Age Range: 13 - 16
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This single-focus anorexia novel includes the contemporary element of “pro-ana” Internet influence. In a clinic, Maddie writes out her memories, from kindergarten through a rocky puberty and to the present, interspersing them with current days in “prison.” She finds treatment tedious and irrelevant; she thinks she’s fine and her parents have been duped. Her dulled-down diction sounds younger than her age (17). Maddie’s an unreliable narrator with severe body dysmorphia, in profound denial. Despite her obvious narrative untrustworthiness, however, librarians and teachers should be aware of some potential “triggers” herein, including calorie counts, purging tips and numbers of pounds lost. By the end, Maddie only begins to acknowledge she might have a problem. Website, where friends encourage starving and purging, was Maddie’s most blatant enabler pre-treatment, but Shaw shows Maddie’s points of vulnerability for years before that, making the pro-ana–Internet impact less key than the title implies. The plain narrative voice sounds like it could have been written by any average teen, making this a realistic-feeling read, if not a particularly artistic one. (Fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-8971-8762-3
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Second Story Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2009


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