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Purge

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From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED. 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 From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED. 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.

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From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED. 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 From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED. 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.

30 review for Purge

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    This one has been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I'm not sure why I was so apprehensive about reading it. I think I was scared after reading Wintergirls by Laure Halse Anderson. I have to be in a mood for books that drain me emotionally like that. Wintergirls was difficult to read, and I don't think I was ready to tackle something like that again so soon. But Purge was a lot different than Wintergirls. Besides the fact that it's about Bulimia and not Anorexia, it also very easy to read. No This one has been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I'm not sure why I was so apprehensive about reading it. I think I was scared after reading Wintergirls by Laure Halse Anderson. I have to be in a mood for books that drain me emotionally like that. Wintergirls was difficult to read, and I don't think I was ready to tackle something like that again so soon. But Purge was a lot different than Wintergirls. Besides the fact that it's about Bulimia and not Anorexia, it also very easy to read. Not saying that it was “enjoyable” to read about girls struggling with their body weight, but I enjoyed Janie as a character and I enjoyed reading her story. I loved that this was about more than just Janie's struggle, this novel really shows that eating disorders are a universal epidemic. That it's not only girls, there are boys too, that it's not only teens, there are adults too. It's heartbreaking to know that the author used her personal experience to write this novel. But I'm glad she shared her experience and hopefully has been an inspiration. Despite the topic of this novel, I really enjoyed Littman's writing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Hopkins

    This is quite honestly one of the worst books I have ever read PERIOD in addition to being one of the worst eating disorder books out there. Here's the plot - girl is in treatment for bulimia, girl has setback, girl has breakthrough, and three weeks later, everything's sunny all the time always. THAT'S EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS! It's like the author watched every single Lifetime movie out there and was like "That! That is what I want to write!" So basically it's completely unrealistic in many ways and This is quite honestly one of the worst books I have ever read PERIOD in addition to being one of the worst eating disorder books out there. Here's the plot - girl is in treatment for bulimia, girl has setback, girl has breakthrough, and three weeks later, everything's sunny all the time always. THAT'S EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS! It's like the author watched every single Lifetime movie out there and was like "That! That is what I want to write!" So basically it's completely unrealistic in many ways and I won't bore you with all of the details, but the part that made me actually laugh out loud is when Janie - our boring, bland, would-be-named-Jane protagonist straight out of a clinical description - realizes even though she's being watched after meals, she can always throw up in her room...into her socks! Which she then throws out the window when she's done. I don't wanna get too graphic, but I can GUARANTEE YOU it goes against every law of nature and physics to stick your fingers down your throat and vomit neatly into a sock. This is just one example of the author clearly having zero experience with the topic about which she wrote, which brings me to my other criticism that goes beyond the subject matter: the author had also clearly never heard a spoken conversation between two human people before. I had to triple check when this book was published. 2009! Not Mayberry in the 1950s as I had originally guessed based on the inanity of every single sentence. Teenagers say things like "sure ya do, sister!" and "he doesn't know squat about it!" and "jeez!" I actually had to read a few things out loud to see how they sounded coming out of a human mouth and it was the funniest experience of my life. The actual 'heartfelt' conversations are straight from 80s after school specials, like this gem: "I guess your old dad might be good at managing money, but not so great at being a dad." LOL???? It was painful. I can't believe that (a) a person would write these words, and (b) multiple people would edit them and be like "yeah, this sounds like every real-life conversation I've ever heard." The author is so disconnected not only from the jargon and syntax of teenagers/humans, but also from cultural references. In 2009, she writes that once Janie leaves the treatment center, she gets all of her friends' "IM screen names." 2009!!!! I can picture the author frantically googling "how do teenagers communicate with technology?!" and finding an AIM conversation from 2001 like "yes this is it!" I almost feel bad for her because she is just SO far-removed from reality in so many ways, almost impossibly so. I am rarely inspired to write a review this long unless it's something I really loved or really abhorred, and this is absolutely the latter. Other eating disorder YA novels - I'm thinking "Wintergirls" and "Paperweight" specifically - have meat to them. They have characters who think and move and feel like humans, plots that pull you in and enthrall you, and endings that are satisfying but not concrete. They are first and foremost about the people and their stories, with the clinical eating disorder stuff coming second. This is the opposite of that. It's a poorly-written clinical study with textbook characters and zero personality. Just a total NO for me, and I'm glad this was a library borrow rather than something I paid real American dollars for.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Yan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 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 emotio 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!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kandee

