Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price

Razorbill, 2012

Zoe doesn't remember much about the trip to Twin Birch.  All she knows is that she doesn't want to be there...but more than that, she doesn't want to be separated from Elise, her best friend.  But for the next thirty-six days, that's what's going to happen, whether she likes it or not.

When she finally makes it in, she sees the five other girls already there, and believes she doesn't belong.  Zoe doesn't have spindly arms, jutting bones, or sunken cheeks.  She sees herself as perfectly fine.  All Zoe wants is to go home, see her best friend again....but she has to first get through this "treatment."

Life at Twin Birch consists of therapy, downtime and the most dreaded part of all - the meals.  The girls not only have to make them, but they have to cook and garden as well.  It doesn't make it easier for Zoe, and the calories going in one meal is something she'd eat during three days.  She can feel the fat gelling on her body.  She also sees the circles forming between the girls.  Zoe is roomates with Caroline, but they haven't gotten along as well.  In fact, there is nothing by animosity between them. No matter where or who Zoe is with, it just doesn't seem like she belongs...

Alexandra is the therapist for Zoe, and together they begin the path toward healing.  But something is missing.  Alexandra suggests writing letters to Elise telling her about the importance of their relationship, and letting her know about her stay at Twin Birch.  Still, there is a lot Zoe needs to uncover about herself and the true reason she's here.

I've read my share of books on this disorder, but Nora Price's work strikes a different chord altogether.  The setting of the book is far different from others, as is the treatment the girls go through to get healthy.  One of the most interesting differences is that within the storyline about eating disorders, menus and recipes are scattered in the pages.  The book is written in first person, where Zoe is writing in a journal or writing letters, which gives play to the reader stepping into her shoes.  Although the storyline is somewhat predictable, the writing overcomes this and the characters and psychological look into them and the eating disorder is spot on.  Recommended. 

1 comment:

Liz said...

If you ever did a display of books with similar titles, you could pair this up with "Holding on to Zoe", ha!

(very different themes, but funnily opposing titles)