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Kim: Empty Inside: The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager

Kim: Empty Inside: The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager

3.6 31
by Beatrice Sparks

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I am so scared.
I feel like I'm silently screaming for help
and no one pays any attention of tries to hear me.
I can't control anything anymore.
It's all out to get me!

When Kim can't handle things, she eats. Then she purges. Sometimes she fasts. She knows she isn't as thin as the other girls on her gymnastics team, and she's worried that now, away


I am so scared.
I feel like I'm silently screaming for help
and no one pays any attention of tries to hear me.
I can't control anything anymore.
It's all out to get me!

When Kim can't handle things, she eats. Then she purges. Sometimes she fasts. She knows she isn't as thin as the other girls on her gymnastics team, and she's worried that now, away from home for the first time as a college freshman, she won't be able to live up to expectations -- especially her own. Eating is the one thing she can control -- or can she?

Editorial Reviews

During her senior year of high school, Kim comes to an important personal revelation—she's a few pounds overweight and "empty inside." Bound to a seesaw of emotional ups and downs, Kim binges, purges and fluctuates from "too heavy" to "too thin." Unable to maintain balance in her diet, weight or relationships, she cries out for help with a silence that no one can interpret. Through high school, Kim hides her eating disorder from her parents, siblings, best friends, school and peers. However, during her transformation from a high school student living at home in Arizona to a UCLA college freshman, the threads that keep her secret at bay fall apart—and so does Kim. Written in the form of a diary ("edited" by Beatrice Sparks, Ph.D., editor of Go Ask Alice), Kim: Empty Inside portrays the tormented emotions of a teenage girl suffering from anorexia nervosa. The most frightening aspect of this book lies in the fact that Kim, on the outside, appears to be like so many other relatively normal teenagers. While the subject matter of the book seems depressing, it proves enlightening, and ends with hope—which is something teens can never have too much of nowadays. KLIATT Codes: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2002, HarperCollins, Avon, 165p.,
— Lynne Remick
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Kim, a high school senior, is on a downward spiral into anorexia. Speaking through her journal, she confides the hopes, fears, and pressures typical of a teenage girl. Her weight figures prominently in her wish to be accepted into the UCLA gymnastics program, and eventually she blames food for most of the bad things that happen to her. Kim progresses from not eating to the use of laxatives. Her rapidly changing emotions ring true, as do her feelings of helplessness-even though she is ashamed of her actions, she cannot stop herself. However, her willingness to admit her problem and accept help seems artificial and diminishes its severity. This book may encourage readers to search for additional material in the resources listed. For a more thorough picture, they should try Steven Levenkron's The Best Little Girl in the World (Turtleback, 1979).-Michele Capozzella, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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File size:
220 KB
Age Range:
13 - 15 Years

Read an Excerpt

To Kimberly and every other young person
who wanders through the scary
maze of an eating disorder. Your journey
may seem confusing, complicated,
sometimes even sinister.
But you can find your way out!
You are not alone.

March 1

Wow! Today Melanie and I were checking out things we couldn't afford in the mall, when she spotted a little table stacked with journals. Neither of us had had one since we were little kids. Then they were called diaries and they were a third the size of these journals and a third as thick. It will be fun next year, when I am in college, to read about my last year in high school. Going from a diary to a journal is like exploding into adulthood. SCARY.

March 2

Nothing much happens in my dull life in Arizona . . . SAME OLD SAME OLD . . . Except next month we should be getting our college acceptances. IF we are accepted! I'm not absolutely, positively sure I WANT to go away from my family and friends and . . . everything in the world I know. Imagine seventeen-year-old me at a huge university.

March 6, Tuesday

I hurt my wrist on a floor exercise today. I don't know how or when it happened . . . which is weird . . . it didn't really start hurting bad till I'd finished my routine. Gymnasts are used to living with pain but wow. I'm home now using hot and cold compresses. Lucky it's my left wrist so I can write. Melanie and I had planned on going to the library, but she insisted I stay home and take care of my wrist. We girls on the team really try to encourage and work with each other. Our coach, Miss Muskinko, insists on that, and we trust her.


