Review Detail

Young Adult Nonfiction 643
A Story of Distorted Self-Image
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0
A memoir in graphic novel form, offering the personal account of a young Muslim girl’s nearly lifelong battle with perception, body image, and eating disorders.

An offhanded (and honestly, benign seeming) remark from her aunt on how “big” she’s gotten sends a very young Dounya spiraling into full blown body dysmorphia and binge-eating. The book then traces her unhealthy relationship with food all the way up through high school, where she eventually decides to make a change in her lifestyle habits. But the overly positive reaction of her peers causes her mental health pendulum to swing to the opposite extreme, to the point where she nearly dies of bulimia.

One has to applaud the author’s transparency and willingness to share her story through such a public medium. The intention to offer relatability and help others is clearly there (although, I couldn’t find any listing of helplines at the end of this book. There was a website for Zuiker Press and a 5-point takeaway writeup on recognizing body dysmorphic disorder.) One can certainly see youth mental health advocates utilizing this book as a potential tool.

The artwork is neither disappointing nor exceptional. (Though honestly, the subject matter doesn’t easily lend itself to graphic novel depiction.) The color pallet is rich and the style well defined, but with the flashback format and range of age depictions it is sometimes a touch difficult to recognize characters from frame to frame.

While it’s refreshing to see someone’s sincere personal faith integrated into a mainstream work, I would have liked to see more of the author’s organic growth and progression in that area. The author credits Islam in saving her life, but doesn’t really explain how. If she grew up in this faith, as was indicated, then what changed about her understanding of it that so aided her in overcoming her self-destruction? What principals or texts/scripture did she cling to amid her recovery?
Unfortunately, readers aren’t privileged with this information.

Ultimately, the story felt a little too abbreviated. It could have easily been twice as long if more aspects had been fleshed out. For the purposes of school counseling office waiting areas, brevity may be an advantage… but I’d still have liked to see more references to direct readers who may yet be ready or able to seek help from the adults in their lives. I can otherwise see it proving to be a valuable resource—adding more diverse voices to a mental health issue that carries a lot of stereotyping.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

Latest Book Listings Added

Poison Ivy: Thorns
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There's something unusual about Pamela Isley--the girl who hides behind...
Lies My Memory Told Me
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the thrilling voice of Sacha Wunsch comes a heart-stopping...
Signs of Survival A Memoir of the Holocaust
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
RENEE: I was ten years old then, and my sister...
So. Many. Feelings Stickers: 2,700 Stickers for Every Mood
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
2,700 stickers for every mood! ...
Hi-Five Farm!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ready, set, off we go! ...
Sugar and Spite
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jolina can't take Claudine's bullying any longer! The taunts and...
Leaving England
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sometime around now an unnamed virus has laid London and...
Top Choice
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A female-run society. An ambitious girl driven to become its’...
The Dead and the Dark
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Courtney Gould’s thrilling YA debut The Dead and the Dark...
Heart Fire
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the realm of Ryuu within the snow...
When Jackie Hit The Road
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Jackie planned for every situation on her solo road-trip...
Starvation
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
John Green meets Laurie Halse Anderson in this award-winning, "haunting,"...
The Great Destroyers
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Blood, sweat, and death. Welcome...
Fresh
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A hilarious and vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new...
Illusionary (Hollow Crown, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this thrilling adventure, our magical heroine embarks on a...
Bluebird
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for...

Latest Member Reviews

Hi-Five Farm!
 
5.0
"HI-FIVE FARM! is an adorable board book adventure with opposites and hi-fives aplenty. The book features many barnyard animals offering..."
Sugar and Spite
 
4.0
"Jolina and her family have moved from Manila to the small island of Isla Pag-Ibig. After the death of her..."
Fearless
 
3.0
"Monica Garcia is thrilled to get an understudy role on Broadway. At 12, this is the first time she will..."
Paradise on Fire
 
4.0
"Addy lives in the Bronx with her grandmother, Bibi, who has moved from Nigeria to care for her after the..."
Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas
 
4.5
"TELL NO TALES is a graphic novel that features Anne Bonny and her tale of pirating. She has an amazing..."
Into Darkness (Stuffed, Book 2) (Stuffed, 2)
 
4.0
"STUFFED INTO DARKNESS features Clark who is so excited to go to camp, where the Stuffies protect them from monsters...."
If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)
 
4.0
"IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY has a poem on each page which opens up to the items..."
Bunny Will Not Jump!: Ready-to-Read Level 1
 
4.0
"Bear wants nothing more than for Bunny to jump, but he won't do it. Bunny doesn't want to jump and..."
Milo's Christmas Parade
 
5.0
"MILO'S CHRISTMAS PARADE features a little opossum who wants nothing more than to join the Christmas parade. For this reason,..."
Taking Care of Mama Rabbit
 
3.5
"When Mama Rabbit falls ill, it's up to Papa Rabbit to go get medicine and her children to make her..."
A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!
 
5.0
"A KID'S GUIDE TO FANDOM is exactly what it says and is full of anything and everything nerdy. From cosplaying,..."
Mine
 
4.0
"Lily isn’t thrilled about her family’s move from Colorado to Florida. In Colorado, she had her drama club and her..."
The Republic of Birds
 
3.0
"Once, birds and humans lived together until a war erupted over a firebird’s egg. Now, the humans have their own..."
This Is the Glade Where Jack Lives: Or How a Unicorn Saved the Day
 
5.0
"THIS IS THE GLADE WHERE JACK LIVES is a new take on the traditional "This Is the House that Jack..."
The End Is Just the Beginning
 
5.0
"THE END IS JUST THE BEGINNING is exactly as the title reads. It's a story about how all endings are..."
Dust & Grim
 
4.0
"Thirteen-year-old Molly finds out she's entitled to part of a mortuary business after the death of her father. She also..."
Get Up, Elizabeth!
 
5.0
"Elizabeth needs to get out of bed because she's the princess and has a lot to do. As a princess...."
Happy Little Ogre
 
5.0
"HAPPY LITTLE OGRE features our favorite characters from Shrek as babies. It's full of ogre fun and silliness from burps..."
Clean-Up Time!: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1
 
5.0
"Our favorite character, Daniel the Tiger, heads to the park to play with his friends. But when they get there,..."
The Secret Starling
 
3.5
"Clara Starling is used to the drudgery of life with her uncle in his huge mansion. It’s all routine, cold..."