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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Book Review - What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard

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Review by Suze
Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth had one goal, becoming a size zero. She achieved this in a rapid pace by restricting her food intake and because of this she developed an eating disorder. That's why she's being sent to Wallingfield, a psychiatric treatment center. There they force her to eat healthily again, so she'll gain weight and they're trying to teach her how to stay well when she goes back home again. Elizabeth doesn't want to put on weight and she can't wait to go home, so she can go back to her old ways. In Wallingfield they're trying to discover why she's trying to lose so much weight. Elizabeth's home situation is far from ideal and only adds to the disorder, will she manage to get better despite this?
In Wallingfield Elizabeth makes new friends. She doesn't have to fight her battle on her own, there are other girls just like her. She isn't alone and that makes staying there easier to bear. The girls at Wallingfield are allowed to receive mail and Elizabeth gets several packages from an anonymous sender. Who's behind these packages, is it her ex-boyfriend? Is someone trying to cheer her up or do the packages have a different meaning and will they help Elizabeth with her recovery?
What I Lost is a beautiful moving story. Elizabeth struggles with her weight and her home situation. She's lost forty pounds and has no energy left. Being forced to eat is hard for her, but she's trying and meanwhile she's also being there for her friends at Wallingfield. Elizabeth has a wonderful sweet personality. She's a lovely girl and reading about her motivations to start losing weight and their result made me tear up. Alexandra Ballard describes her feelings in such a clear way that it was like I was looking through Elizabeth's eyes, which was very impressive.
Alexandra Ballard writes about what it's like to have an eating disorder in a raw and honest way. She writes about the loathing, the sickness, the fear to gain weight and the problems that arise because of poor self-image in a descriptive way that gave me a better understanding of the disease. Her writing has an easy flow and that made it possible for me to completely focus on the story itself. Elizabeth's situation is complex and thought-provoking. I liked that because of the packages there was also lightness between the difficulties and sadness. It gives the story a good balance. What I Lost is an amazing book, it's a story that deeply affected me.
What I Lost is an impressive story about a difficult topic, keep that in mind before you start reading. I highly recommend this book to both young adults and adults.


  1. A lot to learn from this story I guess. Sounds like a book to read.

  2. It sounds like a very emotional read and I love the cover, it is very eye catching.

  3. Thanks for sharing; these kinds of issues deserve to be covered in more depth than they usually are, so I'm glad someone decided to write this book.

  4. i'm sure this kind of books can help some reader not to feel alone in their trouble and it sound very well written so even if i'm not ready for such a book thank you for making us discover it

  5. This book has been on my tbr for a while, sounds simular to Wintergirls.

    1. I've read that too and even though the subject is the same they are quite different when it comes to the execution.

  6. Looks like a good book. I was anorexic as a young teen so it's good to see books like this coming out.

  7. This sounds like a really good book. I will have to check this out. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!!

  8. I've avoided books about this because of a friend in high school who suffered this affliction. I lost touch and don't know what happened to her. Perhaps this would be good for me to read. Thanks so much for your review:)

  9. I had anorexia & bulemia for over 30 years. Not only did food become the only focus in my life but the heartache I caused my family was unbearable at times. So many lost years but in those days no-one, 'experts' included, knew what to do. At least we now have so much more knowledge to deal with these issues.

  10. Sounds interesting enough to end up on my TBR list.

  11. This seems like a book that would be difficult to read & yet still worth it.

  12. Sounds like something I would like to know more about