Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Small Displays of Chaos by Breanna Fischer

Rayanne thought that when she reached her goal weight of 100 pounds she would feel like she had accomplished something.  But when that day arrives the first thing she thinks is that now she needs to get to 90 pounds.  Rayanne is encouraged to keep losing weight by Edie, the person/voice that only Ray sees who tells her she's not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, just not enough in general.  Even before she hit 100 pounds, Ray's family became concerned so she now has to see a counselor to talk about her eating problem. Rayanne herself is starting to recognize that she has a problem that is getting out of control and she feels bad about the pain she is causing her family but she doesn't seem to be able to stop.

I feel as though the story of Ray's anorexia (or maybe bulimia since she often purged) was skimming over the top of the problem and could've delved deeper into the causes and process of recovery.  It also seemed like Ray was too aware of the pain she was causing and that she was even hurting herself and wanted to stop, but I only say that based on other books I've read with anorexic characters who fight against recovery as hard as possible.  That being said, I liked the line towards the end where Ray says that to the outside world it might look like she's recovered now that she's at a normal weight, but inside she has to keep fighting her disease every minute.  I think that's a good thought to pass on to readers about any addiction - it doesn't just end with sobriety or weight change.  I also appreciate the fact that the book is slightly over 100 pages.  It will make it much easier to sell to readers who are looking for something dramatic but not too long. Given its length, it does a good job dealing with its subject.

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