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Letting Ana Go
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Letting Ana Go

4.6 34
by Anonymous
 

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In the tradition of Go Ask Alice and Lucy in the Sky, a harrowing account of anorexia and addiction.

She was a good girl from a good family, with everything she could want or need. But below the surface, she felt like she could never be good enough. Like she could never live up to the expectations that surrounded her. Like she

Overview

In the tradition of Go Ask Alice and Lucy in the Sky, a harrowing account of anorexia and addiction.

She was a good girl from a good family, with everything she could want or need. But below the surface, she felt like she could never be good enough. Like she could never live up to the expectations that surrounded her. Like she couldn’t do anything to make a change.

But there was one thing she could control completely: how much she ate. The less she ate, the better—stronger—she felt.

But it’s a dangerous game, and there is such a thing as going too far…

Her innermost thoughts and feelings are chronicled in the diary she left behind.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Fans of Go Ask Alice (Prentice-Hall, 1971) and Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls (Viking, 2009) will gravitate to this compelling account of one girl's battle with anorexia. Asked to maintain a food diary as a part of her cross-country training, the unnamed narrator begins her story as a healthy, well-adjusted teen from a privileged family. Her overweight mother struggles with food issues on a daily basis and receives little emotional support from her husband, who either humiliates or ignores her. Witnessing the deterioration of her parents' marriage, the teen becomes overwhelmed by a flood of conflicting emotions and channels her need for order into restricting what she eats. Through her journal entries, readers witness her gradual descent from self-discipline to denial as she convinces herself that she grows emotionally stronger as she eats less. Readers will relate to the teen's experiences navigating family dynamics, friendship, and relationships, and the first-person narrative lends realism to her character as it allows access to the reasoning behind her misguided decisions. As real as she appears, however, the prose seems too polished and situations feel staged for dramatic effect. Those seeking an authentic story may be better served reading a harrowing memoir such as Marya Hornbacher's Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (HarperCollins, 1998).—Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OH
Publishers Weekly
This harrowing cautionary tale (in the vein of 2012’s Lucy in the Sky) demonstrates the inability of family and friends to rescue a loved one from the disease that has become her “best friend,” as an athletic high school sophomore with a healthy attitude toward food is gradually overtaken by anorexia. Ana narrates in diary form (ironically begun as a food journal assigned by the track coach to ensure adequate caloric intake), and each entry begins with her current weight. Her parents’ breakup, which Ana attributes to her mother’s inability to maintain her figure, becomes a catalyst for her determination to “take control.” Encouraged by her friend Jill’s desire for dieting company and Jill’s picture-perfect but almost diabolical mother, who buys them clothing in too-small sizes and says things like, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” Ana records her increasingly distorted perceptions about her body, friends, parents, and self-worth. This story provides disturbing insight into the online world of “thinspiration” (anorexics encouraging each other), the limited health care resources available to treat this illness, and the mortal risk of those afflicted. Ages 14–up. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Anyone familiar with the sensationalist pseudo-diary Go Ask Alice knows it won't end well for an anonymous (fictitious) teen who chronicles her eating disorder. The journal begins as a food diary assigned by the unnamed narrator's running coach. When the narrator goes on vacation with her friend Jill, Jill's dreamy brother, Jack, and Jill's perfectly put-together mother, Susan, Jill convinces her to restrict her eating. As in Alice, the cautionary tale thrills readers with lurid details of the unnamed diarist's spiral into danger. The diarist's weight, food intake and exercise regimen are recorded in detail, with frequent mentions of dress sizes and tips such as the "Thin Commandments." Every pressure the narrator experiences seems to be food-related, sometimes to an absurdly exaggerated degree ("Jack couldn't take his eyes off you [last night]," Susan warns the narrator after catching her with a doughnut hole. "I just wouldn't want you to start forming bad habits that would get in the way of that"). Readers who struggle with body image or with their own eating will surely have their own anxieties provoked by the obsessive details and the narrator's unresolved disgust with her own and others' bodies. A disturbing tale that feels meant to titillate rather than caution. (Fiction. 12-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442472143
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
128,810
Lexile:
860L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Letting Ana Go


  • Weight: 133

    Breakfast: Bagel (toasted), light cream cheese, orange juice (fresh squeezed! Thanks, Mom!).

    A.M. snack: (Who has time for this?) Jill gave me a Life Saver in English. (Does that even count?) It was green.

    Lunch: Turkey wrap with Swiss cheese, SunChips, Fresca, 1/2 bag of gummy fruit snacks.

    P.M. snack: Other 1/2 of the gummy fruit snacks.

    Dinner: Lasagna (1 square), Caesar salad with croutons. Dad made brownies. Ate two.

    Now I’m supposed to “write a few sentences about how I feel.” I feel this food diary is strange, and sort of funny. When Coach Perkins handed them out brouhaha ensued. (“Brouhaha” was a word on my final vocab quiz of sophomore year today. As was the word “ensued.”)

    Coach Perkins passed out pamphlets at practice. Not really pamphlets but I like all those p’s. Journals, actually.

    Coach: It’s a “food diary.”

    Vanessa: What is this for?

