Purge by Sarah Darer Littman (April 1st 2009)
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
Summary: "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."
Review: I love Janie’s voice in this book! You can definitely feel the emotion that Sarah wanted to create, whether it's sadness, joy, anger, or the urge to purge!
“I HATE THIS PLACE!!! I HATE THIS PLACE!!!! I HATE THIS FUCKING PLACE!!!!! It’s NOT helping me — if anything IT’S MAKING ME CRAZIER!!! I HATE THIS GODDAMN MISERABLE SHITHOLE!!!” —an entry from Janie’s journey
While this is less than discreet, the reader can definitely feel the desperate need to escape and the anger of the encasement. The emotion is so palpable within the book—granted I have mood swings like a magic 8 ball—that I almost had a breakdown! Be warned that if you are very uncomfortable with curse words this novel does indeed have them, but it is used scarcely.
There was definitely no scarcity of characters though that could either be a good or bad thing to you. To me there were far too many nurses and doctors with their own separate names that really had no reason to be included. It just jumbled the enjoyment of the book overall, trying to skim back and figure out who’s who. The characters that I happen to actually remember were so well done. Some were very 3-dimensional and others two, as to be expected since they were side characters. I liked how each character had a set of characteristics that made them who they were but still had the same likable trait.
Despite the fact that this novel only concentrates on bulimia and anorexia, the Barfers and the Starvers, the author creates different scenarios of each case which I found to be quite enjoyable. It gives the reader diversity and a sense that the author does indeed have creativity and not a single track mind. The author also includes the harmful effects of both cases and while putting on a serious front on anorexia, in a death of a character that you knew was going to happen sooner or later, she still manages to include information about bulimia in a subtle way.
I felt, however, that, in the end, the reason behind Janie’s case was quite anticlimactic, and it had me a bit disappointed. But the conflict and build up of finding herself and the main reason as to why she turned to purging definitely makes up for it!
Overall: I greatly enjoyed this novel! While there was a bit of irritation in the use of some words and phrases the author used, it was a very minor issue. What I did like was the motley of metaphors and symbolism: the black hole in her stomach, the emptiness once she finished purging. Definitely cannot wait to read more of her work!
My blog was feeling empty...I probably won't post a review so far from the release date ever again...