Melanie probably called Cam as soon as I hung up and now they are at the library looking for guys. And I'm not. It's amazing how many guys there are that WE would like to be magnets for, and how few . . . like practically none . . . seem attracted to us. Melanie and I can talk to each other about almost anything, like really wanting...almost physically longing for...some nice, handsome, smart, male person to hold our hand...put his arm around our shoulders or... just to let us know we are...human female creatures that need human male creatures. I don't mean needing us just as sexual objects, like the gross guys that make you want to throw up when they touch you. We can't figure out how about five percent of the girls get about ninety-five percent of the guys. I read in a magazine that that is what happens! It's not fair and IT'S NOT RIGHT! BUT THAT'S THE WAY IT IS! GUYS GET ALL THE BREAKS! Or do they? Maybe I'm just a dumb naive kid who wants to be a princess.

6:45 p.m.Is it normal to be jealous of girls who have boyfriends? I don't mean friends like Tad and Josh and Will, who treat us like we're ...a sister or cousin or something. I don't want to be a sister or cousin!

7:32 p.m.

Just as I was thinking...and feeling myself dancing in Tad's arms...with him looking deep into my eyes like I WAS someone very close and special, the stupid phone rang. So much for that! Wrong number!

Once when I was about thirteen, when we were still living in North Carolina, my friend Katie and I went to the Magic Shop on Fourth Street and bought some perfume that was supposed to draw guys like flies. It didn't work, nor did the candles and the other dumb stuff we got. Were we desperate? I still am!

It was really hard for me when we moved here. Dad had been offered a job on the hospital staff, with all kinds of perks, and Mom had been given a not-too-demanding job in accounting (which she loved). Dara and Lara, my twin sisters, had each other! Dara and Lara were eleven when I was born so they had always had each other. I envied them! Mom and Dad were like one entity they had been married so long . . . AND ME? Nada as usual! I wish the twins were teaching here instead of halfway across the nation. I miss them like part of me is gone. Sometimes I think I'm the only one in the world who doesn't have somebody.

That's dumb!

9:46 p.m.

I've been thinking of asking Mom to let me stop taking piano lessons, but when I walked by the piano with my left arm wrapped in its bulky cold compress, I realized how much I'd miss playing. I really love music and gymnastics and all the other stuff I sometimes think I don't like. SOOOOOOO . . . I'm a . . . Sometimes I don't know who . . . or what . . . I am.

March 15, Thursday

My arm is getting better but Miss Muskinko told me to take a little more time off. I had to watch everyone else doing the things I wanted to be doing on floor and bars and beams. Miss Muskinko suggested I scrutinize each person carefully and try to sense, as well as see, what they were doing right and wrong. She said I could learn a lot that way. It worked! In fact, I felt kind of like a COACH myself. I'm dedicated to gymnastics. I have been since the first day I was introduced to it in seventh grade. Even then it gave me a thrill and a boost that I can't get any other way! It's like defying gravity or something.

I WONDER...If I were lighter...could I fly higher? Ummmmmmm, what's to lose? A pound or two — or ten? No! Not ten...

Kim: Empty Inside. Copyright © by Beatrice Sparks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Beatrice Sparks is a family and adolescent therapist who edited the diary that formed the basis for Go Ask Alice, and has since edited many diaries on topics such as gangs, AIDS, and teen pregnancy in the 1988 Annie's Baby. She lives in Provo, UT.

