking more and more and texting leads to voice calls, voice calls lead to phone calls, and phone calls eventually lead them to wanting to meet in person for the first time. Lacy is very excited to finally meet the guy that she loves, but is also extremely nervous because she is still heavily stuck in her eating disorder and is worried that he won't like the way she looks. But they do meet and are extremely in love. So a bit later on, Lacy decides to spill the beans about her eating disorder, hoping that Kett will still love her anyways. In which he does and still fully accepts her, and makes it his mission to try and help her out of her funk. Kett hooks her up with one of his friends in a support group for people with eating disorders. It takes her a bit to adjust to the group, and at first doesn't like/understand how some of the things are run in said group. She does learn what the group is all about and is on a fast road to recovery. She at one point has a relasp because her friend that Kett had introduced her to had passed away, and her eating disorder gets a lot worse. She starts forcing herself to throw up after she eats. Kett eventually finds out bout this and helps her more then ever to get better, and slowly but surely she does. She starts excersizing healthily and worries less about what she is eating. The art style is super cool, and is very stylized, but in a cool way. And it is able to fully capture her eating disorder, and through her art is able to show how she feels, with the storm going on inside of her head. The thunderstorm I feel is such an accurate way to describe the feeling of an eating disorder, and other disorders to. Just the thunderstorm of emotions and thoughts inside your head, and how overwhelming and loud they are. And with her knowing first hand how it feels as well, this is her depiction of it. Some people may describe it differently, but I think that this way of showing it is the best way. And I think the thunderstorm or the pit of dark clouds in her head is extremely effective, and even people without an eating disorder in particular will still be able to know or infer how the thunderstorm feels, even if everyone's thunderstorm is different. Out of all the comics I've read this quarter, and last quarter, if I had only one the I could 100% recommend, then it would be this one. And I would read it again too. I'd recommend it to anybody who has or knows somebody with some sorta disorder. It is a super powerful book, and it really speaks to you on an emotional level. And even if you don't have or know someone with a disorder, then still read it, because it is just that amazing of a book.
Profile Image for Carlee.
151 reviews33 followers
August 10, 2017
It has been a very long time since I've read a graphic novel. Honestly, I don't even remember what the last one was that I read, but I'm SO glad I came across Ink in Water on NetGalley.

Lacy is brutally honest about her battle with anorexia. She is open about the good and the bad decisions she's made throughout her life and how she is constantly recovering. Those evil thoughts about not being good enough are constantly circling through her mind, but in the end, she has learned how not to be trapped by them. It truly was a beautifully written account of a terrible obsession with food.

There were many parts that were difficult to read, but that unflinching honest story needs to be told. I've never personally had an eating disorder, but I've come close. I've obsessed about calorie counts, carbs, ingredients, and time at the gym. I've dedicated journals and notebooks to tracking my body's intake and output as if it were my job. I've taken countless diet pills and tried my fair share of fad diets, none of which worked. I've felt the emptiness in my stomach and thought that was a good sign.

I no longer do that, but my relationship with food isn't always good, because that is what it is... a relationship. I still eat emotionally and those same thoughts that Lacy describes of being too big still pop into my head. And I would have never written any of that, if it weren't for reading Lacy's novel.

I think we all at some point or another in our lives have those voices in our head. The voices that tell us that we aren't good enough. Lacy is no different from any of us in that aspect. She was just brave enough to share her story with the world.

The illustrations by Kettner are amazing, particularly those showing the chaotic jumble of negative thoughts in Lacy's head. i love that the images are all in black and white and I hope that doesn't change when the novel goes to print. I don't know about you, but my thoughts aren't very colorful when they are negatively focused on my body image. The feelings provoked by the illustrations match those of Lacy's story. And if I'm being honest (which I am), it was the cover illustration that grabbed my attention. It screamed, "Pick me!"

Lacy's story is one that need to be told and I'm glad I've had the pleasure to read it. This novel is for those struggling with an eating disorder, recovering from one, or wanting to better understand the toll an eating disorder takes on everyone involved. It is also for anyone that has ever let those thoughts take control of their lives even for the briefest of moments.

Thank you Lacy for writing your story down.
582 reviews12 followers
August 1, 2017
“…because little girls are fucking golden. And guess what, you’re golden too.”

As a father of a five-year old girl, I can only agree with you, Ms. Davis. Your final note was very touching.

This is a graphic novel about Davis’s fight, always an ongoing struggle, with eating disorders. The story is relatively straightforward with many of the common themes surrounding addictions (doubts, powerlessness, lack of self-awareness, relapse, etc). But each story and life is unique and this one is too. Davis appeared to be living a full life with no major issues…until she didn’t and quite quickly went into a dark path, slowly starving herself. She fought back, looked for help and was fortunate enough to have strong support from a solid friend, G, who was battling her own demons – more on that in the novel.

Davis kept fighting, nonstop, she didn’t give up. Even during the worst times, I have the impression she always wanted to come back. The result is a tale of endurance, persistence, hope, and eventually triumph. While there are hard parts, I found the overall message to be very bright. I checked the author’s website and social media and she seems to be doing well. I wish her all the best.

The art is black and white. I loved the way emotions and feelings are portrayed. They can be random patterns in a head, or spirals, seeds inside a brain, reflections, darker figures, rain, etc. They’re very nice. I just found that Davis looks much older than a woman in her 20s and sometimes her features seem to change from one page to the next one. Artistic choice? Maybe, but that doesn’t compute with the flow of the story.

I would have liked to know more about Davis’s family. There’s no mention of them, except for her late grandmother. Where are they? I also felt that she could have expanded on the causes of her eating disorder. There’s a trigger, sure, but I assume there’s more to that and it is not explored in detail. I understand, though, that Davis might have preferred to focus on the journey to recovery, not on the descend.

I liked seeing Powell’s Book, which I had the chance to see when I visited Portland a lifetime ago.

Obtained through NetGalley. Thank you!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 158 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.