Book Discussion Books

Books about Eating Disorders that will give you insight


Reading about eating disorders can be a really hard thing to read about. I should know because I went through it back in high school. They can be a huge trigger warning because it brings those feelings back. Despite that, I do think books about eating disorders are very important.

If you don’t have anyone in your life that has dealt with this sort of thing, then please read some of these books. Who knows you might eventually come across someone who is dealing with it. These books might even help you figure out the best ways to talk to them.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. What this means is that if you purchase through the links, I have provided for you then I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please consider supporting my blog.

Books about eating disorders

Why is reading these types of books important?

Eating disorders is such an important topic to read about and here’s why. A lot of people don’t really understand what causes eating disorders and how exactly their brains are wired differently. It’s not something that can be easily stopped and I don’t think a lot of people really understand that. Telling someone to eat more or eat less is like telling someone to get out of bed when they’re depressed. It just doesn’t work that way and I want more people to understand that.

This is a sad situation that I do kind of feel like more people need to inform themselves about. Who knows you just might end up in a situation where a loved one ends up dealing with it. If that winds up being the case then you probably want to address the situation as best as you can.

Books about eating disorders

I get that not everyone is going to want to read books about eating disorders. It’s a hard topic and it can bring up a trigger for a lot of people. Reading through them can help with potentially seeing the signs and knowing what to exactly look for.

I am by no means saying to rely on books that are completely fiction but they can give you some background. They can give you a better understanding of why some actually go through these sorts of things as well.

How it Feels to Float

Books about eating disorders

How it feels to float is perfect for books about eating disorders. It kind of gives you the idea that it does not matter if we have a loving family surrounding us we can still have negative feelings about things. Mental health can affect those with the best families and those with bad families can be perfectly ok. Granted in most cases it is the opposite.

What I’m trying to say is that mental illness does not care who you are or how great your life is.

Here is what How it Feels to Float is about.

Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom, and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldn’t be here but is. So Biz doesn’t tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn’t tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was six. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface—normal okay regular fine.

But after what happens on the beach—first in the ocean, and then in the sand–the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears, and with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe—maybe maybe maybe—there’s a third way Biz just can’t see yet.

If you’re interested in How it Feels to Float then you can find the book in the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Way I Used to be

books about eating disorders

The Way I Used to Be is a book I bought a while back (and no I still haven’t gotten to it) but I don’t think I realized that it deals with rape. I don’t have many trigger warnings but rape, especially if it’s detailed, is something that I don’t like reading about.

I still wanted to add this book to the books about eating disorders list because eating disorders can come about in a variety of ways. This book is an obvious way of how it can come about though.

Here is what How I Used Be is about.

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

If you’re interested in How I Used to be then you can find it through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

Tiny Pretty Things

books about eating disorders

I think pretty much everyone knows about how a good majority of serious ballerinas have an eating disorder. It’s nothing new.

I’m not sure if this one would be really helpful when it comes to girls who go through eating disorders, but you can get an understanding of why ballerinas do this to their bodies.

Here is what Tiny Pretty Things is about.

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton, and the author of the highly anticipated Symptoms of a Heartbreak, Sona Charaipotra.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet-star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever.

When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

If you’re interested in Tiny Pretty Things then you can find it in the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

Just Listen

As far as I can tell Just Listen doesn’t really deal with the main character having an eating disorder. So why am I adding to the books with eating disorders list? Well, the main character’s sister is going through it. I feel like Just Listen might be a good example of what it’s like for the families.

Here is what Just Listen is about.

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

If you’re interested in Just Listen you can find it through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop


Paperweight is another that I have been meaning to get to over the past year. I’m such a mood reader so it’s one where I keep pushing it back.

Paperweight is such a good example of going through an eating disorder and having a family that actually cares about you. Books like this make you realize that people who go through this sort of thing have something wrong with their heads. There’s an imbalance and it doesn’t matter what your life is like when you go through this.

I don’t think many people realize that you can still have a great life in order to go through it.

Here is what Paperweight is about.

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.

Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn’t plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

If you’re interested in Paperweight you can find it through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Passion of Alice

The Passion of Alice is such a reality check when it comes to eating disorders. With certain things when it comes to the disorder they get a rush and some endorphins. But they don’t realize the harm that they are really doing to their bodies until it’s too late.

To me, this book would be a good read so those that are going through this will realize what they are putting their bodies through. I just don’t think that many realize the extent of it really.

Here is what The passion of Alice is about.

After an episode of heart failure, Alice arrives in the eating disorder clinic of Seaview Hospital, where she detachedly watches a circus unfold . . . starring her perfectionist mother, Syd (“she’d been a synchronized swimmer in college”), her counselors (“the therapists are like tuning forks for epiphanies”), and the resident anorexics, bulimics, and compulsive eaters. But it is newcomer Maeve Sullivan, at once raucous and tender, with her fleshy body and hedonistic appetites, who turns Alice’s adventure beyond her own distorted looking glass into a new perception of herself–and who wakens an attraction that touches Alice’s soul and changes her life forever.

If you’re reading this post I hope you realize how important it is to really read books like this. I know it may not seem like it but reading books about eating disorders can give insight into how their brains work. It’s not as simple as just eating more food or eating less food. Their brains are wired differently and we should all try to understand it a little better.

If you’re interested in the Passion of Alice then you can find them through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

Did I miss any books about eating disorders?

If you enjoy books like this, then make sure to check out my post on dystopian novels for young adults.

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