Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.
Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.
In this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut, Meg Haston delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss, while posing the question: Why are some consumed by their illness while others embark on a path toward recovery?
I really wanted to love this novel. When I read the synopsis, I thought it would right up my alley, and there were parts of the this book that I did like. I liked the characters. I thought Stevie was a believable, raw, and real character. Her story was heartbreaking and I felt real sympathy for her. I liked the other girls that Stevie met at the treatment center and her shrink. I thought the compassion they had for each other was touching, and the type that you only see among a group of people who have experience brokenness. I think the story is well researched and that Haston depicts eating disorders in a real, but sensitive way.
It is an amazingly honest, depressing, and brutal story. Haston does not sugarcoat anything. It is emotional and the emotions of the character, especially Stevie run high. But, there was still something missing for me, and I’m not even sure what it was. While I felt compassion and sympathy for the characters, I still felt a sort of disconnect, and because of this, I had a hard time truly getting into the story. I have read other similar books and have been able to feel connected to the stories, and honestly I don’t see much difference between those stories and this one. But for whatever reason, this one lacked something for me.
Having said that, I still believe that it is a worthwhile read. I am sure that it will resonate with others more strongly than it did with me. It is a good book and an important story to be told. Give it a chance.