Author: Lesley Fairfield
Publication Year: 2009
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from the library at school
From the cover:
“How did I get here?”
The answer is not simple. Pressured by media, friends, fashion trends, her workplace, and personal relationships, Anna descends into a cycle of misery that seems unending. Whenever she tries to rise from the abyss, her personal demon, Tyranny, is there to push her back down. In Tyranny, Anna has created a formidable foe, and now, finding the strength to defeat her is a matter of life or death.
Brilliantly and realistically presented, Tyranny is a must-read for anyone seeking a better understanding of eating disorders and for everyone looking for a compelling page-turner that is truly a story of hope and triumph.
Let me start out by saying that I’m going to look at the content and the execution of this book separately, because that’s a very important distinction to be made.
In terms of the content, Tyranny was a fantastic look into the mindset of a young woman with an eating disorder. Anna starts out as a teenager struggling with her weight, and the story follows her as she grows older and continues to struggle as well as watches other people struggle with the same issues. It shows just how trapped she is in her negative body image and destructive behaviours, and how much it affects her life. I particularly liked the embodiment of her eating disorder as an imaginary entity that Anna dialogues with as she struggles through her life.
In terms of the execution, however, I’m not quite as enthralled. The graphics were sometimes overly simplified and other times a bit confusing, though never enough to stop me from understanding what was going on. I think, though, that they might sometimes be a challenge to younger readers. The abstract idea of “Tyranny” might also be hard for struggling readers – or, frankly, a lot of adolescents – to understand, which wouldn’t help them “get” the concepts that we would want them to take away from this book.
As a whole, though, I think that Tyranny was well done. Definitely a quick but powerful read for someone of any age, and particularly for those who have struggled – or are struggling – with eating disorders.