Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: April 1, 2009
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
This was a well done book about eating disorders. The story was engaging and easy to read. It was heartwarming and thought-provoking.
Janie’s issues climax after Janie Ryman ruins her half sister’s wedding with a big barfing scene in the men’s bathroom. After this (and publically admitting that she has been binging and purging for a while) Janie is placed into Golden Slopes a facility that deals with teens with eating disorders. Here Janie must navigate the politics of the Barfers and Starvers and deal with the psychiatrist who wants to fish out all of her deep dark secrets. Janie is desperate to get out of the ward, but will she escape it before divulging the dark secret that led to her ultimate meltdown?
I liked that this dealt with multiple types of eating disorders and also dealt with eating disorders in both men and women. It was interesting to see which issues in the characters pasts led to their eating disorders.
The book alternates between Janie’s journal entries and her everyday activities. Janie was a very engaging heroine; she is smart, hard-working, and likable…she just obsesses over food.
The other characters who surround her are just as interesting. This book goes beyond just classic bulimia and anorexia. There is also a guy that gets brought to Golden Slopes for alternatively starving and binging himself for his Wrestling career.
There is some humor in there and the dialogue between characters is witty and engaging. This was a quick read that was a bit heart-wrenching but still hopeful. As a parent and a woman it made me think a lot about how my actions affect my child and how the actions of society affect the young women who live in it. People’s relationship with food is a complicated one whether they are struggling with obesity or self inflicted starvation.
The only other fictional book I’ve read about eating disorders was Wintergirls and I actually liked that book a bit more than this one, it was just more intense and impossible to put down.
Overall a well done book about growing up and eating disorders. The story was well written and engaging and I enjoyed all of the characters. I would definitely recommend for to anyone looking for a fictional books about eating disorders. I would also recommend reading Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.