Saturday, November 4, 2017

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green

genre: non-fiction graphic novel

This graphic novel is a journey through Katie's eating disorders and mental illness into a place of forgivness and understanding with herself.

I need to first note that there is both nudity and sexuality, so it is not for everyone, especially not young teens.

For myself, as the parent and friend of people who have both eating disorders and mental illness, I found this book to be painful and restorative at the same time.  I ached for her. I wanted to shake her.  I wanted to solve it. And yet, just like in life, she had to figure things out for herself. I loved her therapy sessions, especially near the end.  I really liked the metaphoric black cloud of mental illness that would follow her over her head everywhere, that feels so poignant to me. 

There were hard things about reading it, both emotionally (obviously) and because I couldn't always tell people apart. It's hard to keep myself in the narrative when I can't figure out who anybody is.  It was also a bit repetitive - but I get that. An eating disorder is ALL about unhealthy, receptive behaviors that we can't control. But still, as a reader, sometimes I found myself skimming her inner dialogue. 

Overall, though, I didn't really want to put it down.  I'm glad that Katie is in such a healthy place that she could process in this way and share it with us.

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