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Insatiable: The Compelling Story of Four Teens, Food and Its Powerby Eve Eliot
Synopses & Reviews
Everyone?s appearance is important to them, but to teenage girls, it often goes beyond important to obsessive. Am I the blondest cheerleader? The prettiest girl? Do I have the cutest boyfriend? The obsession with their looks often stems from some hidden, profound insecurities and pressures about everything from their families to their grades in school, and has very little to actually do with their outward appearance. Insatiable: The Compelling Story of Four Teens, Food and Its Power introduces us to four unforgettable high-school girls whose shame, fear and confusion compel them to use food — or the refusal of it — in misguided attempts to feel safe and in control of their lives.
Insatiable tells the true-to-life stories of: Samantha, the ice princess — silent, self-contained, and outwardly perfect — resists eating to demonstrate her worth to others. Believing that having human needs and wants is a shameful weakness, she cuts herself with a tweezer to release and relieve her intense emotional turmoil. A cheerleader and member of the track team, no one knows of Samantha?s compulsive behavior of vacuuming her room ten times a day. If she could just be good enough, pretty enough or thin enough, everything would be all right.
Hannah, the lost soul — bright, beautiful and intense — feels unendurable grief over the death of her mother. Guarding another guilty secret as well, Hannah expresses her self-disgust by throwing up enormous quantities of food she eats when she is alone. A straight-A student, Hannah "lets herself go" only where food is concerned.
Jessica, the rebel — stunning, artistic and sophisticated beyond her years — starves herself in order to cope with the horror of her father?s death from AIDS, and the pain of having to mother her six-year-old brother. She?s a cheerleader and shows great talent for fashion design, creating fabulous illustrations, and even making many of her own outfits. Despite her many talents and the admiration of her peers, Jessica is lost in grief for her father, fooling herself that her own self-inflicted emaciation will connect her with him again.
Phoebe, the dreamer — brilliant, compassionate and adored by her friends — is the smartest, fattest girl in school. Assailed by her famous fashion photographer father?s constant criticism, and broken-hearted by the unrequited crush on the handsomest boy in school, she overeats to numb her pain. While she feels more pain as she grows ever fatter, the only time happiness or relief seems within reach is when she?s eating.
Real-life drama and heart-rendering strife envelop readers in this forceful and vibrant novel. Interwoven within the stories however, are real and important facts about anorexia and bulimia that expose the horrific dangers of eating disorders.
"There is no happy ending here. Although the teens begin to understand what led to their eating disorders, they realize that overcoming them will not be easy. The book truly is 'compelling,' as its title suggests. Readers having little familiarity with the subject might find it disturbing but thought provoking. At times, Eliot seems to fit in too many teen issues without treating them in any depth. A therapist and sought-after expert in treating food addictions, the author appears to have compiled patient case studies. An afterword counsels teens to get help if they suspect an eating disorder and suggests methods for finding a therapist. Every school and public library needs this book on their shelves. It probably will not be sought after as a 'hot' fiction title, but it might make a difference to a teen struggling with an eating disorder." VOYA
"Eliot has experienced her own difficulties with eating disorders, she reveals in an afterword, and this fictional account has the ring of truth. There are no easy answers here, but instead a convincing portrayal of how food issues can control — and ruin — young lives. Therapy is presented as an important part of the healing process, and the descriptions of the understanding therapist and the supportive group therapy sessions may encourage sufferers to seek the help they need." KLIATT
"This novel by a well-known therapist who specializes in food addictions demonstrates the pervasiveness of the disorder but fails to bring these teens to life. The plot is predictable and melodramatic. It's often necessary to go back to the beginning of each chapter to see which girl is being discussed, even though their situations are entirely different." School Library Journal
A novel of four teenage girls whose shame, fear, and confusion compel them to binge, purge, and refuse to eat is based on real case histories and is written in an episodic format.
Insatiable is an astonishingly moving story of four teenage girls whose shame, fear and confusion compel them to binge, purge and refuse to eat in misguided attempts to feel safe and in control of their lives.
This incredible, imaginative story, written in episodic format, is based on real case histories and tells a true-to-life story through character-driven vignettes. Insatiable will envelop readers in the personal and seemingly tangible worlds of each of the main characters. What makes this novel so forceful and vibrant is the way Eliot weaves her story through dynamics that inform these friendships and the therapy that helps them address their pain and fears.
For every teen trapped in this seemingly endless cycle, and those who simply enjoy reading about real life issues (i.e. teen bestsellers Speak and Smack), Insatiable is a must-read.
About the Author
Eve Eliot is a psychotherapist and the senior facilitator for the Compulsive Eating Treatment Week at the Caron Foundation in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. She is a trained addictions counselor and lives in New York where she has a private practice. She is co-founder of the popular Menu For Living Weekend Workshops for compulsive eaters. Having suffered from and overcome anorexia nervosa, compulsive eating, and obesity herself, her work combines professional expertise, firsthand experience, and true empathetic compassion. Eliot has appeared on local cable shows and on television with Barbara Walters.
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