Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Natasha Friend
Isabelle’s father has been gone for almost two years now. Isabelle has turned to the only thing that seems to help the pain: binge-eating and then purging. After her sister finds Isabelle purging, Isabelle is forced to start “Group.” There she meets Ashley, the skinny, popular girl from school who’s also bulimic. As Isabelle and Ashley’s acquaintance deepens, so do the bulimic habits they indulge in together. But when Isabelle realizes that she, her mom, and her sister have to face their troubles together, Isabelle is able to say no and begin her healing from both her grief and her eating disorder.
Natasha Friend’s novel on bulimia leans more toward the younger end of the young adult spectrum, but it still deals with some older content. The main character is only thirteen years old, but she deals with bulimia as a skewed coping mechanism since she has lost her father. The novel is never overly graphic, and the author deals with the content matter in an approachable, if somewhat canned, way. However, the content matter is definitely for a mid-young adult audience. The books acts a nice, tame introduction to eating disorders.
*Contains some mildly graphic descriptions of eating disorders.