Obvious Game

 
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Between her mother’s life-threatening illness, first love, and unraveling friendships, Diana has had enough. She wants control, and she’ll take it however she can. It starts out harmlessly enough. Lose a few pounds here and there. Nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, right? After all, the wrestling coach is encouraging her boyfriend to do the same thing so he can keep his standing on the team.

Quickly, though, a few pounds become a lot of pounds. She barely eats. She exercises obsessively. She counts her ribs and wraps her fingers around her thighs. She’s disappearing, ounce by ounce, but she’s in charge. She’s also in danger. As she bends her body to the breaking point, her social life and family life start to feel the strain too.

Diana loves Jesse, her first real boyfriend, but he is growing increasingly uncomfortable with her new look. She is able to reconnect with her best friend Amanda, but only by binge drinking and risky stunts. She tries to be a good daughter, but her mother still isn’t getting better. Worst of all, people are noticing how skinny she has become, and people are starting to talk.

With a raw and compelling voice, Rita Arens realistically draws mature readers into the maddening world of eating disorders. Diana is an “everyman” character who is easy to relate to and easy to like, and her descent into anorexia is an important—and ultimately hopeful—cautionary tale. 310 pages   978- 098565628X      Ages 14 and up

Recommended by Molly Crumbley MLS, Maryland USA

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