Friday, April 24, 2009

Purge by Sarah Daer Littman

Here's another book review:

Purge by Sarah Daer Littman

Janie Ryman can hardly believe her life when she ends up a Golden Slopes, a psychiatric in-patient treatment facility. For two years, Janie has been bulimic and it finally catches up with her one night at her sister's wedding. Inside Golden Slopes Janie describes the conflict between the Barfers (bulimics) and the Starvers (anorexics) and how they all co-exist among the Generally Psycho (others). Janie has a lot to learn about her eating disorder and herself but at Golden Slopes she finds her way to the path of recovery.

This was a surprisingly funny book. It had a lot of laughs and energy, especially at the beginning.
Towards the end, the book loses some momentum but at the same time you have to keep going because you really want to know what happened. It's told in the first person from Janie's point of view, punctuated by her journal entries which are used to further illustrate her emotion and what happened in her past to land her at Golden Slopes. Writing about recovering from an eating disorder is always a tricky thing and I felt like it was handled well in the book. Janie's obsession with purging as a substitute for dealing with emotions and other things is very believable. There is not much stilted preaching about what an eating disorder can do to your body, though there is some. I think the book does a good job of dealing with the warped thinking that a person with an eating disorder might have.

It's an honest book. However, it did not keep my full attention the whole time like I wanted it to. The ending was sort of anticlimactic and rushed which made it unsatisfying. I was glad when I finally got to learn what happened at the wedding but I did not like the way that information was delivered. It was kind of hard to keep track of all the characters.

Overall, the writing was nice and the characters were all very witty. Recommended if you like books about eating disorders. I would also recommend Perfect by Natasha Friend for another good book about someone suffering from bulimia.

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