    Geoff: Why don’t I get one?

    Coach: Only the ladies.

    Coach said girls on other cross-country teams have been using our sport to hide their eating disorders. They run until they collapse from not eating enough, not drinking enough, not knowing enough. Hello? Dingbat? Running four to eight miles per day? You’re going to need some calories. (At least two brownies after dinner.)

    Naturally, the adults are only now catching on. They thought that’s just what runners look like. Parents: sometimes clueless.

    As a result of not eating, these girls get sick, and we girls get to write everything down.

    Our food.

    Our feelings.

    I still feel it’s funny, somehow . . . or maybe absurd. (Also on the vocab quiz.)

    Not Vanessa: This is unfair! What about the guys?

    Or Geoff: Yeah! This is cool! I wanna do it too!

    Ugh. Lovebirds. Too cute = puke.

    (COACH PERKINS: If you’re actually reading this, that was a figurative “puke” not a literal “puke.”)

    Coach says she’ll be checking the diary every practice, and then over the summer when we meet up to check in once a month before school starts. Coach Perkins is pretty.

    Ponytail, push-up bra, probably pushing forty. Not one to be trifled with. Tough as nails.

    Jill was painting her nails in my room after practice during our weekly Friday-night hang out. I told her about the food diary, and how I found it preposterous.

    Jill: Please. I’ve been keeping one for six weeks.

    Me (laughing): WHY?

    Jill: So I can lose ten pounds.

    Me: You’ll disappear.

    Jill: Shut up.

    Me: Seriously. You already look like a Q-tip on toe shoes.

    Jill: The Nutcracker Nemesis must be vanquished.

    Me: You’re losing ten pounds for Misty Jenkins?

    Jill: I’m losing ten pounds for me. I will be Clara this Christmas or you have seen my last pirouette.

    She blew on her nails and looked at me with the same wide-eyed stare she has presented each Friday night past when making pronouncements of epic proportions over popcorn. These are not to be pooh-poohed, and I made the mistake of laughing.

    She pounced with a pillow.

    A brouhaha ensued.

  • Meet the Author

    A Simon & Schuster author.

