Delicate Review

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About the Book

Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, Girl in Pieces and Girl, Interrupted will love this Amazon bestseller.

Lydia Baker fights a war every day.

A war with herself.A war with food.

At 90 pounds she still feels fat. She still doesn’t feel like a size zero. Lydia can see things that no one else can see. When she looks in the mirror she can see the fat hanging off of her body. The treatment hasn’t helped her. No doctor has been able to give her a magic pill to cure her or to get rid of the thoughts in her head.

She was trapped inside her mind. Lydia doesn’t see food as food. She only sees the calories and the numbers. Counting and starving and purging is all that she does.

When she eats too much she cuts herself to let the pain leak out. Every day means fewer calories, but it also means another scar to help strengthen her determination and to harden her heart just a little more.

Lydia has to be the skinniest of them all, and she’ll hurt herself and her family any way possible to wear the skinny crown. The less she ate, the stronger she felt. The less she ate, the more she was in control. But Lydia was playing a dangerous game and risking it all to be thin, to be perfect.

Book Blurb: What I wanted to say in Group, what I want to say to Mom and Dad was that it was simple. I am not extraordinary, I am not special, my case, my illness is not something that is rare. It is common as I have learned from Group.

When I was growing up I was average, I played outside, I read books, and I wanted a pony even though I knew it wouldn’t fit in our apartment. I wore band –shirts and short-shorts, I munched on cookies and snacks whenever I wanted without any worry. I had expectations pushed on me, get straight A’s keep your room clean, study and you will achieve, and I did want to. I wanted to be great at something, anything.

How did I get here? It was any number of things, stress, my parents fighting, my personal failures, isolating, I don’t know. There is no one thing that I can point to, it’s all fuzzy. How do you explain how one minute you’re able to eat anything and everything you like and the next minute you’re doing crunches on an empty stomach because you haven’t eaten for three days until you suddenly did and then you shoved your fingers down your throat until it feels like your going to rip it out and you throw up so hard it feels like your eyeball is going to come out? Every time I meet with Megan, every time I see Dad or talk with Mom it’s that same question.

How did it start? How did it happen? How could this happen I pick at my sweater, I fiddle with my buttons, I chew on my lip and stay quiet. I have nothing to say. It took me months to realize when I was so hungry and hunched in on myself looking at the pasta boiling on the stove that once I had started, not just the starving but the purging I couldn’t stop. I had to keep going. If I didn’t it felt like the world might end as extreme as that sounds, I would rather starve, freeze, grow fur, suffer through headaches and gross mouth sores, and the awful pounding of my heart in my chest than eat.
I was hungry but I couldn’t eat.

A gritty provocative debut that explores the horrors of an eating disorder and self-harm, and the power of recovery. Gemma Donoghue has written a gritty, raw, and real portrait of one girl’s journey through mental illness and despair as she tried to put the pieces of herself back together.

Gemma Donoghue is the author of Talk, Good Enough, and Fragile.

Review

If you read a book by Gemma Donoghue she’s going to make you feel some things. Every book lays bare some very difficult topics that you don’t often see. And Delicate is no different, forcing us to take an up close look at what it is like to live with an eating disorder. At a time where we are constantly celebrating body positivity, I think that it is so important for stories and voices like these to be shared. Opening up that conversation and shedding light on what many go through.

I know it may sound weird of me to say, but I really appreciate seeing books about eating disorders. I think that this is a topic we swept under the rug so much, and even still do, that it became taboo to admit to suffering from an eating disorder yet almost celebrated to to have one. So I love seeing books that aren’t afraid to normalize the pain associated with eating disorders. I think we need to start having more honest conversations about what an eating disorder actually does to you physically and mentally. They aren’t something pretty and they are a daily struggle.

I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read from Donoghue, she has such an open and honest way of writing. Everything she writes is raw and honest, opening your eyes to things that society would rather you not see or talk about.

About the Author


Gemma Donoghue is a first-time self-publishing author, and a lover of anything that involves horror, mystery, and romance.

*I received an e-copy in exchange for an honest review*

Fragile Review

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About the Book

Thirteen Reasons Why meets One of Us is Lying, Fragile in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies and secrets a group of teens tell about a deadly night.

Two best friends.

An unforgivable secret.

Katherine and Carol are best friends, competitors in a deadly competition to see who will be the skinniest.

Until Carol commits suicide.

The case is closed. Carol killed herself. Her parents know she did it. The police know she did it. Everyone at school knows she did it.

But knowing Carol, and how strange their small town is, Katherine isn’t so sure that’s what happened. Moving on isn’t easy. Before she died, Carol had called Katherine. Katherine’s world has started to unravel, as she after her parents’ divorce and her grandmother tried to file for custody of her when she was at her lowest weight. as she loses control of her eating disorder and listens to the messages her friend had left her. And tries to understand the secrets that she’s unearthed. Whatever happened to Carol isn’t over. Some of the kids at school know more about what happened than they’re saying. And somehow…Carol is at the center of all of it.

Everyone has secrets. How far will they go to protect them?

Donoghue has created an intriguing character study into the minds of people who make difficult, unimaginable choices. A dark, gritty read from a talented new author.

Review

Gemma Donoghue is killing it with these gritty and dark contemporaries! I love contemporaries that aren’t afraid to hit upon the dark and deep topics and really open up a conversation. And Fragile definitely goes there, so make sure you go into this one expecting to feel some things.

