Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he’s a mess.
Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, who’s trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that’s holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.
Telling a story of a rarely recognized segment of eating disorder sufferers—young men—A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a book for fans of the complex characters and emotional truths in Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.
About the Author
Lois Metzger was born in Queens and has always written for young adults. She is the author of three previous novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies. Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and Harper’s Bazaar. She lives in Greenwich
Village with her husband and son.
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Mike Welles is a responsible teen, he plays baseball, has good friends and makes decent grades. Then, the unthinkable happens, his parents marriage starts falling apart and with it, his world. One by one, he pushes his friends away and withdraws. Mike starts stress eating and packs on a few pounds. Amber, a girl he has known since kindergarten, reaches out to him, telling him slyly about how she handles her home issues by controlling what she can: her appetite. Through his eating, Mike learns to gain control over one part of his life, while the rest of it disintegrates.
As Mike finds himself loosing control over his home life, his disease takes over, speaking to him and dominating all of his thoughts. Even though he doesn’t realize it, friends and teachers have contacted his parents about how much Mike has changed. For all their faults, his parents really do care and when they see what is happening to him, they get him help. The voice of his anorexia makes it so easy for Mike to disconnect and almost fold back into himself as he stops eating. Sent to a hospital for eating disorders, he finally quiets the voice in his head.
This book is amazingly heart-wrenching and told in such a quiet way, that you it makes you realize how insidiously an eating disorder can sneak up on some one. I really liked Mike and he was very sympathetic in that you could see his world unravel and the unique voice he has since most books about eating disorders are written from a female protagonist’s point of view. I hadn’t realize that so many males deal with this issue until I read the acknowledgements and did a bit of research to find that there are a lot of guys with this problem. Parents: This is an important read for everyone and yes, even though it is about a very sad topic, it contains a lot of important messages and should spark some wonderful discussions.
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