    I picked this up because I was looking for books with hardcore topics. This is one WITH A HARD CORE TOPIC. And the book is okay, but it's no WinterGirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. If you want a really hardcore book that makes the tears come out, then you need to read Wintergirls. This was more fluffy than raw. And that upset me. Like a lot. I wanted to stop reading this for a minute, but it is really short, so I finished it in a couple of hours. One problem I had with the book was the characters, I picked this up because I was looking for books with hardcore topics. This is one WITH A HARD CORE TOPIC. And the book is okay, but it's no WinterGirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. If you want a really hardcore book that makes the tears come out, then you need to read Wintergirls. This was more fluffy than raw. And that upset me. Like a lot. I wanted to stop reading this for a minute, but it is really short, so I finished it in a couple of hours. One problem I had with the book was the characters, there was a lot let unexplained about them and I didn't like that considering it was such a short read and then the main character, Janie, she was bipolar a lot. One minute she was sweet and nice, then the next she was calling people assholes and I really didn't feel a change in her. I really didn't feel for her and not to be mean, I didn't really care, I just wanted to finish the book. To me, this is a rip off, bulimic version of Girl, Interrupted. Which I WILL be reading soon.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tracie

    Journal entries and first-person narrative describe 16-year-old Janie's journey through bulimia and recovery. As a YA problem novel, Purge is a serviceable, accessible addition to the current literature. Teens who are grappling with eating disorders will relate to Janie's struggle; and if the novel encourages one teen to choose recovery over self-destructive behavior, then Purge has fulfilled its mission. But to me, this novel just fell flat. Purge suffers from an overly convenient fairy-tale endi Journal entries and first-person narrative describe 16-year-old Janie's journey through bulimia and recovery. As a YA problem novel, Purge is a serviceable, accessible addition to the current literature. Teens who are grappling with eating disorders will relate to Janie's struggle; and if the novel encourages one teen to choose recovery over self-destructive behavior, then Purge has fulfilled its mission. But to me, this novel just fell flat. Purge suffers from an overly convenient fairy-tale ending, a superficial treatment of eating disorders, and a failure to mention the long-term toll that eating disorders take on physical and mental health. The narrative also inadvertently provides some details and "tips" that sensitive readers may find triggering.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Makayla D

    Picked this book up after I did not quite finish it last year and absolutely loved it! I could not stop reading this book. It is about a girl who is in a psych ward for having an eating disorder. She struggles with her new life at the ward and also struggles to keep her recovery going. They have many strict rules which are hard for her to adapt too. It talks about the people she meets their how their recovery process is going for them. Janie starts to make progress very fast while one girl just Picked this book up after I did not quite finish it last year and absolutely loved it! I could not stop reading this book. It is about a girl who is in a psych ward for having an eating disorder. She struggles with her new life at the ward and also struggles to keep her recovery going. They have many strict rules which are hard for her to adapt too. It talks about the people she meets their how their recovery process is going for them. Janie starts to make progress very fast while one girl just died last week. This is all scary for Janie but one way to help her get better is therapy. They force Janie to talk about her bulimia hoping this will make her realized its time to change her ways. I recommend this book to anyone who is simply looking for a new book to read, you will not regret it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    46milestogo

    A perfect example of telling not showing. And the ending? Utterly unbelievable.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carlie Slyh

