Blog Tour/Guest Post/Giveaway: Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.
What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.
In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong.
Several chapters into the story it becomes blatantly obvious that one of the twins has an eating disorder. I would probably describe it as EDNOS as opposed to anorexia or bulimia. As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder, your obsessive descriptions were accurate. Was this difficult to write about? Where did you find the inspiration and courage to so accurately portray Grace?
It was definitely difficult to write about something that affects the lives of so many people. Eating disorders are an incredibly challenging thing to face, especially when you’re young, and I was inspired by the people I’ve talked to who fight against ED – I can’t imagine how much strength it takes.
It’s a challenge to portray something like an eating disorder accurately when everyone’s experience is most likely different. Research helped a lot. The fact that Grace has an eating disorder is never something that’s directly named in the book – she keeps her struggles extremely private, to the point where even her sister only kind of wonders about her eating habits. She hasn’t been officially diagnosed. And I think that’s a situation a lot of teens dealing with ED go through – there are people who are really good at keeping certain things from being noticed.
For Grace at least, her eating habits are an extension of what she thinks she should be able to micromanage about her life. She sets unachievable expectations for herself, and then her self-esteem plummets when she inevitably can’t meet them. So there’s no way to win. It’s easy to say “oh, I’ll only consume this tiny amount of calories a day for x amount of time” and then attribute failure to personal weakness rather than the fact that your body and mind are doing everything they can to make you eat, since it’s what you need to do to survive.
It doesn’t help that there’s this whole “if you want to lose weight, all you need to do is stop eating” mentality, like that’s a simple thing to do. There’s a message that weight loss is an easy equation, and it’s hard not to feel bad about yourself for not being able to do something that’s supposedly easy. For Grace, it becomes one more thing that she needs to prove to herself that she’s perfect enough to do.
I urge anyone struggling with any sort of disordered eating to reach out – to a family member, a counselor, a friend. No one should have to go through that alone. It takes a lot of bravery, but there are always people who care!
Laura Tims is the author of PLEASE DON’T TELL, coming Fall 2015 from HarperCollins.
She’s a mental health advocate, a cancer, and a reasonably cute organism. She likes Tumblr, anime, Neko Atsume, Homestuck, Steven Universe, and Undertale. She likes you even more.
She writes books about strange relationships, pain, and people who are scared but good. She loves to talk and if you also love to talk, find her on Twitter @laura_tims
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