This Impossible Light by Lily Myers
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Publish Date: June 6th, 2017
Recieved: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
From the YouTube slam poetry star of “Shrinking Women” (more than 5 million views!) comes a novel in verse about body image, eating disorders, self-worth, mothers and daughters, and the psychological scars we inherit from our parents.
Fifteen-year-old Ivy’s world is in flux. Her dad has moved out, her mother is withdrawn, her brother is off at college, and her best friend, Anna, has grown distant. Worst of all, Ivy’s body won’t stop expanding. She’s getting taller and curvier, with no end in sight. Even her beloved math class offers no clear solution to the imbalanced equation that has become Ivy’s life.
Everything feels off-kilter until a skipped meal leads to a boost in confidence and reminds Ivy that her life is her own. If Ivy can just limit what she eats—the way her mother seems to—she can stop herself from growing, focus on the upcoming math competition, and reclaim control of her life. But when her disordered eating leads to missed opportunities and a devastating health scare, Ivy realizes that she must weigh her mother’s issues against her own, and discover what it means to be a part of—and apart from—her family.
This Impossible Light explores the powerful reality that identity and self-worth must be taught before they are learned. Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins.
Trigger warning for eating-disorder
This novel written in poetic verse takes you on a journey of mental illness and the aftermath of a family broken apart in a lyrical, crisp, and stunning way. At first I was taken in by Ivy this smart girl mc that felt so much like me. I was that weird girl who enjoyed school, who’s favorite classes were english, math, and science. Except while Ivy embraced that side of herself I hid it away as much as I could.
When things started to change in the novel and Ivy started to talk about her loss, loss of family, loss of friends, loss of herself, I began to feel sick, because her spiral into body dysmorphia was similar to how my own spiral into a depression occurred although for very different reasons. As hard as it was for me to read the truths that were being spoken, I could not put this book down.
This bright, funny, nerdy character got dull and dizzy with her fight to control her eating and I was breaking all over inside for it. All she ever wished for was reliability as reliable as 2+2=4 and she broke when she found that to be human is to be unrealiable. Till she could no longer have the heart to remember that there could be an good to life, just discipline, biking, and study study study.
This book was undeniably one of the best books I’ve read in 2017. Not only that, but one for me to realize that my own scars need a little more work to be fully healed and that that is ok. To human is to take baby steps towards something a bit more positive little by little every day. I am happier for having read this book that beautifully and horrifically describes how one can fall into a state of declining mental-health.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading this review. I also hope that you will consider reading This Impossible Light. It is such a gem of a novel.
Day 4 of #my500words and I mostly spent my time trying to write government files failing and doing research. Slightly frustrated, but entirely excited, I can’t wait to continue writing this story!
-Till next time!