I don't think this book adds much to the sum total of ED literature. It's well written and Lori's 11yr old voice is compelling, funny and wise beyond her years. However, it's very triggering and lacks insight. Lori's mother is painted as an ogre, the doctors do nothing to really help her and I was left wondering where her apparently spontaneous recovery came from and how she fared after her hospitalisation. It's a book mostly about Lori's becoming and being sick, with recovery a deus ex machina that's never examined or explained. As a book its ok for what it is but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for help with recovery.
What would a girl growing up in Beverly Hills in 1978 wish for at her birthday party? This chess-playing, math-loving whiz of a kid wishes to be the thinnest girl at school, maybe even the planet! Lori is a brainy kid used to being cute to the adults in her life, except now they're calling her "different" & "unique". Now her school friends have turned their minds to the mush of makeup & boyfriends, what's a girl to do? Out shopping with her mother, Lori comes across a diary & starts on the journey of her life. In three seasons this healthy youngster starves herself to the very brink & through her admissions & omissions in her diary, the reader will also be drawn toward that edge. A lively, furious read! Fast, funny, fatuous & fearful by turns, Stick Figure is worth hunting up & grabbing. Not only is it a paean to journal writing(& I'm an evangelist for the examined life!), it is an engrossing exploration of the makings of an eating disorder which, back then, didn't have a name. NB. this diary has been expanded by the woman Lori did survive to become. This would make an excellent book for any girl around the age of 12 & for anyone older who has taken up dieting as a lifestyle. May I suggest you give a journal as well, it could save their life!...
I found this interesting as Lori's age was significantly younger than those of the characters in other popular novels and autobiographies on eating disorders, and this gives the book an interesting slant. At times the 11-year-old Lori is so naive it becomes annoying, but all in all this is a very insightful view into an eating disorder. This is also the only book of its nature that I've come across that really places an emphasis on the role of the parents in the development of anorexia in the adolescent. It's very easy to hate Lori's mother. To conclude, a poignant and darkly funny insight into an 11-year-old girl's desperate wish to be thin.
Written from the perspective of an 11 year old, this is a truly brilliant read. Set in LA where looks and body shape is ever important, the book highlights her disorder from hints of her childhood, and a true example of what society does to kids.
It was interesting to see a book of this genre written with a slightly different angle - less of a biography and more of a story, with Lori and her disorder as the main character and the various things that happen being chapter events, and it's unbelievably heartbraking when the storylike charm seeps in and the reality of truth arises. Packed with emotion and flair - just read it.
This book is increeedibly funny! Interesting that such a serious topic can be dealt with as hilariously as Gottlieb does. Funny does not mean the book is not insightful, though; it provides a sharp picture of the paradoxes of what it means to be a woman, then and now.