An astounding read, the Gravity Journal was a tear-jerking novel about the mental battle fought by, young Anise. A 16 year old girl who views herself as fat and ugly, although she is skin and bones, and she also self-mutilates when her depression becomes overwhelming. She comes from a rich but very dysfunctional family; she never calls her parents by any name except “Loathed” for her mother and “Witless” for her father, and they seem to fit the nicknames perfectly.
Her mother, interested only in her possessions and her own life, shows little concern for Anise’s struggle, insisting that she stop the melodrama and take responsibility for the way she acts. “WE’RE not the ones with the problems,” she tells the hospital therapist, in an off-hand manner. “Our children need to work on themselves. WE’RE just fine . . . Do what you must. Pump her with drugs. Shock her if you need. ” (87-88) Her father is ineffectual, allowing his wife to make the decisions. Anise hates them both, especially her mother.
She does love her older brother, Marcel, and he seems to love her, too, but he is “screwed up” with drugs and alcohol and the loss of his girlfriend, and is unable to offer Anise any support . However, over a course of many months she goes through therapy and medication, explores the concepts of love, happiness, and self-acceptance, and experiences changes and situations unlike no other. This book follows Anise on her rough, hopeful and darkly humorous story in her fight to recover from anorexia. Along the way, she will discover herself, and learn just how strong she really is.
Being the same age as Ansie this novel and the story it tells, hits close to home. Thankfully, the journey that I have taken thus far has not led to anything nearly as drastic as Anise has. With that being said, there is no way possible that I could relate to the struggles that Anise had endured. However, being young women like Anise, I can speak on her behalf along with a majority of other young women by saying that being a teenager is not an easy task. Though; for the most part, we don’t have families to look after and numerous bills to pay, there is still a great deal of pressures that surround us on a daily bases.
One of the most evident of this pressures is to get an education. For those who have the privilege of going to school, the pressure from a variety of external sources can weigh heavy on a young mind. along with the pressure of going to school and getting the mark required in order to attend post- secondary, is the stress of trying to fit in with your peers. Once again, thankfully I don’t have to face this struggle anymore. No longer worrying about whether or not people like me, has allowed for me to focus on, and have only one stress; which is school.
Sadly, there are more than half of the teenage population that will have to face the feeling of being unloved and unwanted. Lastly, there is the untouched topic of mental health. On top of all of these never ending stresses that one will experience, is the mental strains that theses stresses can lead to. My personal opinion was that Gravity Journal is a very moving, intense, and meaningful read. I have developed an emotional attachment to this book. The novel makes you feel for the main character, Anise. The whole story is very realistic. The author portrays the life of an anorexic and self- mutilating teenager, extremely well.
When reading the content that lied within the novel I almost didn’t want this book to be realistic as it was, because it hurts to know that there are people in this world who are going through similar situations. The writing style in this book was unique and incomparable to any that I have ever read before; it was choppy, and not very descriptive. However, one will notice that the author made up for the lack of description, by putting a tremendous amount of effort into explaining the emotions of the character, so that everything said was very effective.
I was also quite fond of the way the story was told through limited omniscient and omniscient points of view. You would develop a more personal connection with the main character, and understand her better by reading what she wrote in her journal. This book is a great read focused on anorexia, self-esteem, and depression. It will leave an impression on you. The novel is one that will not be easily forgotten, and most definitely will be hard to put it down once you have started. I recommend this book for both girls and boys over the age of 14.
I don’t think that anyone younger than 14 should read this book because it has a very strong subject matter that younger student may not be appropriate for younger readers. Gravity Journal is also very educational. It tells the personal story of a girl, but also allows the reader to learn about eating disorders (specifically anorexia), and what people with eating disorders have to go through. All in all, I thought Gravity Journal by Gail Sidonie Sobat was impressive, thought provoking and touching read.