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Summary

Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia.

Told entirely from Elena's perspective over a five-year period and cowritten with her mother, award-winning author Clare B. Dunkle, Elena's memoir is a fascinating and intimate look at a deadly disease and a must-listen for anyone who knows someone suffering from an eating disorder.

©2015 Elena and Clare B. Dunkle (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Feels authentic

This book felt like a very honest account of a long lasting struggle with ED. The narration was very good as well. Even a few aha moments during the account of therapy sessions towards the end.

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Review

Before listening to this book it helps to listen to her mother’s memoir hope and other luxuries it helps provide a timeline and give the full picture, both sides of the story. Both books are worth reading.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • The Mays
  • 18-07-17

So powerful

This honest memoir is heart wrenching and beautifully written. What Elena and her family went through was beyond any words I could write in a review. Anorexia steals the lives of so many, and almost stole Elena's. Regardless of whether you or a loved one has battled (or is battling) anorexia or if you just want to know what it's like from the inside this is absolutely worth a credit. If you love the book as I did, check out Hope and Other Luxuries by Clare B Dunkle and Elena Dunkle for the story of Elena's mother, Clare's battle to save Elena from the monster that is anorexia.
Lauren Fortgang is an incredible narrator who I have enjoyed listening to on this and many other books before. She always gives an amazing performance.
Happy listening!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Susie
  • 16-09-15

Eaten from Within

Elena Dunkle's memoir re-lives her struggle with anorexia, when it was a separate force consuming her, a demon working against her. This might be the truest portrait of this disorder out there.

She gives a vivid account of the state of mind that anyone with psychological problems, from depression to addiction, can recognize, highlighting the inner voice that constantly counteracts any acknowledgement, any progress toward a healthy mindset. It's a harrowing story that gives you a clear understanding of the disease eating up a victim.

When Elena finally starts to come around, she is again, so honest and so accurate, that you know that recovery is not a straightforward path, it will be a lifetime's work.

The extraordinary Lauren Fortgang does a bang-up job as narrator. She makes it nearly a dramatization, giving the memoir an extra layer of meaning.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Desiree
  • 21-05-15

Amazing, all of it.

This memoir is truly amazing. It brought tears, anger, and small moments of laughter out of me. I have struggled with an eating disorder myself. Nothing to this extent or extreme, but it took up a chunk of my life and my "critical mind" was nasty too. She still is sometimes and books like this one have helped squander her voice. Helped me to want a healthy mind and body. The author is so brave to share her story. I believe her story could help save lives.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Shelley
  • 02-02-17

Awestruck

I don't write many book reviews but I have to say how much I appreciate all of the ones other people write. Therefore I cannot leave this book without leaving a couple of my thoughts. This was an absolutely beautiful book...amazingly well written, powerful, thought provoking, sorrowful, painful, uplifting and brutally honest. The performance is one of the best I e ever heard! You will never forget Elena once you've read this memoir.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adeline Ong
  • 29-01-17

Compelling

Compelling story that opens our eyes and ears to what ED sufferers and their carers go through. While everyone has a different story, Elena's story certainly touched my heart and helped forged a deeper understanding of ED.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Winter
  • 30-07-16

The most beautiful and touching story I have ever read

I bought this book expecting just another eating disorder memoir. I was touched beyond words.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacob
  • 06-06-15

Amazing book!

What did you love best about Elena Vanishing?

Inspirational story, and the way they describe the part of you that is always making you feel like less than you are really hit home.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Tabitha
  • 31-07-17

Says the voice in my head

Hate to complain about an anorexia memoir but have to be honest. The writing lacks. Too much repetitive inner monologue that doesn't serve the story or convey any pertinent emotion. Story is very vague and uninteresting. The phrase "says the voice in my head" every other sentence. We get it, you're trying to convey inner conflict but don't have the writing tools to show instead of tell. Heartbreaking story, and nothing against the subject.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leah
  • 06-09-15

Perfect Sequel to Hppe and other Luxuries.

Where does Elena Vanishing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Way up there.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Elena Vanishing?

I don't have just one. It was all of the answers to the puzzles that her Mother was trying to put together.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex Seidl
  • 04-09-18

Indulgent and slightly annoying

I really wanted to like this book. It feels dishonest in it’s perfectly wrapped up resolutions. It’s cathartic but doesn’t do anything beyond that. It’s as if the author is purging up her experience but in a way that is not moving or interesting. It doesn’t connect to a greater context. It’s like a story she wrote for her mom or a maybe a journal entry. It is not a memoir that moved or intrigued me.