What I Lost
Author: Alexandra Ballard
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Synopsis: 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 was an emotional roller coaster of a novel about a sixteen year old girl who develops an eating disorder while trying to lose weight and feel better about herself. It takes us inside Elizabeth’s mind and introduces us to her character, and then is proceeds to send us off into the rehab center that she finds herself in, and we get a story about pain, loss, and recovery.
Elizabeth has done whatever she can to lose weight – so far she is down forty pounds, and she has also lost a few jeans sizes, making her happy with her achievement, but also putting her in dangerous eating disorder terriroty. Her mother, of course, spends every second she can pushing Elizabeth to lose more weight and be more like her, who also has an eating disorder and refuses to gain any weight, either. When Elizabeth loses her boyfriend, she also begins losing pieces of herself, and as she does that, she falls into a depression, too.
When she starts going to a treatment center for girls with eating disorders, she starts to find herself again, and starts to put the pieces of her life back together to make her whole again. She puts what she can into her recovery, being an active participant in it, which takes readers on this journey with her. Then she starts receiving these weird packages and really isn’t sure what is going on.
What I Lost is empowering and an enjoyable read, even though it has a lot of emotion behind it and can be a little painful to read in some spots, since it is such a raw and honest story.
I really though that What I Lost is a great book for not just teens and young adults, but for everyone. The story was inspiring and I think it can be really helpful for some who are facing eating disorders, as reading this book can give them the courage that they need to get better. The writing is amazing and it really hooked me into the book and made me enjoy it. I felt like I had to keep reading to find out what happened with Elizabeth from the very first page, because I really found myself liking her character.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thank you!
Alexandra Ballard has worked as a magazine editor, middle-school English teacher, freelance writer, and cake maker. She holds master’s from both Columbia (journalism) and Fordham (education) and spent ten years in the classroom, beginning in the Bronx and ending up in the hills of California. Today she writes full time and lives in the Bay Area with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. What I Lost is Alexandra’s first novel.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of WHAT I LOST, US Only.
5/29/2017-YA and Wine– Interview
5/30/2017- Take Me Away To A Great Read– Review
5/31/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
6/1/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
6/2/2017- Eli to the nth– Excerpt
6/5/2017- Lisa Loves Literature– Review
6/6/2017- YA Book Madness– Guest Post
6/7/2017- The Cover Contessa– Interview
6/8/2017- Book Briefs– Review
6/9/2017- A Gingerly Review– Review