Beyond Books

Letting Ana Go

Letting Ana Go
by Anonymous

In the tradition of Go Ask Alice and Lucy in the Sky, a harrowing account of anorexia and addiction. She was a good girl from a good family, with everything she could want or need. But below the surface, she felt like she could never be good enough. Like she could never live up to the expectations that surrounded her. Like she couldn’t do anything to make a change.

But there was one thing she could control completely: how much she ate. The less she ate, the better—stronger—she felt.

But it’s a dangerous game, and there is such a thing as going too far…

Her innermost thoughts and feelings are chronicled in the diary she left behind. (goodreads.com)

Release date: June 4, 2013

I have never read Go Ask Alice but I keep meaning to. When I got an email about the possibility of reviewing this book, I said yes. I had just finished my course and, well, it’s a disorder book. I have an addition to disorder books. This one is about anorexia, but it could be about mental illness, depression, cutting, suicide, and I will gobble it up. My soul likes to purge its own demons through literature now rather than act out in real life.

I will tell you, I read this book 2 weeks ago and I am STILL thinking about it. Not because I knew I wanted to write up this post, but because it just stayed with me. I don’t know what the another “Anonymous” books are like, but this one felt like I was reading a real journal. It was written in a way that reminded me of my own diaries when I was a young teen. The narrator’s voice was real and loud in my ears.

Parts of it reminded me of my own summers on the lake, even though this was really nothing like my own life. There was just a feeling…a sense, if you will that brought up so many flashbacks to when I was 13-16 years old. Maybe it’s also because the weather finally warmed up and I always feel nostalgic for my summers on the lake that I no longer have. Don’t know.

All I know is that this novel had a voice that resonated with me and felt so raw and real. I didn’t cry but I just felt everything in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t feel trapped as I normally do with emotionally heavy books, rather I felt…ok. I felt ok while I read this story and felt like I was reading a real girl’s journal and spiral into the unhealthy habits she picked up. I think because I knew what the outcome was going to be – even though I continuously hoped I’d be wrong – I didn’t feel the same sense of panic I normally feel, as I wonder if this kid will make it out alive?

I’m not sure how to explain how this story made me fee, other than it’s still fresh in my mind 2 weeks after reading it. Almost like I’d lived it myself. Like these were my own memories. They are nothing like my memories, but they still felt so real.

I was especially affected by the boyfriend relationship. It’s so rare to see a story where the boyfriend tries so hard to convince his girl that she’s beautiful the way she is and he doesn’t want her hurting herself. It was just such a beautiful and painful part of the book.

This is a book I will keep forever. I think I’d even re-read it, as difficult as it was. There was something about it that just connected with me. It’s heartbreaking that a girl can go from healthy and happy to thinking that she has to be skeletal to be pretty. This book is just so wonderfully written and painful to read, but it’s worth it.

One Comment

  • Court

    I read Go Ask Alice when I was quite young – probably when I was too young to really understand it. But there were scenes in it that definitely stayed with me, and that I still think about. It sounds like this one would be quite similar in that way.

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