Thursday, October 1, 2015

[Review] Believarexic by J.J. Johnson

Believarexic by J.J. Johnson

Rating: 5 stars 
Version: Net Galley ARC (Kindle Version)
Release Date: October 1st 2015

Goodreads Synpopsis: 

In 1988, when she was fifteen, JJ Johnson was hospitalized for treatment of bulimarexia, a combination of bulimia and anorexia. During her ten-week stay, JJ had to eat everything on her tray, and took classes like "Assertiveness Training," "Depression Management," and "Body Image Workshop." She gained weight, but her path toward health was a constant struggle. In her heart, JJ knew-she knew-that she would be a happy, healthy adult one day.

But how? Instead of a clear path, there was a black abyss. She needed a guide, a mentor, someone who knew her inside and out.

So, one morning, just before weigh-in, JJ closed her eyes and made a deal with herself:

I promise myself that when I'm grown up, and happy, I will come back here, to these months. Healthy me will guide bulimarexic me through this.

This book is that promise, kept.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second book I read this year on overcoming a disorder. But unlike Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey, Believarexic is a combination of fiction and fact, of how Johnson faced the inner demons that kept her from being happy. 

Her story was not romanticized (and this tends to happen in YA - boy/girl helps boy/girl cope and get over -insert disease/disorder here-, happy ending, etc) and that, was a plus for me. Full emotions were displayed here. Nothing was held back. You hated the people JJ Johnson hated/disliked (Ratched... erh-hem Sheryl and eventually Monica) and you loved the people she loved too (Chuck and Sophia). You sympathized with the disgusting food that was served, and the calories they had to eat (3000+ calories?!). The entire experience of battling bulimiarexia, from entering the hospital to leaving, is within this book. 

That's perhaps the best part of it, how it's both fiction and nonfiction. When you read books making out a journey to be full of stars and rainbows, you don't believe it. Where are the hurdles? Where is the truth? Johnson pushes beyond those rainbows so we can see the truth. Her parents certainly weren't perfect. Her friends weren't either. And Johnson, especially, after the revelation from Dr. Prakash, learns to accept that she does not have to be perfect. 

Believarexic stands as a beacon to all the little girls (and boys), young men and women, and those who suffer from bulimia, anorexia, or both - basically this is a book for everyone to read! There are life lessons in this book everyone needs to hear. No one has to be perfect, your true friends are there for you every step of the way, and yes, you can befriend those inner demons of yours to find true peace. 

"Remember your first night in the hospital, when you told me you felt like you had a monster inside you?
I knew just what you meant.
And now, I think maybe it's not about killing the monster.
Maybe its' about making peace with it.
Turning it into a fuzzy warm friend, maybe even like your favorite Muppet. (Long live Super Grover!)
But most importantly, I think, is that you find people who love you - 
who understand you - 
monsters and all.
I love you."
- Believeraxic by JJ Johnson
(My favorite quote!)

I definitely recommend people to read it! If you have read it already, tell me what you think in the comments below. Or would you like to read it? Suddenly inspired to? Let me know too! 

And it's release day - Perfect opportunity for people to get it!

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