A searing yet ultimately uplifting young adult novel about a teenage girl's recovery from anorexia
What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she's finally a size zero. She's also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her--girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again. She's pretty sure her mom, who has her own size-zero obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick? What I Lost
is an eloquent debut novel by Alexandra Ballard that rings with authenticity as it follows Elizabeth's journey to taking an active role in her eating disorder recovery, hoping to get back all that she lost. Praise for What I Lost
"Readers will root for the novel's likable main character and gain some understanding of the complexity of her illness at the same time." --Kirkus Reviews
"Through Elizabeth's painful uphill battle, newcomer Ballard skillfully illustrates that although unhealthy eating habits may start as a choice, an eating disorder is a complicated illness that cannot be battled without support and vigilance." --Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Alexandra Ballard has worked as a magazine editor, middle-school English teacher, freelance writer, and cake maker. She holds master's from both Columbia (journalism) and Fordham (education) and spent ten years in the classroom, beginning in the Bronx and ending up in the hills of Berkeley, California, with her husband and two daughters. What I Lost is Alexandra Ballard's debut novel.