Friday, April 29, 2011

Eating Your Feelings

Author: Diana Spechler

Format: ARC
Published: Harper Perinnial; Apr. 2011
Pages: 368
Genre: Fiction
Rating: C
Source: TLC Book Tours

Synopsis: Feeling culpable in her father's death, Gray leaves New York and takes a job at Camp Carolina for the summer, hoping to lose the pounds she gained binging in her guilt and grief, and to also meet Eden, the girl she believes to be her stepsister, discovered via a mysterious bequest while executing her father's will. But Eden, a born loner who Gray assumes resulted from an extramarital fling, rejects Gray's efforts to open up. Gray's summer job does prove life altering, and not just physically: she distrusts the camp owner, begins to draw herself into the knotty social lives of her charges, and flirts with the athletic director. Affectingly narrated by Gray in a tone that often echoes pro-anorexia message boards, Spechler's latest succeeds in lovingly detailing the agony of self-loathing before it swings wildly into YA territory to teach Gray a lesson about life. 

My Take: Here we are one week later, once again with a women dealing with the untimely death of her father (see my review last week of a book with a similar theme) and once again I am disappointed. What have I learned these past two weeks? Whatever I am searching for I am not going to find it on a trip to China with my nearest and dearest or at a fat camp obsessing over the lives of teenagers. Alas, I already new that.

Here we have Gray, who at 26, lost her dad after not speaking to him for a few years. I can't even imagine the pain that would cause. You already have the grief of all of the things left unsaid no matter when you lose someone close to you, but when your in the middle of some unresolved argument, or as in the case of this two, just about to repair it, the pain that would cause is only intensified by the pain of losing someone. So what does Gray do with her pain? She eats her emotions. I think many of us can relate to that. Stress does crazy things to the body and some people eat their emotions in times of duress. One year later, she finds herself twenty pounds heavier and no more at terms with her grief.

Gray has also been told she is the executor of her father's will. She soon learns this is to keep her mother in the dark of her father's extramarital affair and the child that resulted. This child, Eden, is now a teenager and will be entering a fat camp for the summer and so begins Gray's idea to become a camp counsellor at this same fat camp for the summer to study her. So also, begins when the book takes a turn that I no longer could relate to. 

Once at the summer camp, which is populated by a staff of half-trained semi-professionals, Gray tries to befriend Eden. We also meet a whole host of teenagers with weight issues. I then start to read what is quickly becoming a young adult book about teenagers with weight issues who are picking on each other to make themselves feel better. This is not the book I wanted to read. I wanted to read about Gray learning to overcome her grief by learning who her new sister is. Well, as the song says, we can't always get what we want. However, if you are looking for more of a young adult book about females and the ever present weight issues, because it's out there and we all have to deal with it at some point, than this may be the book for you.

Cover Lust: To me this cover screams summer and it's adorable! Whether it matches the actual book, I'll leave that for you to decide. I still love it!

For more opinions about this book, you can check out the full TLC Tour Schedule here:
Tuesday, April 26th: For the love of books
Friday, April 29th: Amused By Books
Monday, May 2nd: Tina’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, May 4th: The Book Chick
Tuesday, May 10th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Monday, May 16th: Novel Whore
Tuesday, May 17th: Reading Through Life
Wednesday, May 18th: In the Next Room
Thursday, May 19th: BookNAround
Friday, May 20th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, May 23rd: Rundpinne
Thursday, May 26th: girlichef
Tuesday, May 31st: StephTheBookworm
Thursday, June 2nd: As I turn the pages
Tuesday, June 7th: Teresa’s Reading Corner
Date TBD: Colloquium


  1. That's a problem I have with a lot of books in this genre. The whole idea that losing weight will solve all problems is absurd, and most of the time the characters don't actually deal with the root this case their grief over a deceased loved one.

  2. It DOES look a bit young adult-ish.

    I used to have an eating disorder so I tend to shy away from books that center on them.

    On a funny note, when I was in cheerleading camp (high school) there was a "fat" camp housed in the same dorm building as my team. I gave them snacks the entire time they were there. They'd come to my window via the fire escape. When I read about the camp in your synopsis it made me remember that. Bad, huh? They were hungry though!

  3. I think I'll give this one a pass. I thought the cover was inviting but I don't think it matches the story. I thought this would be much more light-hearted.

  4. Darn, I was hoping your experience with this book would be better. But like you said, we can't always get what we want from a book.

    Hopefully you CAN get what you're looking for somewhere else though. I'm wishing you the best!

  5. And again, perhaps not the fiction for me. But I sure hope you will find what you are looking for

  6. This sounds like something that I'd find interesting. I've added it to my TBR pile :)

  7. man when i was started out reading your review, i thought this was going to be a great book and i liked where the story was going until you told me it was about a bunch of teenagers picking on each other over their weight issues. i hate it when i find a book that has so much potential but doesn't live up to it.


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