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Thursday, October 29, 2009
Review: Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker
Author: Nicole Barker
Publisher: Golden Road Press, LLC June 2009
Genre: Fiction, YA
Paperback 170 pages
Book Source: the author
Blurb from Goodreads.com:
Beth is a lucky girl... She comes from a loving family. She has three best friends. She loves to surf and lives five minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she's grown up with has the most amazing green eyes... Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed.
Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?
This is the story of four teenage best friends who decide the way to happiness and popularity is paved by losing weight. They decide to restrict their food intake eating only a pieces of fruit and water at meals. Two of the four girls have deep seated reasons, other than popularity for losing weight. Beth has issues with her Dad and Rachael has issues with her Mom. Jenny is the best friend who will do anything to support her friends and Melanie is the "Mom" of the group.
Although it is a short book, their reasons for unhappiness are laid out pretty well and I completely empathized with Beth and Rachael. The thoughts and feelings of these two girls are so sad and desperate...they broke my heart. If they only knew how foolish they are, but that is one of the sobering truths of anorexia and being a teenage girl. You don't know any better. People who suffer from anorexia see themselves differently and tie their self worth to their distorted vision.
My only complaint with this book was Beth's burgeoning sexuality. It came out of left field and I though it was gratuitous. It did not enhance the story and could have been left out. I know she wants to be loved and accepted, but there must be a better way of getting that across to the reader.
Overall it was a quick read, starting out sad and ending hopeful. Not all anorexia stories end happily, but if this book gets people talking about this disease...then it's a win/win. I think parents would probably benefit from reading this book also. It's not always easy to see your children are hurting emotionally and physically.
My Rating: 93/100
I got sucked into these girls' lives and emotions right away. I could totally see shades of these girls in my friends from back in the day.
(I was always the MOM of the group.)