Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Pig-Out Blues

Written by: Jan Greenberg

First line: "Jodie Firestone, your arms are thick as tree trunks," my mother said on her way to the icebox.

Why you should read this book: It's a sort of problematic YA novel in which a five-foot, one hundred twenty pound teenager labeled as fat, verbally abused and emotionally neglected by her mother, and seeks solace in her love of theater and her best friend's family. In a bid to please her mother, satisfy her peers, and win the role of Juliet in the school play, Jodie goes on a starvation diet, losing twenty pounds in one month, only to pass out from exhaustion at her audition. When she honestly examines her mother's psychology and her relationship with her mother, her desire to binge disappears and she becomes incredibly insightful.

Why you shouldn't read this book: The writing is strained, the story is dated, and there's something sort of artificial about the narrative's arc.

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