YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Purge by Sarah Littman

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

Wow. I have never read a book about a blulimic girl’s life in the hospital. It was very interesting learning about Janie’s feelings whenever she pukes. Janie is a Barfer (bulimic), that means she loves to eat food but throws up after that. There are the Starvers (anorexics) who hate eating and would do anything to avoid meals. From reading this book, I learnt that there are guys who are anorexic too! I have never known that. Remember, anorexia is not a ‘chick’s disease’. Janie’s character was well developed and I could relate to her. Her dad was irritating at times but somehow his character changed towards the end. Janie’s mom was portrayed as a weak women who depended a lot on other people. But I suppose that’s how Sarah wants her to be. I was relieved that Kelsey still care for Janie because it must be very hard if your best friend was ignoring you and you were suffering. Sarah wrote the story in such a way that she doesn’t say what happened during the wedding all at once. It’s divided out throughout the book which is good.

Purge is a very well written book on a girl’s road to recovery. Definitely recommended. Ages 13 and up (there is some sexual content).

Here’s something I found interesting (taken from Sarah’s website ): As a recovered bulimic myself, I feel very passionate about this story. I spent way too much of my life hating my body, and even though I’m about 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was a teenager, I like myself much better than when I had a “better” figure. It wasn’t an easy journey to get where I am today, but it certainly was a worthwhile one.

Part of the inspiration for the novel came from finding this picture of myself at 14. Looking at this picture as my forty-something year-old self, I thought, “Wow, I had a good figure.” But I still remember how I felt when I was the fourteen-year old girl in that picture. How I thought I was fat…and ugly.

Looking at the picture made me sad. Sad for my 14 year old self. Sad for all the other girls – and guys – who look in the mirror and hate what they see.

Order Purge now on Amazon.

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Comments on: "Purge by Sarah Littman" (6)

  1. amazing review! sounds like a sad read 😦 but still really good. 🙂

  2. I know exactly what this book is about i live it everyday!

  3. This looks deep–I think I’ll read it!

  4. This one is waiting for me at the library, Interesting note on the reason behind the story. Is the picture she found of her fourteen year old self the cover, because that would be awesome in any case.

  5. I want to read this book so badly! For some weird reason, I love YA books about eating dosorders. I finished Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson a couple weeks ago and it was amazing. Best book about anorexia I’ve ever read.

  6. any1 kno where i can get it 4 free i started 2 read at library but i WANT it

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