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “Purge” is about a girl that has had a problem with bulimia and got put into a hospital for people with issues such as anorexia or bulimia and a few other illnesses. Many different things go on in the book that are exciting and some are sad. The main character's name is Janie. I thought that this was a very good book. I really liked the story behind it, and how it explained the people's stories closer to the end, and kind of kept the reader wondering. Like Janie was said to be in Golden Slopes f “Purge” is about a girl that has had a problem with bulimia and got put into a hospital for people with issues such as anorexia or bulimia and a few other illnesses. Many different things go on in the book that are exciting and some are sad. The main character's name is Janie. I thought that this was a very good book. I really liked the story behind it, and how it explained the people's stories closer to the end, and kind of kept the reader wondering. Like Janie was said to be in Golden Slopes for making herself throw up, but the other main reason was because she took all of her mother's Xanax, which is dumb. The few things I did not like is how confusing it was to figure out who was who. There were just too many characters, and too many different things going on at once to understand it. So, I didn't like how confusing the whole book was, I had to restart it a few times. Other than that the book was pretty interesting and it kept me busy for an entire 5 or some hours.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Having read all Littman's other books (except her two for very young children) I was extremely disappointed in this one. I wasn't crazy about the subject matter to begin with as I don't have nor know anybody with an eating disorder, so there was no appeal of reading about a girl who throws up. I wanted to read this because I very much liked her other works which made this book even worse than it is. Her other books I found very hard to put down as they would keep me wanting to know what would hap Having read all Littman's other books (except her two for very young children) I was extremely disappointed in this one. I wasn't crazy about the subject matter to begin with as I don't have nor know anybody with an eating disorder, so there was no appeal of reading about a girl who throws up. I wanted to read this because I very much liked her other works which made this book even worse than it is. Her other books I found very hard to put down as they would keep me wanting to know what would happen throughout the whole book. However, in this one nothing much happens, and besides my personal issues with it below, my disinterest became so great that I abandoned it just over halfway through. That is a strong thing to happen for me with this author. Now, the Jewish thing. It's all good if Littman wants to honor her religion by having EVERY main character in ALL her books be Jewish and write God as G-d. I can respect all that, although I don't feel it's necessary, other than when it is obviously significant to the story as her book "Confessions Of A Closet Catholic" did. However, Judaism added absolutely nothing to any of her other stories. When I read this, I was waiting for it to come up, and sure enough, just like all the others, the main character's family are Jewish. I respect that and while unnecessary, this didn't detract from the stories. HOWEVER, what I have a real hard time accepting is, if you're going to be so Jewish based in your secular books, to use the name of Jesus in a derogatory way is not only unprofessional and prejudice, but offensive. At least it was to me, and with all the other negatives of this writing, this toasted it. In addition, there is a lot of unnecessary swearing in this book, which detracted from the story more than helped it. I can't emphasis enough how I loved most of her other books. Good thing for me (and probably her!) I read this one last, as it's by far her worst.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    PURGE isn't the first young adult novel I've read with a main character who struggles with an eating disorder, but it's the first one with this strong a mix of raw emotion, tension, and humor. Just as experts who help teens with eating disorders have to peel back the layers to get to the heart of the problem, Sarah Littman's book offers numerous layers, too. Her main character, Janie, is hospitalized for bulimia after she causes a scene at the wedding of her older sister, "Perfect Jenny." But it PURGE isn't the first young adult novel I've read with a main character who struggles with an eating disorder, but it's the first one with this strong a mix of raw emotion, tension, and humor. Just as experts who help teens with eating disorders have to peel back the layers to get to the heart of the problem, Sarah Littman's book offers numerous layers, too. Her main character, Janie, is hospitalized for bulimia after she causes a scene at the wedding of her older sister, "Perfect Jenny." But it's not until much later in the book, as Janie digs deeper into herself, that readers discover the true story of what happened. As a middle school English teacher, I always try to think about the potential audience for books that I read, and this definitely isn't one for the younger middle school crowd. It's a well-researched and sometimes disturbing look at the reality of a teenager facing an emotional and physical crisis, and Littman doesn't sugarcoat that reality. This is one for high school and older middle school kids who are already reading edgier YA, and they're going to love it. Janie's voice is heartbreaking and hilarious in turns. PURGE is a book that will be passed from friend to friend in the hallways, and that's a good thing; it's an important one for teen girls to read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Purge is about a girl who is in a rehabilitation clinic (read: psych ward) for bulimia and attempted suicide. She has a crass way of seeing the world and of describing her surroundings, one that I actually appreciated and enjoyed. It even made me laugh a few times, despite the seriousness of the topic. I've read other books about eating disorders, but I think Purge ranks as one of the best books for teens/pre-teens because it is so readable,descriptive, and candid about general teenager issues s Purge is about a girl who is in a rehabilitation clinic (read: psych ward) for bulimia and attempted suicide. She has a crass way of seeing the world and of describing her surroundings, one that I actually appreciated and enjoyed. It even made me laugh a few times, despite the seriousness of the topic. I've read other books about eating disorders, but I think Purge ranks as one of the best books for teens/pre-teens because it is so readable,descriptive, and candid about general teenager issues such as depression, family problems, sexual relationships, friendships, and low self-esteem. Also, it has an "eww" factor that appeals to my students, as well. Despite the book's appeal, however, it did end rather abruptly and make me feel as though the author was in a hurry to end the story. Also, I could almost hear violins in my head as I read the last two preachy, sing-songy, everything-is-perfect now ending. Yeah. That could've been better. But overall, a good book :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    Janie could be anyone and her experience inside a treatment center for eating disorders, reveals that teens have a lot of pressures that they're processing, and sometimes, any path to feeling lighter brings relief. I don't want to reveal too much about that catalyst of Janie's disease, breakdown or admission to the facility, except that my heart broke as it probably mirrors the story of millions of young women across America. I appreciated the interior monologue of Janie's Diary as well as the l Janie could be anyone and her experience inside a treatment center for eating disorders, reveals that teens have a lot of pressures that they're processing, and sometimes, any path to feeling lighter brings relief. I don't want to reveal too much about that catalyst of Janie's disease, breakdown or admission to the facility, except that my heart broke as it probably mirrors the story of millions of young women across America. I appreciated the interior monologue of Janie's Diary as well as the live narration...she didn't often actually say what was on her mind, but she'd write it. I hated her parents, and sister...and many of the fellow patients...except for Tom...but I think this is realistic as well...we often aren't surrounded with allies when we heal, and sometimes, we have to heal anyway.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Max