This is my third Donoghue book and I can honestly say that each one has made me go, “this one’s my new favorite!” They’re all just so brutally honest and contain such uniquely powerful stories. And Fragile is no different. This story revolves around Katherine and her struggles with an eating disorder. As well as secrets. You’ll find yourself flipping through the pages needing to find out what happens next.

This book dives deep into issues such as eating disorders, trauma, death, as well as the secrets that those we think we are close to keep from us. It is both a harrowing story as well as an insightful one.

About the Author

Gemma Donoghue is a first-time self-publishing author, and a lover of anything that involves horror, mystery, and romance.

*I received an ecopy in exchange for an honest review*

Good Enough Review

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About the Book

Ten facts about myself.

1. My name is Simon Baker.
2. I’m seventeen years old.
3. I have two sisters. Jessica, who’s fourteen and Bailey who’s twelve.
4. My parents aren’t divorced, they’re still together.
5. We live in a nice two-story house in a nice neighborhood.
6. My parents don’t do drugs, they don’t even drink that often, and neither do I.
7. My parents have never hit us, they’ve never kept us locked up in the basement or kicked us out of the house.
8. No one has ever touched me in the wrong place.
9. I’ve been to parties and I’ve been in a few fights but never over anything serious.
10. I didn’t try to kill myself.

Except that Simon wakes up to find that his parents have had him committed to Palmdale Psychiatric Hospital after a failed suicide attempt. Simon wasn’t normal and he knew it. He was struggling after losing his best -and only- friend, with being an outcast at school. He tries his best to pretend that everything is okay, but there is still a part of him that he would always keep locked away from everyone else.

Here, Simon meets the other patients and is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety and depression. His healing process has just begun when he meets Oliver, another patient, who changes his life.

Review

This book is just right up my alley. It talks about all of those things that are oh so commonly swept under the rug and puts them right out in the open. There’s a lot of difficult topics covered around a cast of amazing characters. And it’s one that once I started reading I couldn’t stop.

I am a huge fan of books that talk about and have mental health representation. And with a setting in a psychiatric ward the author is able to cover so many different things that people go through. But the best part of this story was how well each of the characters were developed throughout the book.

This book will draw you in and make you need to uncover all of the secrets within. There is a mystery aspect to this book and with each chapter you learn a little more. So make sure you’re wide awake (my personal mistake) and have plenty of time to devour this one! Because you won’t want to stop reading it until it’s over!

About the Author


Gemma Donoghue is a first-time self-publishing author, and a lover of anything that involves horror, mystery, and romance.

*I received a ebook in exchange for an honest review*

Talk Review

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About the Book

Fans of Speak by Laure Halse Anderson and Identical by Ellen Hopkins will love Talk.

Donoghue’s young adult book reaches new heights in this portrait of sexual abuse, violent alcoholism, and devastating realizations.

Sometimes the past just won’t let go. You wake up and everything has changed. Your whole world is turned upside down. And you know that things will never be the same. Four lives, two different roads, two destinations: a psychiatric hospital or the morgue.

The Hales are an all American middle-class family on the outside. But behind their masquerade, each member of the family has their own dark secrets.

For Susie, she’s the oldest and the most responsible, the voice of reason in the family, and maintained the facade of happiness. But dig a little deeper and find a girl still scared, looking for her father’s love, and substituting it with sex and alcohol.

For Mary, she is the youngest and suffered the most from their painful childhood, can only find peace through cutting and is in a constant battle with her parents, her sister and her life.

George Hale is a charming man, who chose to live an unconventional life and stubbornly forced those ideals on his family. He drank. He would pick fights. He would disappear for days on end only to return and uproot them from their life and they would find some new place to live with the police right on their heels.

Susie and Mary. They are half of the Hales All American Family. But what lies beneath their wholesome family facade? Each sister hides their own dark secret, being sexually abused by George, their own father.

Vivid, haunting, and authentic this portrayal of abuse and self-harm, Donoghue manages to show the horror and the guilt of sexual abuse in a realistic yet appropriate way. With authentic and well-developed characters, Talk will be one of the most suspenseful books you read this year with a powerful shocking ending.

Gemma Donoghue is the author of the bestseller Young Adult book Delicate, Fragile and Good Enough.

Review

This is one of those achingly honest books. The narrator tells everything just as it is and doesn’t hold back. And boy, do things look perpetually grim. Even when things start to look up we are instantly thrown right back down to the reality of the situation. And as you are reading this book it raises the question on what would you do when your own worst nightmare was the person meant to protect you from harm?

Talk goes deep and covers many topics that often get unceremoniously swept under the rug: alcoholism, abuse, homelessness, self-harm, and rape. And I think that Donoghue was so successful in opening a conversation on these topics because of how the book was written. Susie was our narrator and, like I mentioned before, she just told it as it is. Of course there were moments when her facade cracked, but for the most part her ability to calmly tell the story and give as much detail as possible is what made the story so haunting and realistic.

And haunting this story is, because it shoves these topics in your face and doesn’t give you a chance to look away. And what I liked best about this book is that it was honest. It was honest about what it was and what it talked about. Even if the characters within are anything but honest. It’s an odd combination, but one that works.

About the Author

Gemma Donoghue is a first-time self-publishing author, and a lover of anything that involves horror, mystery, and romance.

*I received an e-copy in exchange for an honest review*