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    Letting Ana Go 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is my first ‘Anonymous’ book, having never read any of the other similar books published in the previous years (Go Ask Alice, Lucy in the Sky or Jay’s Journal). LETTING ANA GO is the diary of a 16-year-old girl chronicling how a simple task of keeping a food journal for track turned into an uncontrollable obsession to be thin. At the beginning of each journal entry Ana jots down her weight trying to retain the daily suggested 2,200 calories intake. As the story progresses, Ana’s best friend Jill convinces her to start losing weight with her. Ana’s usual 2, 2000 calories went down to 1,700 calories, 1,200 and then 1,000 calories a day. LETTING ANA GO gives readers a glimpse into the mind of someone who suffers with anorexia nervosa, a person who loses weight that would be consider unhealthy for their age and height. I don’t know anyone that suffered an eating disorder, but this book shows how easily and scary a person can develop an eating disorder and not know it. It was sad to see how far Ana, and her friend Jill went to obtain the ‘model’ figure. This is a real problem that many women have suffered for a long time, thanks to the media, magazines, and celebrities some women believe that in order to be considered beautiful they need to weight a certain amount, or their waistline needs to be certain size, etc. Ana’s account is very real and disturbing, and though she’s blinded by her own actions…it was also heartbreaking to see everyone that loved her unable to help her. Her parents checked her into a rehab facility, hoping that she’d get better and her boyfriend would always tell her how much he loved her and how beautiful she was but it was never enough. LETTING ANA GO is an amazing and at the same time heartbreaking story. It highlights the issue of anorexia and how it can become an obsessive-addiction that can lead to serious health consequences. The ending had me floored. I was completely in shock. I don’t really remember how I expected it to end, perhaps a happy ending like most book but I guess the way it ended made sense. This is a book everyone should read, not just teens. This book is the type of book that will stay with you long after you read it, I’m really glad I got the chance to read it. *I received a review copy from the publicist and in exchange I provided a honest review.
    EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
    I've said in a number of my reviews that I'm typically not a fan of books written as journal entries. I haven't read very many "issue" books either - ones that are predominantly focused on exploring a heavy area. Letting Ana Go falls under both of those categories though, which is why I'd consider it to be a book that really pushed me out of my comfort zone as a reader. And it's a good thing I did step out of my comfort zone for this one, because it was worth it. Letting Ana Go tackles challenging questions in a way that is well-developed and thoughtful, providing needed perspective on eating disorders. Reasons to Read: 1. Perfectly paced plot: You know exactly what Letting Ana Go is about before you even start reading about it. It's very clear that Ana is going to struggle with an eating disorder. But there is such gradual development here, it's like every spring when I watch for new leaves to grow on trees. I know they're coming soon, and it's a slow process that takes a few days and I try to pay attention for all the signs... but it isn't until it's too late that you realize the leaves are all out in full bloom. That was exactly how I felt as Ana's struggle with food and her body image grew increasingly complex and problematic. The pacing is absolutely flawless, which is necessary to make this believable. 2. A surreal atmosphere: The writing style creates a very dream-like quality to the story, which is furthered along by the plot and the gradual takeover by this disorder in Ana's life. I find very few books that are able to express so much confusion, obsession, and even fear within the character's head and truly articulate these feelings onto paper (another one I'd recommend for this is Dreamland by Sarah Dessen). It's one thing for a book to tell what happened, and another thing entirely for that book to live it. Letting Ana Go lives and breathes Ana's chilling experience with anorexia. 3. There is hope in dark places: This book left me with a very heartbreaking reminder of how dangerous eating disorders are, particularly to young girls it seems. But I like that even in the midst of all of this affliction, there are glimpses of hope and goodness. Jack is one of the sweetest, most caring, and brave characters I have ever read. He isn't just a love interest, he's a friend and he's a brother. And when there were other characters that made me so frustrated with their failure to see what was going on and how to respond to it, Jack dealt with it in the best way that he could- he loved. I'm still feeling mixed by the ending, though. To be honest, I'm not sure how I wanted or expected this book to turn out but I was disappointed by the ending. It felt hasty. It felt disconnected from the rest of the novel. This is actually one of those rare books where a cliffhanger or an open-ended conclusion would have worked very well, but it wasn't used to its potential here. The ending didn't coincide with the direction the story had taken, and doesn't merge with the viewpoints of the characters as they had changed throughout the book. Letting Ana Go brings the struggle of fighting an eating disorder to life for those unfamiliar with it, and equally sheds light on a number of problems which may have caused or contributed to anorexia creeping up on dear Ana. Ana feels like any number of girls I was friends with, grew up with, or went to school with and her mom is just as familiar in her own way. The book's strength lies in making Ana as easy to relate to as possible, so that the reader isn't left questioning why she would struggle with this. That's what is so scary about this book- I can see it happening to just about anyone I know. And none of us are entirely sure what to do about it or how to prevent it. But mostly, it's just a story about a girl, which is both beautiful and sad throughout all the good and bad changes during a few months of her life. ARC received from Simon & Schuster Canada for review; no other compensation was received.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I understand the reviews tha say read with cautiin. Since i recentally read tjis book it put me a little bit out of my comfort zone but i wasnt completly disturbed. If you can takeevthese things seriously it is a really great book to read. So good.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a great read! Very informative but sad story, hopefully will help others realize this is a real and dangerous disease.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is just wondeful and superior, but it is after all very triggering. When I read this book I felt the need to be like the main character, anorexic but gorgeus. This is definetely a must read!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Letting Ana go depicts the scary and real cycle leading into anorexia. Highly recommended
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book. I couldn't believe how much she changed over the book. The ending actually made me cry, even though I'd already read spoilers accidentally. (If I didn't, I would've been completely shocked).
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book. I could not put it down, and I finished it in two sittings. (I had to go to sleep.) However I should warn anyone who is battling an eating disorder or even in rremission that this book is very, very triggering. I am currently battling anorexia and frankly, I really should not have read this. But if you are mentally healthy, then I highly recommend this book because it accurately describe what anorexia feels like. The character development is amazing, and it feels like you are on a roller coaster with climbs and drops. It is enrapturing, and you feel like holding your brath while she is bad. It gets you very emotionally involved, and near the end you feel almost accomplished when she starts to get better. I have read one other anonymous book, being Go Ask Alice, and I was not let down. I recommend this book for only mentally healthy people, around 13 years and older. Please be careful. xJust like you are.x
    smithlc88 More than 1 year ago
    As someone suffering from anorexia, this made me realize how lucky I am to be alive today
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Awesome book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    (Roleplay here with me. The story is this:<br>Jess, 18 with chocolate hair and a tan, slender body and long legs, has 36C boobs and an ass to die for (big but perfectly shaped and always showcased in tight pants), is staying overnight at her cousin's house, Quentin, who she is very close to. They are supposed to sleep in separate rooms but she sneaks into his so they can talk. She has a loser boyfriend back home who cheated on her, but she still stayed with him. She should act mature and sweet, and not sexual, but not that resistant to sexual things. Roleplay in the next res.)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I understand why someone would read with caution. Depending on the person, this book can be a little bit more disturbing to read...especially if you are young and might be struggling with your weight and eating. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much. Definitely opened my eyes.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was amazing and in my opinion the best Anonymous book so far. I highly recommend it. Even though this book is extraordinary, it's very &quot;harrowing&quot; and hard to digest after. I've never suffered through any diseases such as anorexia, but I relate very well to the character which is hard to process. Overall, outstanding book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book so much. It had a great story line and awesome ideas. I would warn though that this book is triggering to anyone in recovery like I am. Read with caution
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Really good book. Highly recommend.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Best book i've read in a while
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I read the sample for LETTING ANA GO and was hooked immeadiatley, but I have been reading the reviews and everyone is saying how disturbing it is. I am only 13 and am easily scared. I also do not wiegh much for my age, but I am NOT anorexic. Should I read this book? I am scared that if I do I might become anorexic. HELP!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Amazing, although i wish it would have continued in jack and jills lives after for a little while near the end.