    what I liked about the book was that it was a lot lighter than wintergirls but it still managed to capture the evolution of Janie really well. I was looking for a ED related book that wouldn't leave me completely emotionally drained, so this book was a good choice. There were times when I didn't like Janie very much though. Being in a (mental health) hospital against your own will can turn you into a bitch, yes, but the way she looked down at the anorexics for being too late for the meals or frea what I liked about the book was that it was a lot lighter than wintergirls but it still managed to capture the evolution of Janie really well. I was looking for a ED related book that wouldn't leave me completely emotionally drained, so this book was a good choice. There were times when I didn't like Janie very much though. Being in a (mental health) hospital against your own will can turn you into a bitch, yes, but the way she looked down at the anorexics for being too late for the meals or freaking out about calories really bothered me. As someone with an eating disorder she could and should have been more aware and sensitive to the whole topic. it's still a 3,5/5 because it has really strong moments, though it could have went more into depths at some points.

  14. 4 out of 5

    ALEXUS Williams

    Personal response I thought the book Purge was all right. It got a little boring after a while. However, I did like how this book showed what people with eating disorders go through every day. I also liked how the author included both genders suffering with an eating disorder. Plot Janie is a 16 year old who has a lot going on in her life. Besides lying to her parents about personal matters, she suffered with an eating disorder. When her parents find out, they put her in Golden Slopes (A rehab cent Personal response I thought the book Purge was all right. It got a little boring after a while. However, I did like how this book showed what people with eating disorders go through every day. I also liked how the author included both genders suffering with an eating disorder. Plot Janie is a 16 year old who has a lot going on in her life. Besides lying to her parents about personal matters, she suffered with an eating disorder. When her parents find out, they put her in Golden Slopes (A rehab center). This just made Janie more upset with her life. Janie spends her first couple days there complaining, hating her parents, and stressing over how she wrecked her sister's wedding. Whenever the psychiatrists would try to help her, she would just push them away. At first, Janie refused to get the help she needed. Toward the end of the book she realized she had a problem. Janie realized she only had two options. She would either die from an eating disorder or get the help she needs. Soon Janie changed her ways. She did not cheat on her diet. When she ate she didn't go to the bathroom right away to throw it all back up. Janie overcame her eating disorder and was able to go back home to her family. Characterization Janie Ryman is a 16 year old girl that suffered from an eating disorder, but overcame it in the end. She had a lot going on in her life and she kept it all to herself. She realized it was not healthy to keep the things that bothered her to herself. She confronts the people she needed to and the problems were solved. Setting This story takes place in Golden Slopes (rehab center for eating disorders). Janie spent most of her time at Golden Slopes and this is also where she overcame one of her biggest struggles. Her parents cared enough to get her help. This help save Janie’s life. Recommendation I would recommend this book to either gender high school students. This book can be read by a female or a male. It is not too girlish and it is not too boyish. It deals with guys and girls both struggling with a problem. I think both genders who like to read realistic fiction books would like this book. I would not recommend this book to middle school students. There is some sexual activity that happens in the book. Rating I give this book a 3 out of 5 star rating. I got bored with the book fast. For me it wasn't a book that kept me reading it. This book wasn't that interesting. Although I did like how it showed not only girls but guys struggling with an eating disorder. I think it is a great reminder to society that not only girls struggle with eating disorders. I like how the author showed both genders and that both genders struggle with eating disorders.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Breanna Weiland

