It seems strange to list such a raw, painful, and graphic account of eating disorders as among one's favorite books, but in all honesty, it is. I've read it at least five times, mostly in my high school and early college years. I did not personally struggle with an eating disorder of the same caliber as the author, Marya Hornbacher, but I believe any girl who has experienced adolescence would grasp how this need would start.
Marya Hornbacher has spent a fair amount of her life in my home state, Minnesota, and writes of familiar haunts, parks, schools, and neighborhoods. Since publishing "Wasted," she has written a beautifully heartbreaking novel, "The Center of Winter," and a searing memoir of her own severe manic depressive disorder and the effects of it on her life, and family, and writing. Bi-polar/manic depressive is not a subject I was very knowledgable about, and her book rocked my world, particularly when I thought of the friends I have that do deal with this mental illness on a daily basis.
She is an incredibly gifted writer, making memories very vivid and alive. Her description of manic episodes and anorexic urges is frightening; the clarity of words used can almost bring us to the point where we can imagine ourselves what it might feel like to be mad, to be desperate, to do whatever possible to not eat, nourish, or care for oneself.
I think "Wasted" could be considered a trigger for someone with an eating disorder, because it truly "brings you back" to those thoughts and feelings in which the disease can thrive upon. However, it is also a gruesome picture of the physical, mental, and emotional damage that can be caused if help is not found or sought after.
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