Saturday, November 21, 2015

Paperweight by Meg Haston

by:  Meg Haston
published by:  HarperTeen
publish date:  July 7, 2015

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life.  And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.  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.

Sometimes I wonder about books like these.  Are they really realistic?  Do they actually do justice to the challenges that people with these conditions are facing?  I've been, as a nursing student, in some in patient facilities and they aren't anything like these YA books portray.  So I just wonder do these book really help the people they are intended to help?  Is that the intent of books like this?  
Stevie is proud of her eating disorder.  She has worked hard to become an anorexic.  After her brother's death, she's working even harder on her eating goals.  She knows that if she can just get down to a certain weight, she can die just like her brother did.  Before that can happen, her dad admits her into a treatment center and her beliefs are challenged.  Everything she thought she knew about herself gets called into question.

I thought this book was ok.  Did I love it?  Parts of it were pretty good, but over all I was just kind of "eh" about it.  It did make me feel sad for kids in treatment centers.  It made me feel like I should start writing to some of these kids because the part when they got mail made me feel bad.  Stevie got one postcard.  How lonely must that be?  Anyway, I guess I would cautiously recommend this book, but only to people that like to read these kinds of books.

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