We all have that voice inside our heads.
The one that speaks to us incessantly. That voice we trust to make the right decisions, to keep us on a positive path, even when others try to bring us down.
But what happens when that voice changes?
When it’s no longer a voice of reason, a voice of comfort giving us a pep talk when we need one?
What happens when that inner voice turns into a bully?
Don’t you dare eat that.
You’ll never be as pretty as her.
You’ll never be as good as them.
You’re lazy. You’re stupid.
You are disgusting.
You. Are. Nothing.
What happens when that inner voice makes your body take its side?
And what happens when the bully starts to win?
If your name is Alina Cassidy, then you fight like hell.
Wife, mother, proud Canadian. Shoe addict, red wine connoisseur, lover of laughter and the friendships that cause it. I’m a sucker for those epic romances that steal my breath and leave me always wanting more. Gillian’s Website. Gillian’s Facebook
“My bully and I were first introduced in October. I had just turned thirteen the week before.”
I’m not sure I have the right words for this novel. It was intense, romantic, supportive, and so accurately depicted the struggles of living with an internal bully. From the very first line I was captivated and drawn in.
Fighting Weight is the story of Alina Cassidy’s struggle with an eating disorder; specifically with bulimia. This is Alina’s struggle with relationships; romantic, friendship, and familial relationships. This is her struggle with her own body image, and the effects her eating disorder had on her life. This is the story of her fighting for her life. And it was the most beautiful work I have read in a long time.
I’m sitting here struggling to write this review because this is a book that you have to read for yourself. I can’t explain the emotions I had reading this, I can’t tell you how elegantly and accurately Gillian Jones depicts living with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia. I cannot explain to you how wonderful this novel is.
The writing in this novel was so amazing, I almost feel bad for the editor to have to have read this and gone through the emotional roller coaster this novel is more than once. The flow of the novel is perfect. And the dual POV to show how Alina thinks as well as how Slater thinks is captivating.
Gillian beautifully explains the use of therapy, both group and individual, as well as having amazing support systems at home and in life. She is able to show the change in attitudes towards therapy without writing a novel that is thousands of pages long.
It took me a long time to be able to write this review, and honestly I’m still struggling with it. It left me in a book hangover, and had my emotions all over the place. Gillian describes the ugliness of eating disorders as well as the way life is while dealing with one for the rest of your life. The juxtaposition between Alina’s before and after are so clear it really helps to take the novel just one more step. In truth the only way to describe Fighting Weight was inspirational. Since I’ve read this novel, I’ve been searching for what to read next. After reading such a dynamic book, I’m not sure anything can come close to this.
This was my first Gillian Jones book and I cannot wait to find more. If I could give this more than 5 stars, I 100% would. How do you give a novel only 5 stars when an author makes you cry both for the characters in the novel, but also yourself? I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I have my own voice in my head, my own bully, telling me what I can and cannot do or accomplish, telling me how I look, belittling and demeaning everything I do. I never struggled with the binge and purge cycle but the way Gillian weaves the story, by the end, I felt like I had gone through Alina’s journey with her. It was magical.