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Zoe Letting Go

Zoe Letting Go

4.4 15
by Nora Price

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“When the truth about her past is disclosed…the effect works like gangbusters.”
–New York Times Book Review

A girl's letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that's Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls meets The Sixth Sense.

Zoe knows she doesn’t belong in a hospital


“When the truth about her past is disclosed…the effect works like gangbusters.”
–New York Times Book Review

A girl's letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that's Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls meets The Sixth Sense.

Zoe knows she doesn’t belong in a hospital—so why is she in one?
Twin Birch isn’t just any hospital. It’s a strange mansion populated by unnerving staff and glassy-eyed patients. It’s a place for girls with serious problems; skinny, spindly girls who have a penchant for harming themselves.
Zoe isn’t like them. And she can’t figure out why she was sent here. Writing letters to her best friend Elise keep her sane, grounded in the memories of her past—but mired in them, too. Elise never writes back.
Zoe is lost without her, unsure of how to navigate tenuous new friendships and bizarre rules without Elise by her side. But as her letters intertwine with journal entries chronicling her mysterious life at Twin Birch, another narrative unfolds. The hidden story of a complicated friendship; of the choices we make, the truths we tell others, and the lies we tell ourselves. The story of a friendship that has the potential to both save—and damage beyond repair. And Zoe finds she must confront the truth about her past once and for all, before she can finally let go.
Nora Price’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching meditation on the bonds of friendship with a gripping psychological twist.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sixteen-year-old Zoe Propp can't fathom why her mother dropped her at the Twin Birch hospital, an eerie mansion in the woods. Not long before, Zoe was free to roam the streets of Brooklyn with her gorgeous friend Elise. Now she's surrounded by six sickly girls and immersed in a strict, highly supervised program, which includes "Therapy" (meetings with a psychologist), "Activity" (cooking and gardening), "Intake" (mandatory meals), and "Group Downtime" (socializing with the other patients). Zoe compulsively logs day-to-day events: everything from meals and recipes to her body's changes and the girls' mini-dramas. Although Zoe's mysterious roommate, Caroline (who expresses suspicion about Zoe's presence), is persuasively developed, the other girls are portrayed comparatively thinly. Most moving are Zoe's letters to Elise, which slowly reveal the nature of their codependent friendship and why Zoe is at Twin Birch. While Price's debut skillfully depicts obsession and the mentality behind eating disorders, not all readers will have the patience for Zoe's repetitive and detailed writing or her unreliable narration, as her moments of clarity add up to a troubling truth. Ages 12–up. Agent: Seth Fishman, the Gernert Company. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Zoe, a 16-year-old from Brooklyn, finds herself in a small rehabilitation center for girls with eating disorders, but she is sure there must be some kind of mistake. "I didn't feel like a patient; I felt like an inmate or a victim." The other girls are clearly wasting away, while she feels in control of her cautious dietary habits. Through letters to her mysteriously silent best friend, Elise, as well as a personal journal, readers quickly see that her protests are actually denial and discover that she is, in fact, a girl with a disorder that is spiraling out of control. Zoe and the other patients attend cooking and vegetable-gardening classes each day and endure mandatory meals in which their plates are heaped with nutritious foods that disgust them. As Zoe goes to therapy sessions, makes friends and enemies, and writes her letters, the whereabouts of Elise become clear to readers-if not to her. She leaves rehab at the end of the summer to reenter normal life, although it is unclear that her disorder is truly under control. While the ending may seem rushed and slightly unsatisfactory to some discerning teens (unanswered questions abound), Zoe's circumstances and problems will resonate with fans of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why (Penguin, 2007), Jake Coburn's Love Sick (Dutton, 2005), and Beatrice Sparks's books.—Nora G. Murphy, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, LaCanada-Flintridge, CA

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Nora Price is the pseudonym for a twenty-three-year-old New York-based writer and journalist.