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Kim: Empty Inside: The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was actually going through something exactly like this before I read the book, and after reading it-I was inspired. I recomend this book majorally for reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was kind of a mirror image of my life and i was hoping that i would find something that i could relate to. I too am a gymnast and have been hospitalized several times for both anorexia and bulimia.The seriousness of these diseases is not portrayed in this book at all, it is very inaccurate. Those who are facing these diseases have no time for boys, happiness, family,etc. Also at that level of gymnastics, kim would not have time for boys, she would be in the gym for approximately 6 hours, 6 days a week. I give this book 1 star because at least it had a story line. I definitely would not reccomend this.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
The author Beatrice Sparks was probably attempting to teach readers that you should fix your problems rather than keep them to yourself. while Kim the main character that lives in Arizona deals with classes, and gymnastics and faces her biggest fear herself. Kim is a typical normal girl that has bulimia; she sees herself as this fat person when what's really there is normal healthy weight. I the book Kim:empty inside(the diary of an anonymous teenager), Kim tells us the readers in this journal the thing that happen to her, mostly the normal thing that happen to a typical teenager. As I read the book I got really interested as the author put much detail into this story. She the author sort of put a theme which most people could most likely relate to. For example, As you get into the book Kim explains the how hard it was to not tell anyone what was wrong, hurt herself inside and out. Since Kim struggled while growing up she was the youngest of three, so while she grew she was jealous of her twin sisters. Kim felt like a loner because they had each other and and she was by herself. I feel the author is trying to inform readers that you should be proud of what you have, or that some people set up expectations for themselves and they can't live with it which makes people stressed out.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Some of these reviews say it was a bad book just cause they don't think its accurate enough. Who cares it is a very good book. I m starting to read another one of hers which is very good its called, 'Annies Baby', it is great so far! But i do love this book i soooooo recommend it. you get hooked!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the fact that she explained in detail what has happened to her and the pain that she had indured. What I wanted to know about was what really made her go to the limit besides her own mind. Overall this book was a good book, even though it was needed for Psychology class.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all I must say that Beatrice Sparks is a big fraud. She may be a counselor but these 'journals' (well at least all of them) are not from actual teens. Bits may be, but from what I am told she fabricates these stories, so don't believe her lie that these are actually diaries/journals. Secondly, this book is not even close to accurate on what a normal girl suffering from an eating disorder feels like and I think the character is a bit whiney and annoying because she seems to talk about all the things SHE wants and how come bad things happen to HER. It gets tiring after awhile. All in all, I wouldn't really reccomend this books, especially to anybody seeking to find out about eating disorders and those suffering from them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was okay. Although, too much stuff happends to Kim. Like, everything bad that could happen in a teenager's life. She mentions her Dad being a little bit cranky, and BAM he gets a heart attack. Not to mention how Kim is so full of herself. The only reason I finished it was to get the AR points for my English class.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that Kim was very annoying in that she wouldn't stop whining and she wouldn't stop telling the diary that Lawrence was sooooooo great
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the popular book, Go Ask Alice, I simply had to read another book from Beatrice Sparks. This book didn't impress or shock me nearly as much as Go Ask Alice did, but it did keep my interest. I expected more desperation in the book and the mood seemed a bit light considering the topic. It has an ending that left me with several (unanswered) questions, which could be considered a good aspect of this book. However, Kim often reminded me of Alice; in the way she constantly made empty promises to herself. Half of the emotion in this book, I think, is fabricated with the trite promises she makes to herself numerous times. I would definitely recommend this book to any reader despite it not quite meeting my expectations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was good but not one of the best. It describes the pain you can go through if you are anerexic. It sends you the message to respect your body. It sends you an important message. I would recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The theme portrayed through this book is strong, however does not hold close to the intensity of bulimia and anorexia. I feel the book was fake, and did not convey much information about the topic. The plot greatly lacks expressive and detailing words to enhance the story. I would not recommend this book to advance readers, like myself, because It did not hold my attention due to its limited vocabulary that a 5 year old could easily undersand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book within an hour because it was so short. It wasn't a bad book but I think it could have went into more detail. I wasn't very impressed although I have been through a lot of things that 'Kim' has, as well. Usually when I can relate to a book, I feel that it is pretty good. I just didn't get that feeling from this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kim: Empty Inside is one of the greatest books that I have read! (it is a tear-jerker!) It is an especially good book for teens, because the reader might be going trough the same thing as Kim. Kim isn't as skinny as the other girls on her gymnastics team, so she starts eating less and less. After she doesn't eat for a while, she will eat anything and everything. Then, she gets mad at herself. Many times she would gag herself, use laxatives and flushers, or go on a water diet. Kim gets terribly sick because of her anerxia, and has to go to the hospital. She is 19 years old and weighs 76 lbs!!! The hospital staff feeds her and her weight is up to 85 and she is soo mad at them because 'they made her fat again.' Kim starts to go to therepy classes and realizes how bad she has been treating her body. A TOTALLY AWESOME BOOK!! 5 STARS AND 2 THUMBS UP!!! :) :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book was really great for those esp. for teens who decide to go on a diet by not eating and stuff. This book showed a lot of consequences that would lead us to by going anorexic. I totally recommand this book for a lot of people esp. for teens.......
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very good book about a young girl and her life as an anarexic. I would deffinitly recomend this book to others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, this book is good. It's a lot like Go Ask Alice if anyone has read that. This book shares how a teenage girl feels going through life and how she deals with eating disorders..... it's truly a great book. Its easy to relate to the characters, and the story is set in a form of a journal. you get to know the main character well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
omg, that book touched me. at first i didnt like the begging but then it good so good.. at the end i cried! it was soo sad. i can relate to her so much. But the only thing different between me and her would be i didnt have the eating disorder. im glad that Lawerance had helped her out. A GREAT BOOK!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book very much, I just think this kind of story is something we need to see in order for it to help someone. It would make a great movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book helped me understand life better and appreciate it a little more. Kim has such a rough time and it makes me thankful for my life.