I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I first started listening to it. I knew that I wanted to read it as it was on my TBR list but as I started to listen to it, I didn’t like how the book was starting out. I continued listening and, in the end, I liked the rollercoaster ride that I took with Riley.
When Riley was checked into the treatment center by her mother, Riley acted standoffish and I thought she wouldn’t make it. She didn’t see herself belonging to the individuals on this floor. She didn’t feel that she had an eating disorder and she believed that she would be in-and-out of the center within hours. She hid behind the truth because she believed it, she’d convinced herself that she was normal, so why was she there?
Riley liked salad and she liked to run. Actually, I thought Riley was obsessed with running. If you could look inside her head, you would see a different Riley but of course, you couldn’t. Riley had convinced herself that what she was doing was normal because that was the world that she lived in. I could totally understand what Riley was saying and why she was saying it. Riley had not just convinced me but I looked at Riley’s life and I saw things the way she saw them. While at the center, Riley was playing the staff and not being totally honest with them. I felt that if she continued, they might just release her, and then what? She’d go right back to being Riley and hiding her eating disorder. Riley really needed to see that eating healthy wasn’t a bad thing, she needed someone to help her take those first few steps.
Being in treatment, Riley is able to take a few baby steps towards a healthy eating plan. There are others in the program who are struggling, so she is not alone. It’s not easy, every meal they struggled and there are the inner voices that haunt and taunt them, as their eyes glare down on their food. It was the voices that got me as I listened to this novel on audio. I don’t feel that I have an eating disorder but I could totally relate to what they were telling Riley. I’m health conscious and I think about those extra calories before I eat them.
I thought she was making huge improvements. Riley was starting to feel good about herself, she was learning to accept her new image, and Riley was living in a controlled environment, yet wait…….what would happen when they set her free? I hate to be a Debbie Downer but let’s face reality here. What would happen when Riley gets released and she has to face her friends, her family, and the real world? You have to consider this outside world influences Riley. How is she going to handle this? Riley is a twelve-year-old teen and pressure is high at this age. I, seriously had my doubts for Riley. I wouldn’t be surprised or upset if Riley had issues once she is released.
I like how this book addressed Riley’s eating disorder. How it began, her struggles and successes, and how her life was like outside the center. This was a great, realistic novel that I’m glad I read and would definitely recommend.