From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–White has created a semiautobiographical account of her battle with a mental disorder, bulimia, and drug addiction. Through a variety of formats, readers follow Stacy Black, 17, through this ordeal. The book is divided into chronological sections. Each one opens with text-only panels recording the responses of four friends to a question about Stacy. The densely packed text in these speech balloons requires some effort to wade through. This is followed by copies of documents such as portions of actual doctor and therapist reports. A series of panels then chronicles a period of Stacy's stay at Golden Meadows, a mental hospital. These cartoon panels are highly compelling and the book's strongest feature. White's arrangement of figures within each panel, especially during therapy sessions, exposes Stacy's emotional state. Changes in the artist's point of view inform readers of the teen's slowly changing perspectives of herself and her world. The line, “It's never a good idea to lie your way through therapy” hints at the big reveal in the final pages of the book: Stacy has hidden her episodes of bulimia from the hospital staff. While she tells the group, “I used to be bulimic. I don't have the urge anymore,” she is continuing her ongoing dialogue with the toilet in her room. Young adults willing to stay with Stacy through the dense textual passages will find a compelling story.–Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
White tells a compelling and highly textured story (based on her own experiences) of learning to adjust to psychotherapy and bulimia in this graphic-novel story of small, angry 17-year-old high-school graduate Stacy Black. In addition to seeing Stacy's world—confined mostly to the residential psychiatric hospital where she is a patient—from her viewpoint, we are provided with accounts by four of her friends: one from childhood, a second from boarding school, another from her recent life before therapy, and the fourth from a fellow patient. Flat black-and-white images are highly expressive of Stacy's emotions, and the dense text panels and word balloons offer both background and cadence for the narrative. Dedicated graphic-novel readers may need to slow down to absorb the tiny print, but this is nonetheless an excellent crossover title for readers searching for an authentic account of psychotherapy, bulimia, and dealing with weighty physical and emotional issues. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith