Book Reviews

What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard | Book Review

Title: What I Lost

Author: Alexandra Ballard

Series: N/A

Genre: Contemporary, Mental Heatlh, Young Adult

PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux

ublication date:June 6th, 2017

Pages: 400

My ratingIMG_0193


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 0 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?


"But mirrors are the worst. One reflection lifts your spirits and another crushes them. A good one can make you feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. But a bad one can make you burst into tears."

THIS WAS INCREDIBLE, GUYS! OH, MY GOD WHAT A POWERFUL AND STUNNING READ! Honestly, I didn't expect it to be that good when I first read the synopsis, but I'm so happy I decided to give it a chance and read it, because holy guacamole! It was such an incredible debut novel and I can't wait to read more by the author.

Don't get me wrong, this is a very tough topic to me, and I can tell you it can be triggering for people who had suffered from anorexia,because it deals with numbers and eating disorders, but I highly recommend it if you're midly interested. It was raw and authentic, and I loved each part of it.

"What they didn't understand was that we weren't choosing this. Not anymore, anyway. The first time Simone threw up, she made that choice. And no one else made me go on my bikini diet. But after a while your eating disorder messed with our brains. They became something we didn't have control over. Something we couldn't stop by ourselves even if we wanted to."

I related so much to Elizabeth, our main character, it's unbeliavable. I went through pretty similar stuff myself years ago, and when I was reading some scenes I was like "oh, shit, I was not the only one who thought and did those things then", and that was one of the first things that made me got more engrosed into the story. I couldn't tell you how real she felt to me, and how much I adored her development in the book.

And I was really happy to see a nice friendship in the book, without backstabbing each other. All the girls in the hospital created a bond and I adored how much they cared for each other. There were certain times where something happened that showed that friendship and I WAS LIVING FOR THAT.

The protagonist's family relationship was quite interesting to me, as well. I didn't really liked it when I first started reading the novel, but I have to say it grew on me as I continued. That was one of the things that I wanted to see changing and I was gladly surprised when it happened.

"Remember. everybody, that your eating disorder is not a person. It isn't you. If you have measles or chicken pox, are you measles or chicken pox? Are you strep throat? Or pneumonia? Or the flu? You might fight those illnesses, but they don't define who you are."

I also really enjoyed how anorexia was portrated in the book. I feel like mental illness are kind of tabu in an everyday life, which I really don't understand why. But back to the point, it explained really well how a person with anorexia would felt and it was quite raw and real, at least to me.

There was also a bit of romance in the book but it wasn't the main focus AT ALL (which I adored!). It was even explained why by the protagonist, and by that point I was like "yesss, I'm so galad the author decided to put it that way!!"

It was very quick, and I flew trhough the book, surprinsingly. I wanted to read more about those characters and their future, and let me tell you I EVEN READ THE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, (which I hardly ever do), because I couldn't believe it ended! It was a very fast end in my opinion, where bam! everything has finished, and I would have loved to read more after those events.


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8 thoughts on “What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard | Book Review”

  1. I want to read What I Lost so bad!!!!! mental illness is one of my buzzwords for book recommendations, because they always have the most inspiring messages and characters in them! Lovely review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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