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The paradox of a novel about an ED

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☽Ƹɱɱɑ☾ I was torn when I found out about this book and torn reading it. On one hand, I think it's a beautiful portrayal of anorexia and I hope that it is very eye-opening for those who have never suffered from it...on the other hand, for those who have/currently/at risk of suffering from anorexia, it is incredibly triggering (and featured on many pro-ana websites for that same reason). I personally believe that it glamorizes the illness (note: it does show the harsh reality, yes, but at the same time:) to the point where it would make the illness appealing to an already disordered mind. So, readers, what is your opinion on such a graphic depiction of an ED?


Thaili i agree with you completely. i read this book while i was struggling. like really bad. i wasn't getting treatment or anything. this book motivated me in some way to get sicker. to be just like the main character. it was that time in my time where i was interacting with many pro-ana sites and doing heavy fasting as well as overexercising. i remember reading it for only that reason. because i knew it was going to trigger me. and i wanted it to. and it did. i got hospitalized soon after twice and was forced into treatment. i've been battling for over a year and can now say that i'm stable. i used my passion for literature as an advantage for my eating disorder and that was really fucked up.

but i think you're absolutely right. it does glamorize explicitly. i honestly don't think books like these should be written. if you plan to write about an eating disorder it should be focused more on the RECOVERY process rather than the road to it. because recovery is what should be taught, not this garbage. i'm clearly very angry at the book because it did impose a lot of damage. the review i have for it is actually the one i wrote while reading it. but yes, if you want to glamorize do it to something that helps the reader. although i do believe the story could be some what educational to ppl without Eds, you know, show the cruelness of one, i KNOW that those aren't the ppl picking up this book. most ppl reading it are disordered. and it does the exact same harm as a bottle of alcohol would do to an alcoholic.


message 3: by Jade Deceit (last edited Sep 27, 2018 06:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jade Deceit It all depends on who reads it, so if someone struggling from an ED reads it, well...it's kind of their fault if they read it because they know it will or could trigger them. The author didn't intend for people to be triggered - she'd written the book because of all the letters she received from ED patients, wanting to help them - so if someone doesn't have an ED, than they can still read it without getting "triggered". I personally loved the novel because of the harsh reality it gives people, it's not meant to glamorize EDs, it's meant to show people what it is really like. So those who got really triggered/butthurt over this book, it's kind of your fault because you chose to read it; nobody put a gun to your head and said, "Read this book!"


Jane Jade Deceit wrote: "It all depends on who reads it, so if someone struggling from an ED reads it, well...it's kind of their fault if they read it because they know it will or could trigger them. The author didn't in..."

yes but this is like pro ana candy for ppl, and if they are ill they can't do anything about it. it's not a choice, being ill like this, it's an addiction. part of the illness includes reading and viewing triggering content like this, so since you have no experience w/eds, shut up. it's compulsive, and getting 'butthurt' because you have a chronic mental illness is bullshit. and, since you aren't ill, you have nooo idea if this glamorizes anything, so please have some respect for people's struggles.


Fay K  (reading.with.fay) I agree. I was very triggered when I read this book. I never had a full blown eating disorder, but I struggled with disordered eating. The thing is that I love the book. I didn't realize at the time that I read it how triggering it was. Only afterwards, looking back did I realize how much I was affected. At the same time, it really made me feel less alone, and portrayed it very accurately. Which is part of the problem, I guess.

Putting anorexia (which is the main theme of the book) aside, the self-harming was insanely triggering. That is something I really struggle with, and the graphic portrayal of her cutting and practically ripping herself apart was much too triggering for me. It was all I could do to lock up my sharps because the way she almost feels fulfilled from the cutting and shows very little regret scared me. Cutting for me was nothing like that. It's a bit of instant gratification coupled with a whole lot of guilt. And yes, I'm getting help and every day is a struggle. But still, when I started the book I had no idea what kind of graphic depictions of personal dysfunctions were in there. Of course I knew it was about anorexia, but the self-harm caught me totally off guard. It's one thing to write about it, and yet another to vividly describe it. I appreciate that such things are written about, but I would love if they would come with some kind of trigger warning. Just because I can't read it without doing something crazy doesn't mean it shouldn't be written, in my opinion. I think they should be covered in trigger warnings.

The fact that the book is quoted on pro ana websites is really messed up. I agree that this book is practically candy for people struggling with disordered eating, and therefore I'm torn. Torn between the importance of spreading awareness about eating disorders and between not fueling the burning fire in the eating disordered brain. It's a hard question and I feel very torn over the whole matter.


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