Thursday, January 14, 2016

Believearexic, by JJ Johnson

I read the novel, Believearexic, by JJ Johnson. In 1988, when she was fifteen, JJ Johnson was hospitalized for treatment of bulimarexia, a combination of bulimia and anorexia. During her ten-week stay, JJ had to eat everything on her tray, and took classes like "Assertiveness Training," "Depression Management," and "Body Image Workshop." She gained weight, but her path toward health was a constant struggle. 

In her heart, JJ knew-she knew-that she would be a happy, healthy adult one day. Believarexic is based on a true experience of the author JJ Johnson and is a combination of fiction and fact, of how Johnson faced the inner demons that kept her from being happy. Her story was not romanticized, which tends to happen in young adult books, and that, was a plus for me. Full emotions were displayed here. Nothing was held back. 

You hated the people JJ Johnson hated/disliked, Nurse Sheryl and eventually Monica, and you loved the people she loved too, Chuck and Sophia. You sympathized with the disgusting food that was served, and the fact that patients had to eat over 3000 calories per day. The entire experience of battling bulimiarexia, from entering the hospital to leaving, is within this book. That's perhaps the best part of it, how it's both fiction and nonfiction. 

When you read books making out a journey to be full of stars and rainbows, you don't believe it. Where are the hurdles? Where is the truth? Johnson pushes beyond those rainbows so we can see the truth. Her parents certainly weren't perfect. Her friends weren't either. And Johnson, especially, after the revelation from Dr. Prakash, learns to accept that she does not have to be perfect. Believarexic stands as a beacon to any boy or girl, and those who suffer from bulimia, anorexia, or both - basically this is a book for everyone to read! There are life lessons in this book everyone needs to hear. No one has to be perfect, your true friends are there for you every step of the way, and yes, you can befriend those inner demons of yours to find true peace.

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