    Personal Response: I think The Purge was a good book. Though at times, it lost some of my interest and I had to push myself through it. I think the author did a great job of making sure the main idea of the story was clear. I also think that the main idea of the story was an amazing lesson for everyone to be able to read and understand. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. The Plot: The story began with a girl named Janie. Janie was diagnosed with Bulimia, a mental disorder where people feel the n Personal Response: I think The Purge was a good book. Though at times, it lost some of my interest and I had to push myself through it. I think the author did a great job of making sure the main idea of the story was clear. I also think that the main idea of the story was an amazing lesson for everyone to be able to read and understand. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. The Plot: The story began with a girl named Janie. Janie was diagnosed with Bulimia, a mental disorder where people feel the need to make themselves throw up after they eat anything. Janie’s family sent her to Golden Slopes where they hoped that Janie found the correct help and therapy she needed to get better. Along the way of Janie’s journey in this hospital, she met many different people. Janie met many different friends whom she can trust, and other friends she learned to stay away from. Also, bits and pieces of Janie’s past were revealed and led up to the explanation of how she developed this disorder. Did Janie ever have the ability to overcome this disorder? Or was she stuck in this hospital that she hated so much? Recommendations: I recommend this book for boys and girl ages 13+. The scenarios and feelings the characters have in this book are relatable to both boys and girls. Some of the understandings and content in this book may be harder for ages 12 and under to understand.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Purge intrigued me. What goes through the mind of a teenage girl suffering from bulimia, an eating disorder? Young people having eating disorders are so common now where image is so important and everyone strives for that vision of perfection. This issue is so close to many of us young adult's hearts. We find this so relatable with all the pressure to be perfect instead of accepting who we are. Janie is admitted at Golden Slopes for bingeing and bulimia, she hates throwing up so why does she do it Purge intrigued me. What goes through the mind of a teenage girl suffering from bulimia, an eating disorder? Young people having eating disorders are so common now where image is so important and everyone strives for that vision of perfection. This issue is so close to many of us young adult's hearts. We find this so relatable with all the pressure to be perfect instead of accepting who we are. Janie is admitted at Golden Slopes for bingeing and bulimia, she hates throwing up so why does she do it and how does a accomplished girl like her fall so low? The reader discovers as they go through the novel. Janie has so many issues in her and she is so afraid of admitting things to her parents because she thinks they will blame her. She learns many things from the lovable patients at the facility as well. She makes friends who support her which is nice. She went through alot and although she is reluctant to allow the nurses and doctors to help her, much less speak up. She eventually opens her heart and learns to speak her mind. She learnt so much and I loved how inspiring this book is. It is so utterly realistic for teenagers and sends a positive message which I appauld. A stunning effort to get word out about a very misunderstood issue. Brilliant.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Janie doesn't think she has an eating problem, but after disgracing herself at her sister's wedding she finds herself at Golden Slopes, a mental institution for teenage 'barfers and starvers'. Janie is a purger and this is her story told in the first person with each chapter beginning with entries from a journal given to her in her therapy group. The reader becomes drawn into the world of the bulimic by reading Janie's private thoughts and following her journey from denial through to her underst Janie doesn't think she has an eating problem, but after disgracing herself at her sister's wedding she finds herself at Golden Slopes, a mental institution for teenage 'barfers and starvers'. Janie is a purger and this is her story told in the first person with each chapter beginning with entries from a journal given to her in her therapy group. The reader becomes drawn into the world of the bulimic by reading Janie's private thoughts and following her journey from denial through to her understanding of the issues she has with food. Despite the seriousness of the topic, the book is peppered with humour thanks to the dialogue between the patients and Janie's own dry wit. One thing I did like about this book is that there were young teenage boys at Golden Slopes, battling their own food issues. Even though the reader doesn't find out how the other patients fare with their own struggles, the book stresses the seriousness of eating disorders and the life-threatening effects they can have on their patients.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brea Mapes

