Eating disorders range from anorexia and bulimia to binge eating and purging. These disorders are surrounded by stigma and misconceptions that can be very damaging for anyone who suffers from this disease. It is estimated that more than 8 million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders.
Because of this, it’s important that we educate ourselves on this disease. Fiction books about eating disorders have tried hard to bring that much-needed education front and center.
We’ve gathered a list of fiction books about eating disorders that will help you understand this disease more. Not everyone suffers from this disorder in the same way. What is true for some may not be true for others. These books might help clear some things up for you, or even make sense of your own emotions if you are suffering from an eating disorder.
While these books are fiction and the characters and their actions are from the authors’ mind, the emotions, the struggles, and the actions that you will read about are all real.
Popular Fiction Books About Eating Disorders
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
In Wintergirls, readers will learn more about the issue of a competitive eating disorder and how it’s a dangerous kind of peer pressure. When the main character’s best friend, Cassie, dies from bulimia, Lia is left alone to suffer from her own disorder, anorexia. Dealing with the loss as she deals with her disorder is a heartwrenching read. The author did a wonderful job with describing in detail how Lia sees her body and the emotions that she feels. Those feelings transfer over to the reader.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
This book is written from the perspective of the sister of someone with an eating disorder. Dessen really dives deep in this fiction read on how difficult it can be to understand what someone with an eating disorder is going through. Likewise, it also demonstrates how it can affect a family as a whole.
Identical By Ellen Hopkins
Identical tackles a range of issues besides just an eating disorder. Readers will find mental health struggles that include sexual abuse and self-harm. Hopkins fully explains how it’s important to keep an eye out for other symptoms. In some cases, the eating disorder is part of a wider problem.
Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
Skinny is based on the perspectives of two sisters, one of whom is battling anorexia. This book about eating disorders brings you inside Giselle’s head. You gain a glimpse into the haunting mental battles she faces as she battles her anorexia. Readers are also invited into Holly’s thoughts. You’re able to experience her struggle to help her beloved sister from her deteriorating life.
These fiction eating disorder books educate and bring a reader into the mental and physical realm of eating disorders. While fiction in nature, they capture the true hurt and fight of those battling with the disorder.