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A Girl Behind Dark Glasses

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  35 reviews
From a darkened world, bound by four walls, a young woman called Jessica tells the tale of her battle against the M.E Monster. The severest form of a neuro immune disease called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis went to war with her at just 15 years old. From beneath her dark glasses, Jessica glimpses a world far different from the one she remembers as a teenage school girl. This ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Hashtag Press
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Average rating 4.63  · 
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David Pearce
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before going any further with this review I must first say that I know Jessica's family and so my reaction to this book has something of a personal element. However, I like to think that I am a fairly objective reader so I hope I will be reviewing this in the same way as any other book.

Jessica suffers from M.E. and this book covers the first four, most severe years of the course of the disease from the age of 15. Yes, I did say first four years. She had the most severe form of the disease and wa
Cen-sational Reads
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank the publishers and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read A Girl Behind Dark Glasses in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
The book is written by Jessica -her journey,life and battle with M.E (myalgic encephalomyelitis) and how she survives through the severest form of M.E. It’s a true story about her hospital stays, going on years and how she was fed through a feeding tube. We are introduced to ‘Bug’ who is a fictional person that she writes to in form of
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
“the windows to my soul were hidden behind dark glasses in a body that didn’t work”


I implore all of my close friends and family to read this book (and also anyone who believes ME is only simply a matter of feeling a bit tired), not only because it provides a valuable insight into the world of ME at its most severe, but also because it’s such an inspiring story interspersed with many humorous moments, despite Jessica’s extreme suffering. She is my hero! 💙⭐️

This book also highlights how utt
Bettie Hough
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review of the book A girl behind dark glasses

I have bought this book as an ebook. I started to read it and I could not put it down. I read it through in one shot. The book grips the reader from the start. One can experience what Jessica is going through to the point that it hurts just to read it but I could not put it down. Jessica describes what happened to her in the 4 years of her life which she had to spend in hospitals with painful honesty. She allows you in her personal life and although
Kay Solo
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a tough one to review just because it's so full of emotion -- as am I, honestly. I picked up this book because I saw the author in the documentary Unrest (which I highly, highly recommend), and because I suffer from ME/CFS myself, though not as severely.

I'm used to doctors not taking ME/CFS patients seriously, but this was still an eye opener. The way the doctors acted, going from dismissive to outright abusive, was horrific. And this wasn't all that long ago. This is likely what others
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As someone who has relatively mild M.E., I just had to read this book!

Jessica is diagnosed with the severest form of M.E. shortly before her 15th birthday and spends four years in hospital (2006-2010) bedridden, unable to speak and eat, but also has to prove to medics she really is ill, while also being mistreated. Sadly, this is something that happens a lot within the M.E. community, with a lot of us having to prove our symptoms to doctors.

The book is upsetting, but Jessica has a great writing
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The fact your raising awareness for M.E. is fantastic. I have just recently been diagnosed, thankfully mine is mind currently and I'm able to carry on with my life just at a slower pace although i am noticing some deterieration - So a massive thank you from me its taken over 10 years for a diagnosis for me. The extreme fatigue and chronic pain being the main issues I have. Sharing your story will have a massive effect on how other people see themselves, know to stand up for themselves if they ca ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
‘A Girl Behind Dark Glasses’ is the story of Jessica, who unexpectedly becomes ill in her early teens, and ended up suffering with M.E. Sadly, she is still largely afflicted by the illness, and this is her story of her many years of dealing with it. I am embarrassed to admit that I was in the group of people who thought M.E. Was pretty much a ‘made up’ illness and could not really understand what it was all about, so I am pleased to have read Jessica’s experience to finally understand that this ...more
Powerful story about how the medical community doesn't believe women, children, and their bodies. Taylor-Bearman faces trauma of the body due to a little understood disease and multiple hospitals that view her more as an experiment than a person. She braves the disease, world, and life through the lens of closed eyes protected by glasses and an imagination to keep her sane. Warning, this memoir is not something to read if you are looking for a smile. It is dark and honest. If you have chronic pa ...more
Jenna Montgomery
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m laying here blown away right now by the amazing skill of this author to convey a journey that was so heart-wrenching in such an entrancing way! Once you pick up this book, you will not want to put it down. I have never read a first person account of an author’s real life story written in this way. It immediately draws your mind right into the author’s world and makes every moment of the story just as real as it actually is, something that is so hard to portray when writing about chronic illn ...more
Cheryl Russell
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A harrowing story of a young girl’s struggle with severe ME. Not only is she battling a serious illness but she is battling to be taken seriously as well. No one should have to go through what she went through. As a teenager she was forced to grow up too quickly. I highly recommend this book which is impossible to put down.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Being a teenager is difficult. It's a lot more difficult when you're suddenly saddled with a debilitating illness.

For those of you who've seen Jennifer Brea's award-winning documentary "Unrest," "A Girl Behind Dark Glasses" is the story of Jess, the English ME sufferer featured in the film. It chronicles her earlier active childhood, her descent into serious illness, and her attempts to pull herself out.

Like most stories about ME and its brethren, this is not the triumphant narrative most "illne
Simone Perren
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
A big thank you to Hashtag Press & Netgalley for sending me this book for an honest review!

This book broke my heart. If I'm completely honest I was mostly ignorant of the specifics of M.E before reading this although my Mum suffers from fibromyalgia so I do know something about chronic fatigue in general. This memoir of Jessica Taylor-Bearman's life is an inspirational tale of her life pretty much bed-ridden and in constant pain with the debilitating symptoms of M.E. I implore you to read this b
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book that gives you insight into ME, a disease that people thought was imaginary.. Beautiful and brutally honest.
Strongly recommended if a little sad.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every medical professional on the planet should read this book.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is scandalously mistreated, world over. The multi-systemic neuro-immune disease does not discriminate between gender, age or race, and in some cases can kill directly, as well as frequently by proxy. It has been around for centuries, with several documented outbreaks within the last hundred years.