    I read the book "Purge" by Sarah Darer Littman. I've always been into the YA books, and this was just another one. It didn’t stand out much compared to the other ones I’ve read in the past. Janie was supposedly sent to a mental hospital, because she suffered from Bulimia. Once you start reading further into the book you realize there is more to the story then what she’s saying. By the end of the book she reveals the real reason why she was put into the hospital and all I can say is that I didn’t I read the book "Purge" by Sarah Darer Littman. I've always been into the YA books, and this was just another one. It didn’t stand out much compared to the other ones I’ve read in the past. Janie was supposedly sent to a mental hospital, because she suffered from Bulimia. Once you start reading further into the book you realize there is more to the story then what she’s saying. By the end of the book she reveals the real reason why she was put into the hospital and all I can say is that I didn’t expect what I found out. One thing I really liked about this book is that it doesn’t end like a normal book. It leaves you to use your imagination and to predict what you think is going to happen to Janie in the future. I would recommend this book to any girls who are also suffering from this deadly disease. It might just help them get the courage to face their problem and change their life for the better.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I like eating disorder books. I know that sounds creepy, but it's true. I also like rehab stories, so I thought this book would be great. But I just couldn't get past the voice. No teenager talks like Janie. Except maybe Ellen Paige in Juno, which is also unrealistic.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “Purge” depicts the consequences of eating disorder and the experiences of treatment in a ways that are appropriate for a teen audiences. But due to it’s mishandling of Janie’s rape, I hesitate to recommend this book to it’s target demographic. It is important to explore heavy issues like suicide and sexual assault in literature. But I don’t feel the author is justified in using them as plot twists. But what truly disturbed me is how the book brushes off rape. Matt is framed as a scummy guy for “Purge” depicts the consequences of eating disorder and the experiences of treatment in a ways that are appropriate for a teen audiences. But due to it’s mishandling of Janie’s rape, I hesitate to recommend this book to it’s target demographic. It is important to explore heavy issues like suicide and sexual assault in literature. But I don’t feel the author is justified in using them as plot twists. But what truly disturbed me is how the book brushes off rape. Matt is framed as a scummy guy for having sex with Janie, and then flirting with her cousin at her sister’s wedding. But no one will call him a rapist. He pressured a girl to have sex with him while she was under the influence of alcohol. Anything other than an enthusiastic “yes” is a “no.” And someone under the influence of alcohol cannot consent. Three times, Janie started to tell Matt she didn’t want to have sex with him, but he kept insisting. I am not going into the gritty details, but the language Janie uses to describe both the experience and her feelings are those of someone who was violated . It’s troubling that a book aimed at teenagers fails to understand consent. The book has a pretty “binary” view of Anorexia and Bulimia. (The “barfers” vs. the “starvers.”) The unit consists mostly of people with Anorexia or Bulimia. Tom, who has Anorexia, later reveals to Janie he purges on occasion. Royce, another male patient, restricts in anticipation for wrestling meets, and then compensates by binging afterward. I am unsure whether this would be Binge Eating Disorder, Atypical Anorexia, or something else entirely under the Otherwise Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder category (OSFED). The characters with Anorexia are described as very thin. The characters with Bulimia have more varied body types, and at least one of them is described as being fat. Royce is described as athletic and muscular I have never heard of a program separating patients at meals by their eating disorder behaviors or diagnosis. I have also never heard of someone being punished for using behaviors. When Janie is caught purging, she loses her phone call privileges. I touched on this in my Skin and Bones review, but patients are usually discouraged from discussing sexual trauma in group based treatment. But it wouldn’t surprise me if there are hospitals that engage in these practices. Otherwise, the book is an accurate portrayal of life in an inpatient eating disorder treatment program. My own experiences at each level of care have been similar to Janie’s. There were a lot of rules, and at times I was scolded for breaking them accidentally. I have been in at least one partial program where a staff member had to listen at the bathroom door to make sure I was not purging. I’ve had to stomach foods I hate because 100% compliance was the rule. “Purge” disproved my theory that eating disorder fiction takes place in a world without dietitians. The unit is well staffed. The patients attend multiple groups in a day. Meals are supervised. The author is clearly knowledgeable about the topic. At the end of the book, the author notes having body image issues at a teenage. In this interview, Littman shares that she struggled with Bulimia in her 30’s and was hospitalized for a “breakdown”. Read more: https://bitemeblogs.wordpress.com/201...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paola L.

    Personal Response: Purge by Sarah Darer Littman was an okay book. It was not the best book I have read, but it was not the worst book either. It was fun to to see the main character, Janie, develop throughout the story and admit her problem. Janie was the one telling the story, so her feelings and point of view were easy to comprehend. The book was also a little confusing. This was because sometimes the author was not very clear on who was sharing their emotions with Janie at times. The reader wa Personal Response: Purge by Sarah Darer Littman was an okay book. It was not the best book I have read, but it was not the worst book either. It was fun to to see the main character, Janie, develop throughout the story and admit her problem. Janie was the one telling the story, so her feelings and point of view were easy to comprehend. The book was also a little confusing. This was because sometimes the author was not very clear on who was sharing their emotions with Janie at times. The reader was also exposed to many emotional settings throughout the story. Honestly, this book hit my heart. Plot: Throughout the whole story, Janie was trying to discover who she really was. Even though Janie hated throwing up, she binge ate and then stuck her fingers down her throat several times a day. She did not know the exact reason why she was doing this, besides that she did not want to be fat. Every time she ate she would feel an intense love for food, so she would eat a lot. Afterwards, guiltiness would overflow her. Janie would feel the necessity to puke out the food. At first, Janie secretly managed to go inside the bathroom and puke out the food and feel better. When Janie started doing this, she felt she had control of it. Janie continued to do this and eventually became addicted to sticking her fingers down her throat. Her parents did not find out about her problem right away. Eventually, things changed at her sister’s wedding. Before her sister's wedding, she had another conflict. This was more of a boy problem. Janie had always had feelings for one boy in particular. At one point they started dating. During their relationship Janie felt like he really liked her, but at her sister's wedding, things changed. While Janie was stuck being a bridesmaids and sitting at the main table, the boy was flirting with one of her cousins. This made Janie furious and her emotions started erupting. As a result of her actions, she not only ruined her sister's wedding, but let all the people at her sister's wedding know about her problem, which included her parents. Things changed drastically after this. Janie was put into a golden slopes to recover from her illness. With the help of the doctors and psychiatrist at Golden Slopes, Janie hoped to discover the reason why she did this. In order to do this, Janie needed to first survive everyday conflicts between the barfers and the starvers, shifts in friendship, and alliances among the kids in the ward. Recommendations: I recommend Purge to teangaers between 6th grade and 12th grade, because the language and subject matter is more mature. Although the main character is a girl, both boys and girls may enjoy reading this book, because it has a universal subject matter.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hadyn Hartle

