Hungry Ghost by Victoria Ying
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I requested Hungry Ghost off of NetGalley, I did so with quite a bit of hesitation. I knew what the subject matter was and how heavy of a topic it was, but I also appreciated that the graphic novel tackled such an important topic.
Hungry Ghost tells the story of a high school student named Valerie who suffers from an eating disorder. She suffers in silence, desperately trying to please her mother who constantly reminds her of what will happen should she ever become fat, while also trying to live life as a normal teenager. Val hates having to live a lie and wants nothing more than to be happy like her best friend, Jordan, who is overweight but doesn’t let it stop her from being happy. It all comes to a head when a tragedy occurs in Val’s life that forces her to take another look at everything — including herself. It’s a very, very hard read, however, Victoria Ying does a great job of tackling such an important topic with both her words and artwork.
Eating disorders are so common and yet not talked about nearly enough. There are so many others like Val that need to read a story like this to know they are not alone. And Ying tells this story, one she herself has lived, with such care. It doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities those suffering face. It doesn’t shy away from the pain or the toll such a disorder can take on one’s mental health.
Overall: Hungry Ghost is a hauntingly beautiful, but painful read. More importantly, though, it’s such an important read.
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Note: This book is already out. Our review is just late.