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Zoe Letting Go 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could easily relate to this book. There was never a moment I took my eyes off the page. This book kept me interested the entire time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Finished it in three days! it gives an amazing look about what anorexia does! I couldnt put the book down! absouloutly recamend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much. It helps girls to see what anorexia does to your body and how it can be deadly. I have been through it and it i rough and you are blind to what it does to you. I cried when i found out because it reminded me of how that could have been me. Definite read!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for my little sister (14) who loves to read..she finished it in about two days. I bought it from dollar tree lol anyhow she really liked the book, I am going to read it next
Rosalie14 More than 1 year ago
How I Can Relate. This book really appealed to me because I have been anorexic before and I have actually experienced some of the feelings and situations that Zoe and the other girls are going through. I am 15 years old and I would recommend this book to girls ages 14 and up. If you're struggling or have struggled before with an eating disorder this might be a good book for you because you can see the different points of view within the book. At first when Zoe's mom drops her off at Twin Birch, Zoe doesn't really know why she's there, or even what Twin Birch is, but as the story unravels, she figures out what events lead to her being in the Anorexic Rehabilitation center of Twin Birch. Zoe realizes in her sessions with her therapist at Twin Birch, Alexandria, that her best friend was actually a large contributing factor to her horrible eating habits. I also can relate to that because I used to see myself as a second to my best friend, because she was beautiful and popular while I was not very good looking and definitely a low life of the school. Zoe didn't even notice that her eating habits where bad, or even that she was unhealthy, because she ate a lot of the same ways as her best friend, the only difference was that her best friend could do that without being unhealthy, because she had been like that her whole life. Zoe on the other hand, had just started her new eating habits freshman year, the year before the summer when her mom took her to Twin Birch. In the beginning of Zoe's stay at Twin Birch, she was basically investigating the other girls and the other adults there. She wouldn't trust anyone because she was so paranoid. When it was brought to her attention just how intimidating she was to the other girls, she realized that she had just as much of a problem as all the other girls. It might not have LOOKED like Zoe belonged the Twin Birch, but on the inside, Zoe was a true Twin Birch patient. I will leave you with one last thing, Zoe will never be the same again after staying her time at Twin Birch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Abigail Marie Shaer <br> Nickname: Abby (or anything else -not perverted- you want) <br> Age: 13, 14 on september 2nd <br> Gender: other jk female <p> Family: <br> Parents- Poseidon and Bridget Shaer <br> Siblings- two step sisters aged 15 and 16 and a real brother who died at age 8 when she was 6 1/2 <br> Heritidge: 1/3 Irish <p> Apperence: 5 foot 1 and 90 lbs. She has long silky medium brown hair that almost reaches her waist and hazely- green eyes. On rare occasions she wears mascara, other than that no makeup <br> Personality: funny, flirty and a little bit crazy. She loves babies and little kids. Meet her. <br> Clothes: average stuff that a teenage girl wears, sweaters, skinny jeans, boots and ALWAYS wears a rolex watch on her left hand. <br> Friends: almost everyone, espesialy Dc <p> History: ask and i might tell you <p> Powers: still discovering but can control water and make water. <br> Fighting: likes to use water but has a small dagger encrusted with emralds in the shape on a wave. And can sword fight well because she is ambidextrous. <p> Other: ask!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Zoe's Mother wakes her in the wee hours of the morning urging her to pack everything she will need for 6 weeks (actually 36 days) but with no explanation, Zoe doesn't understand what's happening. When she arrives at an historic mansion that looks more like a prison a few hours later, she begins to realize that something is very wrong...especially when her Mother drives away. Stealing a facsimile of a brochure from the office and meeting the five other girls who will be her companions for this "session," Zoe finally pieces together that Twin Birches is a very exclusive treatment center for girls with eating disorders. She and her best friend Elise have been dieting, sure, but Zoe is definitely NOT like these frail, skeletal girls...so why is she here? Thus begins this beautifully written story divided between Zoe's journal entries about her incarcertion and her epistles to her best and beautiful friend, Elise, without whom Zoe is lost. The descriptive blurb here mentions 6th Sense and psychological twists which I find a little misleading. Anorexia is a psychological disorder that reveals itself through the physical symptoms of a wasting body, but there is nothing here of the paranormal as the 6th Sense comparison would suggest. And the twist...nonexistent for a dscerning reader. I gave it 4 stars, rounding up because of the beauty of the writing although I felt the ending was incomplete and very anti-climactic after the build up. I even looked for more pages thinking surely I missed some. Still, the story was a good one and Zoe was a well fleshed-out character (despite her surroundings!), and it wouldn't hurt teen readers and their parents to read about this terrifying and sometimes deadly disorder that afflicts so many young girls (and, yes, a few guys, too).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They only thing kinda confusing is why the other girls were so mad at her. It just never was explained what she did. Elsie died but it wasnt her fault. Why were the other girls so afraid?great story though. I was pulled in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished this book. Very good. Could never take my eyes of of the page and in the end, when i found out why elise wasnt writing back, i almost cried. I recomend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was good, but a bit slow I think
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It wasnt the greatest book I've read, but I did finish it. I liked the small mystery to it, it was a little sad at the end but overall it was okay.