Author: Karen Gregory
Publication Date: 4th May 2017
Format: eBook ARC
Note: This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don’t add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She’s even given her eating disorder a name – Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it, if she takes it one day at a time …
What I Thought:
When I’m talking about books that deal with a difficult subject I’m never sure enjoy is the right word to use. Countless was a difficult book to read, but an important one too and I’m going to try to explain why. Firstly the book and the review will talk about eating disorders so if this has the potential to be triggering for you I completely understand if you don’t read any further than this. Also while I won’t go into huge detail about the plot, other than what is clear from the blurb I will be talking about some of my general thoughts on the book, some points along the way and the conclusion, only broad strokes, but again if you don’t want to be spoiled at all don’t read beyond the end of this paragraph, but come back and tell me what you thought once you’ve read it!
Countless is the debut novel from Karen Gregory. It tells the story of Hedda, a young adult who is struggling with an eating disorder and has been in and out of inpatients since she was a young teenager, the story begins with Hedda discovering she’s pregnant and followers her on her journey as she tries to make decisions and live her life.
I won’t talk too much about the story line, but I will warn you Countless will trample over your emotions and spit them out for fun. Countless shows Hedda’s personal experience of her eating disorder, how it affects her everyday life, and the difficulty she faces in balancing her disorder and what she knows her baby needs. Countless also shows how an eating disorder can affect those around them, the strain it can put on relationships through the whole family.
I liked the fact the ending felt realistic, the book covers a relatively short period of time, particularly in relation to how long Hedda has been suffering with the eating disorder. By the end of the story she isn’t miraculously cured but you can see she is making progress and beginning to beat her disorder. It’s not perfect and all rainbows and kittens but it is hopeful.
Would I Recommend?
Yes! I had a friend who suffered with anorexia when I was 12 or 13 and I really wish this book had been around then. I know that no one book can tell the truth as it relates to everyone, each person has their own experiences and their own truth about how the illness affects them, but as a teenager I had no clue about what one of my very best friends was going through, and this would have given at least a little insight into what she was dealing with, and maybe I could have supported her a little more. In a world where more and more people are being diagnosed with eating disorders I think this book is a really important read for all teenagers, and everyone else too!