    This book was amazing. This book made me realize that many girls and guys have secrets and sometime those secrets can change your life. I would have to recommend this book for any one who struggles with a mental disorder, or a eating disorder. The main character in this book called “Purge”is Janie. Janie struggles with the eating disorder bulimia. She hates throwing up, and having to do it ever time she eats. Janie is in sports at school, and loves being a athlete, but her eating disorder gets This book was amazing. This book made me realize that many girls and guys have secrets and sometime those secrets can change your life. I would have to recommend this book for any one who struggles with a mental disorder, or a eating disorder. The main character in this book called “Purge”is Janie. Janie struggles with the eating disorder bulimia. She hates throwing up, and having to do it ever time she eats. Janie is in sports at school, and loves being a athlete, but her eating disorder gets in the way. So her family decides to get her help which isn’t helping her at all. In my opinion I believe her family made it worse for her. The conflict in this story so far is trying to help Janie and the other characters in the story who struggle with a eating disorder. And many of the people don’t want to get help. I recommend this book for any one who knows someone who struggles with a eating disorder, or if they themselves struggle with a eating disorder. This book gives so much detail about what it is like to have a eating disorder and the struggle of it. Most people don’t know what it is like to have a eating disorder, but this book gives you the idea of what it is like to have a disorder. I would also recommend this book for someone who feels like their parents or family doesn’t understand them. Also if they feel like their family doesn’t know how to help them, to just doesn’t want to help them at all. If you want to learn more about how it is like to have a eating disorder, or learn more about them this is the perfect book for you. The way the author wrote this book is amazing she gives you a ton of details about eating disorders not just one. She does this because there is more than character in the book who struggles with one or more eating disorder.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Wessell

    I read "Purge" by Sarah Darer Littman and found it to be surprisingly about overcoming obstacles whether it's physically, mentally, or emotionally. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling or trying to conquer there day by day battles. Janie Ryman is a teenager obsessed with throwing up, but she doesn't like it at all. In fact, she wants to be a normal teenager who can finish her food and not have to throw up every time she eats. This is her secret but this doesn't remain quiet fo I read "Purge" by Sarah Darer Littman and found it to be surprisingly about overcoming obstacles whether it's physically, mentally, or emotionally. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling or trying to conquer there day by day battles. Janie Ryman is a teenager obsessed with throwing up, but she doesn't like it at all. In fact, she wants to be a normal teenager who can finish her food and not have to throw up every time she eats. This is her secret but this doesn't remain quiet for that long. Her parents sign her up for Golden Slopes (a ward for people who need an aid to there attention). She meets a few friends on the way with the same problem, but she also meets the Starvers. A group of girls who deprive themselves from food because they want to keep there figure. While she is in the "Ward" she has to talk to a psychiatrist and dig through miserable memories. Along the way Janie goes through obstacles to help overcome her daily struggles like seeing her family, throwing up, and even with her "friends." Janie soon discovers that in order to be healthy again or to get better she must tell all her secrets including the ones she hasn't came out to tell anyone. Janie isn't just affecting herself she is also affecting others around her and leaving a gigantic impact. Purge is a suspenseful, heart breaking, but also mesmerizing story to young adults everywhere who are going through the same life situations. I think that this story carries very strong emotions in it that make you think about what some people go through that others do not notice. In conclusion A Purging Disorder is an eating disorder that can be overcome with a positive mindset.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Littman, Sarah Darer Purge, 240 (approx.). Scholastic, April 2009. Language – R, Sexual Content – PG-13. After a spectacular incident at her half-sister’s wedding, Janie finds herself in Golden Slopes Hospital labeled as a Barfer (as the other inmates call her type of eating disorder). While Janie is resistant to opening up in private or group counseling sessions, she happy to unburden her soul in the pages of her journal. Her journey to self-awareness and relative health is aided and hindered by Littman, Sarah Darer Purge, 240 (approx.). Scholastic, April 2009. Language – R, Sexual Content – PG-13. After a spectacular incident at her half-sister’s wedding, Janie finds herself in Golden Slopes Hospital labeled as a Barfer (as the other inmates call her type of eating disorder). While Janie is resistant to opening up in private or group counseling sessions, she happy to unburden her soul in the pages of her journal. Her journey to self-awareness and relative health is aided and hindered by the diverse cast of characters, whether fellow Barfers, Starvers or the earnest staff of the facility. I was so enthralled by Janie’s journey that I had a hard time reminding myself to count the swears. There are plenty of them (more than 100, including “f”), but they don’t hinder the story’s power at all. Some may say that Janie’s breakthrough seems a little forced or faked, but not me. I read it all in less than three hours – I couldn’t put it down. And Janie herself says that her journey is ongoing – she is not cured, for life, only for now. Buy it now, if you can handle the language. HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher. https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2008...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bec

