‘The Year I Didn’t Eat’ – Samuel Pollen

Max is a character you’ll feel for, but simply because his experiences sound exhausting.

When we first meet Max he’s struggling to deal with his illness. He gives it a name, Ana, and is acutely aware of the impact it has on his family. Max can’t pinpoint what started it, but he recognises that his constant calorie counting and obsessive attempts to control his food intake are destructive. He tries to go along with his counselling sessions, but that voice becomes stronger.

This was a sensitively told story, looking at some aspects of living with anorexia while also showing a teenage boy learning to develop friendships and live with some of the family issues that arise.

It’s hard to know how successful this is in conveying an experience which will, probably, be different for everyone but I did like the hopeful tone to it.