After attending a recent author event with Sarah Darer Littman through the SCBWI Writers of Lower Fairfield, I couldn’t wait to dive into Purge and once I did, I couldn’t put it down.
Janie Ryman hates throwing up, but she continues to stick her fingers down her throat several times a day. Janie thought she had it under control, but after an incident at her older sisters’ wedding, Janie finds herself at Golden Slopes, a treatment facility for eating disorders. As the head psychiatrist attempts to dig deep into Janie’s memories, Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers. As the story unfolds, told by Janie herself, we get a better insight into why someone would fall victim to this disease and that, unfortunately, it’s not an easy journey to look in the mirror and like what you see.
Littman, whose inspiration for the novel came from finding a picture of herself at 14, creates an interesting and compelling cast of characters. Readers will be intrigued by Janie, find themselves cheering her on, and also be entertained through her partly humorous account.
This is a wonderful book to share with anyone who might be struggling with an eating disorder and at the same time, educate those who might not understand the seriousness of the issue.
To learn more about Sarah Darer Littman and her latest book, Life, After, please visit her official website.
Reading level: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 1, 2010)
Source of review copy: personal copy