Published by Farrar on June 6, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, mystery
Source: Finished Hardcover from Publisher
What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again.
She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size-zero obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?
This eloquent debut novel rings with authenticity as it follows Elizabeth’s journey to taking an active role in her recovery, hoping to get back all that she lost.
What I Lost is a young adult contemporary by Alexandra Ballard. What I Lost is so unlike anything I have read before in young adult, and that was what I loved most about it. I know that there are other books that take place in a rehabilitation/therapy center, and books that center around the issue of anorexia and eating disorders, but I haven’t really read any. I found the whole thing to be super, super interesting.
What I Lost follows our main character, Elizabeth as she checks into the facility and through her treatment, as well as a group of other young women being treated at the same place. I loved the raw look we got at each of the characters. I felt like we got to know not only Elizabeth, but also her roommate and some of the other girls. They are also so different and multifaceted. I just love reading books about well crafted flawed characters. This book hit me right in my feelers. I honestly had no idea how anything was going to turn out for Elizabeth or any of the girls. The author did a fantastic job at making this book feel very realistic to me, and with eating disorders a happy ending is not guaranteed.
Then there was the whole element of the mysterious care packages that Elizabeth was receiving. I loved this element of the story. A lot of the first part of the book is setting up the new daily routine the girls in treatment have to go through, and it also touches on some of their triggers and stress-ors. I found that aspect of the story to be fascinating. (Though if this is an issue that you or a loved one is/has gone through, parts of this book might be a trigger for you.) But then we see the first of the secret admirer packages, and my immediate thought was…ooh this is interesting!
What I Lost is a book that sucked me in from the very first page. I was so hooked to this story. I loved the writing, I loved the characters, and I was so engrossed in the journey. What I lost is a wonderful story. I would easily recommend this one to a wide variety of people. It was so different for me, in such a great way. I love it when books feel fresh and just break the mold on what you were expecting.See why @BookBriefs loved What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard @alexandraballar @FierceReads #YAContemp Click To Tweet
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