Print and e-book, 320 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The story of a teen girl's struggle with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and how love helps her on the road to recovery.
Sixteen-year-old Pea looks normal, but she has a secret: she has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It is like having a monster inside of her, one that not only dictates what she can eat, but also causes anxiety, depression, and thoughts that she doesn’t want to have. When she falls crazy-mad in love with Ben, she hides her disorder from him, pretending that she’s fine. At first, everything really does feel like it’s getting better with him around, so she stops taking her anxiety and depression medication. And that's when the monster really takes over her life. Just as everything seems lost and hopeless, Pea finds in her family, and in Ben, the support and strength she needs to learn that her eating disorder doesn’t have to control her.
(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)
First line—"You float. It's hot out, not kind of hot, not medium hot, but midsummer-Arizona hot."
Sad Perfect took me on a journey about a topic I knew nothing about. We get to go inside the mind of a teenage girl who has always been a 'picky-eater' but who, in reality, has a form of an eating disorder that not very many people know anything about.
The author lived through this with her daughter and shares a little bit of what it must have been like to not have any answers for this serious problem. What a relief they must have felt to finally have some answers after all those years of struggle.
Sad Perfect is an informative, insightful look at the hard life of a teen girl trying to fit into what society thinks should be 'normal'. The storyline takes place over a relative short period of time and I know that there had to have been years and years of issues and angst for Pea and her family. The only criticism I might make about this story would be that it seemed to be all tied up neat and tidy at the end and fairly quickly too, when I know that this would be a long process to resolve. On the other hand and to end on a positive note, this is information that needs to get out there for others who may be dealing with the same issues.
Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing what you and your family have been through. I know that others will be helped by your story.
About the author
A Florida native, Stephanie has lived near Chicago and Philadelphia and currently calls Scottsdale, Arizona home. She graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Stephanie and her husband Scott have three children: AJ, McKaelen and Luke. They are all her favorites.
Connect with Stephanie
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