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Lighter Than My Shadow Paperback – October 3, 2017
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An Amazon Best Book of October 2017: A vast number of thoughtful books about mental illness and eating disorders already exist, so it seems almost impossible that a new story could add anything more to the genus. But Katie Green does exactly that with her astonishing graphic memoir that reveals through every delicate squiggle the long-lingering anguish people in recovery live through while friends and family assume that everything is now A-OK. A normal child growing up among a normal family, Katie develops bulimia as a teen, eventually requiring hospitalization, and she is pulled from school while she learns to eat again. An alternative treatment therapist helps pull Katie through her rough spots, but as Katie discovers once she’s older, his therapy was not completely benign. Artist and storyteller Green exposes buried-deep emotions through the slope of a shoulder or the slightly-too-big distance between her characters in a way that can’t be mimicked through words. The impact of Katie’s loneliness and constant, low-level despair drives deep into the soul but paradoxically will open your own heart and eyes. You’ll finish this determined to look more closely at your friends and loved ones—and especially your children—to make sure you’re not missing what’s masked by a benign surface. —Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review
Green's drawings capture feelings that her words alone cannot. There's no substitute for the visceral reaction to witnessing the shocking changes in Katie's body or seeing her doubts, fear, and obsessions manifested in the form of a black cloud, or shadow, that appears throughout the book-sometimes small, sometimes completely enveloping her. Lighter Than My Shadow features some adult content but is insightful and valuable for those of high-school age or even younger. It's a gripping memoir that survivors can relate to, and one that will produce a greater degree of empathy and understanding in those who have little experience with the subject. PETER DABBENE (September/October 2017)
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Suitable for growing teens who thinks that they need to do things to fit in.
I read this book in a single sitting, unable to turn away from Katie’s very personal story of illness, recovery, setbacks and recovery once more. It’s not a small graphic novel, coming in at over 500 pages but once you begin it, it’s impossible to not know what happens to Katie in the end. She puts an incredibly human face on anorexia, showing readers an amazing vulnerability and strength on every page.
The art here is handled with a delicacy and subtlety that suits the subject well. Small changes in background color, show the difference between memory and current time in the story. The illness of anorexia is shown as a black cloud of tangled lines that follows Katie wherever she goes and takes over entire panels on the page. It is a particularly effective choice so that readers can see the struggle as something tangible.
Heartfelt and vibrantly personal, this graphic novel takes on difficult subjects with grace and care. Appropriate for ages 14-18.
Most recent customer reviews
There is some pretty rough subject matter in this book.Read more
I thought that the symbolism within the drawings was well done.Read more