As an ME sufferer of twenty-four years, this candid, harrowing, heartbreaking novel shook me to the core. Not jus
Joanne (Jo)
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book and well worth reading. It covers several years in a young girl’s life, when she is not only dealing with severe illness and disability, but the lack of knowledge, understanding and compassion she encounters from parts of the medical establishment. If you have seen the excellent documentary film “Unrest”, you will have already met Jessica as she is featured in the film; this book covers Jessica’s life from just before she became ill, with ME - myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Hashtag Press and Netgalley for this partnership.

I was immediately attracted by the cover, we see Jessica wearing black glasses, and the summary.

This autobiography particularly moved me. She tells us about Jessica's life fighting a neuro-immune disease called Myalgia Encephalomyelitis that she has had since she was fifteen years old. Before that, she was a teenager like any other. But she had to live in the hospital for years with tubes keeping her alive.

A poignant, captiv
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book details Jessica’s early years of becoming ill at 15 years old with severe M.E, & shows just how serious the disease is! Jessica’s positivity is so apparent all the way through, even when facing some truly horrendous circumstances & situations, that no one should ever have to deal with.

I definitely had to pace myself reading it, though the chapters aren’t long, I found it was quite an emotional read mainly as I have M.E myself. I cried numerous times & even found myself physically aching
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well written story about a young brave girl’s struggle with a nightmare of an illness (severe M.E.) that –even in this day and age– is so misunderstood by many. Even the so-called “health professionals” are at a total loss, not yet 100% fully equiped to handle this medical crisis. The thought alone is quite frightening. But despite all the hardships Jessica endures in her young life, by telling her own story, she manages to show the readers the tremendous strenght that she has within her to wa ...more
Abby Lewis
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a person with ME, I just had to read. My illness isn’t prgressed so far, but I’ve learnt not to push myself. It’s already getting worse. But only steadily.

Reading Jessica’s story is heartbreaking. She’s a fighhter and an inspiration.
I've heard of ME before, but I didn't really know what it was, thankfully never had any friends or acquaintances who suffer from it. What an awful illness! This first-hand account was both fascinating and terrible, impossible for me to imagine. What a trooper Jessica is. ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow, but this is a must read.
First of all, can I just say thank you to Jessica for writing such a personal, eye-opening account of what she has been through. This couldn't have been easy to relive. Awareness and understanding for M.E. is minimal, and whenever I see someone going above and beyond to share their story and help raise awareness, it gives me hope that one day people with this debilitating illness won't be treated so dismissively.

As someone with M.E., I could relate with some of the feelings, both physical and e
Claire Swain
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To anyone out there who is Ignorant or a Skeptic to M.E or similar chronic conditions (especially health/medical professionals) Please read this book you might just save someone's life.

This is an honest and wonderfully written book on Jessica's experience of M.E. Jessica was diagnosed with M.E from a young age and was hospilisated for several years. Her passion to overcome this horrid condition and to help others is beautiful.

I am disgusted at how those so called health & medical proffesionals
Kelly Long
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, netgalley
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a member of the chronic illness community, I can somewhat relate to Jessica. This rollercoaster ride of a story is one that should prove to people (especially medical professionals) that ME is a real illness. When teenagers are typically having fun and hanging out with friends, Jessica shows her strength and bravery in battling the worst 4 years that ME forced on her. I feel like the book got som
Charity Tinnin
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Jessica Taylor-Bearman’s courage and creativity astound me. She lives with a more severe form of ME/CFS than myself yet has found ways to continue to hope, imagine, make art, encourage others, and be a voice for the voiceless. A Girl behind Dark Glasses is inspiring in the best of ways.
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review held pending book group discussion
Tanya Marlow
The first thing to say is: read it. Whoever you are – just read it. A fourteen year old girl, intelligent and happy is one day struck down by a very severe autoimmune illness and spends the next three years in hospital, close to death – but battling with every breath to choose life in all its fulness.

Her experience in hospital will shock you to the core, and her response will inspire and move you. It’s a stunning and unique story, and yet it really needs to be widely read because it exposes a la
Fern Adams
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jessica has severe ME and this is her story about living with it, being hospitalised for years and the struggles that come with being severely ill and being considered a patient not a human. As someone who has severe chronic illnesses that are not always well stood by the medical professionals, and require a lot of time in hospital struggling to communicate this really resonated with me. It would be a good book for medical students to read!
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Girl Behind Dark Glasses is a remarkable true story about Jessica’s life with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). In the space of weeks Jessica goes from being your regular teenager who loves going out with her friends, going on shopping trips and partying, to being bound to her bed. Jessica shares actual diary entries from that time. The book is an emotional rollercoaster and Jessica is so good at creating a vivid picture of her life in hospital. You really feel that you are there with her. I l ...more
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Inspirational book shedding into the world of myalgic encephalomyelitis 1 7 Nov 06, 2017 09:37AM  

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Jessica Taylor-Bearman was born in March 1991 in Kent, where she attended Rochester Grammar School for Girls.

At the age of 15, she became acutely unwell with an illness called Myalgic Encephalomyletis (M.E). She was continously hospitalised from 2006-2010, suffering with the most severe form of the condition. This included her being bedridden, unable to move, speak, eat and more.

She wrote in her

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