Categories
Books Diversity Reading Challenge

The Obvious Game by Rita Arens

It’s not obvious from the title of The Obvious Game by Rita Arens that there are deep and intense issues discussed within. In a small town in the Midwest, lives our heroine, Diana, a girl who has a tough situation at home. Diana’s mother has cancer and in this small town, everyone knows everyone else’s business, which means that well meaning townspeople ask after Diana’s mother because they care. The problem with this behavior is that Diana can’t get any rest or privacy. She needs a place where she can get a break from the stress of a sick mother at home.

Diana, for some unknown reason, thinks that she is chubby and decides to lose weight. So this is how she processes stress. Her dysmorphic view of her body causes her to stop eating, exercise too much and hide her problem. Diana is suffering from anorexia.

What’s important about this story is that Diana seemingly has everything going for her: she has a boyfriend, she’s friends with the popular girl (even though this girl is annoying) and leads a fairly normal life outside of her home. There should be no reason why she starves herself to death, right?

Wrong. I love that our author brings this disease to light. Mental illnesses can strike anyone in any socio- economic background. I’m amazed that in this day and age we still have kids who are afraid to discuss such taboo topics and are therefore not getting help. Diana cannot help the way she thinks. There’s something going on in her brain that makes her see herself differently than others see her or themselves.  As she tells a doctor when she finally gets treatment: the rules are different for me.

I hope that others will read this important book and be on the look out  for teens (boys and girls) in their lives who seem to be too thin or have strange eating habits and encourage them to get help.  I used to be a teen who had an eating problem. I needed to control things in my life and not eating was the only thing that I could control. It’s a difficult cycle to break. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder you can go to National Eating Disorders Association’s website for resources. The also have a helpline to call: (800) 931-2237.

Please get help. You can beat this. I did it.  You can too.

 

Categories
Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books Young Adult

Z #atoz Challenge

a-to-z-letters-zwarhol

It’s Z day!!!! woo hooo!!! Z day means we’ve finished the challenge!

Let’s get this party started!

zCollage

Wow.  Here’s what Goodreads says about Zoe:

A girl’s letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that’s Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls meets The Sixth Sense.

Zoe knows she doesn’t belong in a hospital—so why is she in one?
 
Twin Birch isn’t just any hospital. It’s a strange mansion populated by unnerving staff and glassy-eyed patients. It’s a place for girls with serious problems; skinny, spindly girls who have a penchant for harming themselves.

Zoe isn’t like them. And she can’t figure out why she was sent here. Writing letters to her best friend Elise keep her sane, grounded in the memories of her past—but mired in them, too. Elise never writes back.

Zoe is lost without her, unsure of how to navigate tenuous new friendships and bizarre rules without Elise by her side. But as her letters intertwine with journal entries chronicling her mysterious life at Twin Birch, another narrative unfolds. The hidden story of a complicated friendship; of the choices we make, the truths we tell others, and the lies we tell ourselves. The story of a friendship that has the potential to both save—and damage beyond repair. And Zoe finds she must confront the truth about her past once and for all, before she can finally let go.

Intriguing huh?

Next we have Zombie, A Novel by JR Angellela. It sounds crazy weird. Here’s what Goodreads says:

Fourteen-year-old Jeremy Barker attends an all-boys Catholic high school where roving gangs of bullies make his days a living hell. His mother is an absentee pillhead, his older brother a self-diagnosed sex-addict, and his father disappears night after night without explanation. Jeremy navigates it all with a code cobbled together from the zombie movies he’s obsessed with: Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Planet Terror, Zombieland, and Dawn of the Dead among others.

The code is put to the test when he discovers in his father’s closet a bizarre homemade video of a man strapped to a bed, being prepped for some sort of surgical procedure. As Jeremy attempts to trace the origin of the video, this remarkable debut moves from its sharp, precocious beginnings to a climax of almost unthinkable violence, testing him, and the reader, to the core.

Crazy weird, right?  I’m not so sure.  I love that the protagonist is a boy. There don’t seem to be too many of these around, as I’ve complained about earlier.  So, THAT is one reason that I am intrigued. The whole zombie Night of the Living Dead thing scares me.  Why can’t more zombies be like that cute English guy from About a Boy and now starring in Warm Bodies?

How ’bout it?

This, my friends, concludes our A to Z Challenge.

Bailey wants to ask you a question:

what should i read next?

Stay tuned for recaps, highlights and closing thoughts!

Categories
Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books

W #atozchallenge

Whew, welcome to W!

a-to-z-letters-w

Let’s get right down to it, shall we?

WCollage

Wintergirls by the prolific Laurie Halse Anderson.  This time the story is of two girls struggling with anorexia.  How does Anderson keep coming up with these provocative books??? This is for sure a MUST READ!  I’d say pair it with Donna Cooner’s Skinny.

Where she Went by Gayle Foreman is the follow up to If I Stay a love story which ultimately, ends (that’s not a spoiler is it?).  Where she went is the followup told from the male character’s perspective.  Interesting, no?  Yes.

Have you read anything by thee authors?