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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Purge by Sarah Darer Littman

Janie Ryman is your ordinary teen--except one thing: she's bulimic. But Janie doesn't really think she is. I mean, what's wrong with binging and purging? She can stop any time she wants, right? But why hasn't she? After all, she hates throwing up, so why does she keep stuffing herself, then putting her finger down her throat?

After evading the notice of her parents and friends for a while, Janie's secret is finally discovered, and she is promptly put into Golden Slopes, a rehab center. Janie is slow to respond to the psychiatrist and nurses there, chosing instead to pour all of her thoughts into a diary.

Through these entries, we learn Janie's heart felt story and how she fell into the cycle of bulimia. Janie recounts her first time purging--she had eaten too much and had forced herself to puke. After feeling much better after purging, Janie began to do it more often. She thought she was in control of her purging, but before long, it started controlling her. As the vicious cycle continued, Janie came to hate her body more and more, prompting her to secretly binge then purge.

But when her life started to fray at the edges and more and more things mounted on top of each other: Janie's growing feelings of inferiority towards her older sister, friend and boyfriend troubles, the only way Janie feels good is by purging. Before long, it becomes habbit and everything came crashing down at her sisters wedding. After seeing her boyfriend run off with her cousin and completely humiliating herself in front of everyone, Janie tries to take her own life.

Thus, she ends up at Golden Slopes, where the Barfers and the Starvers are forced to get along and where they are not released until they recover. With nurses watching their every move so they won't purge or starve, Janie feels couped up. Janie tires of the starvers antics to avoid eating, but there is nothing she can do, as she has yet to face her own demons. Lost in the cycle, Janie struggles to understand her purging, and needs to find herself again. Can the people at Golden Slopes help her with her family troubles and feelings of inadequacy too?

Although a bit some parts are a bit predicatble, Purge was well written and realistic. Janie's honest account made the book very believable, and made Purge a good read. There are some very dynamic, but realistic, characters in Purge, which help draw the reader in. Obviously very heartfelt and honest, Janie's account will pull a heart string or two before the book's over. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in learning more about eating disorders.

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Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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