    A read that is entertaining and realistic. This isn't your ordinary cut, copy, and paste novel about another girl with something wrong with her and a few problems. The wedding for instance is a driving plot point that gets revealed more and more as you read. The audience saw many breakthroughs like with Tom's scene with Royce. It was priceless. 10/10 nice mention and handling of that subplot. One thing that was funny and sometimes over the line at times was how //blunt// the MC was about puking a A read that is entertaining and realistic. This isn't your ordinary cut, copy, and paste novel about another girl with something wrong with her and a few problems. The wedding for instance is a driving plot point that gets revealed more and more as you read. The audience saw many breakthroughs like with Tom's scene with Royce. It was priceless. 10/10 nice mention and handling of that subplot. One thing that was funny and sometimes over the line at times was how //blunt// the MC was about puking and her disorder. How there was such a line between the Starvers/Barfers. I say there is some of a line that is tiptoed but the MC (Jamie idk?) was so cut and dry about it. All in all a pretty good read in this genre. How it wrapped up was a bit weird and I forgot who Danny was for about 50% of the book. Nice. I, the reader, am probably at fault but I couldn't keep up with all the characters. There were a lot.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eve beinguniquebooks

    Janie is a secret bulimic, until now as she finds herself hospitalized and facing weeks of therapy alone and in a group. As she stays with anorexics and bulimics in the hospital, ruled by nurses and therapists she slowly unravels and finally confides the events culminating in her admission. Janie is a typical teen in the issues she deals with by binging and purging as she feels lost and insecure as well as rejected from her family and the boy she liked. Dealing with her sister getting married and Janie is a secret bulimic, until now as she finds herself hospitalized and facing weeks of therapy alone and in a group. As she stays with anorexics and bulimics in the hospital, ruled by nurses and therapists she slowly unravels and finally confides the events culminating in her admission. Janie is a typical teen in the issues she deals with by binging and purging as she feels lost and insecure as well as rejected from her family and the boy she liked. Dealing with her sister getting married and ruining the wedding haunt her and she opens up more as she builds trust with the members in the hospital such as Tom an anorexic. We delve into the complexities of eating disorders and self esteem again in this novel.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brooklyn Byers

    I thought that it portrayed realistic formality of the true hardships, denials, and origins of someone with an Eating Disorder. It includes very shocking events that easily do happen and I just overall feel this book was very spot on for an ED book. Now as far as the character goes I feel she was a bit bland at some times but she could be very dramatic as well, more so black and white. I really did enjoy it and it definitely shows the hard truth behind eating disorders.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Savannah (Books by the Beach Reviews) Avery

    I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. It was good, but not as great as I was hoping it would be. For a book about eating disorders I was hoping for something a little more intense and dramatic. This was way to toned down for me, with an overly optimistic (unrealistic?) ending. I enjoyed the characters though and the format (journal entries) was a nice bonus.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    Do not read this book if you are squeamish. This book goes into the details of eating disorders, specifically binging and purging, as the main character is a binger. This book is extremely realistic, with the protagonist away at a treatment center for her disorder. This book is extremely well written and it gives you an insight to what goes on in the head of someone with an eating disorder.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Krysta Bennett

    I loved this book, not only did it give us a look into those who suffer with mental health issues, it showed us what it is like to have them. It gave me chills reading some of it and it made it really easy to connect with. I couldn't set the book down and all I wanted was more. I greatly recommend this book for young adults and those with a strong stomach.

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