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Review:Arithmancy_Wiz says:
Hi, Cirque. I'm here for the TGS review swap!

I don't often seek out stories that center around eating disorders because I don't feel they are always respectful or sensitive to the seriousness of the disease. They often use the disorder as a means to an end: a way to make a character seem broken or to attract the attention of some strong, strapping man who can save them from themselves. I really like that you didn't choose that route here. You let Mary's disorder speak for itself. It wasn't a pathway to something more. It just was...

I also enjoyed your repeated use of the idea of a monster or a devil living inside her or whispering in her ear. That's a very powerful way of personifying her thoughts and compulsions. Some other elements that also really stood out to me were when Mary thought the other students were whispering about her and the repeated use of those less than flattering words all in a row. I think everyone can relate to that to some extent. Being self-conscious or having low self-esteem is something a lot of people struggle with, even if they don't develop eating disorders. And it is very reasonable, based on the back-story you gave, that Mary would be susceptible to developing this. Often easting disorders involve issues of control. If her family dynamic was changing or slipping away from her, it's understandable she'd turn those feelings of powerlessness inward on herself.

If you don't mind a little CC, I did notice a few mechanic-type issues that you might want to keep an eye out for. Sometimes your verbs (particularly versions of "to be") seem a bit off. I can't think how to describe it really so I'll just give an example:

"She thinks that if she carries on the way she does that she'll finally get to where she wants to be."
"She wants to be perfect, but she doesn't understand that she was perfect the way she had been before."

I *think* these should be: "carries on the way she had been that she" and "was perfect the way she was before." I'm not enough of a grammar expert to explain *why* I think it's supposed to be this way, but it's just something I noticed.

On a way less confusing point, I also noticed you started a lot of sentences with the word "She." The sentences in the paragraph that starts "She will have to go to classes..." all start with She. You might want to keep an eye out for repetition like that. And there were a few missing commas here and there as well.

Overall, you really did a nice job of tapping into something sad and important without exploiting the sensitive issue. And it was a really interesting idea for the convert a novel challenge. I started a Withering Heights story but I've still not managed to edit and post any of it yet. I'm glad we got paired for the review swap this time around. Thanks for sharing your story - and thanks for the thank you at the end :)

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