by Sarah Darer Littman

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This striking novel from acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman is now available in paperback!

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545052375
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 371,322
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sarah Darer Littman's widely praised first novel for teens, CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC, won the 2006 Sydney Taylor Book Award. She is also the author of the YA novel PURGE. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a house which never seems to have enough bookshelves.

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Purge 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
ReviewYourBook.com More than 1 year ago
Written by: Sarah Darer Littman
Published by: Scholastic
Reviewed by: Stephanie Rollins for ReviewYourBook.com 12/2008
¿Insight to Bulimia and Anorexia¿ 4 stars
This story reads like a novel, but it gives the reader insight to bulimia and anorexia. If you have wondered why people have eating disorders and what goes through their minds, this book is for you.
If eating disorders are of no interest to you, you will not find this book worth reading. The entire book is from the viewpoint of a girl who binges and purges. She ends up in a facility where there is much understanding among the patients, but there is little understanding amongst the parents and staff.
This is well written and insightful. Littman writes in a descriptive manner, allowing you to roam the halls of the facility with the patients. If you know someone with an eating disorder, you must read this.
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
Janie has a problem. She's unwilling to admit that her eating disorder has control over her. But now she's forced to think about it all day, because after the disaster at her sister's wedding, her parents have placed her in an instituation. Here she's forced to eat, must wait 30 minutes in the day room after eating, have group therapy sessions, and have someone eavesdrop on her bathroom visits. All and all, Janie hates in here, but there's no where to go unless she stops running and faces her problems head on. What made her purge in the first place and how did she quickly spin so out of control?

A heart wrenching yet funny tale ("It was like they went from being my Band of Barfers, my Sisterhood of Sneaky Eaters, to my Judge and freaking Jury in three minutes flat.") Littman tackles such a huge issue with humor, honesty, and lets the raw ain of her characters shine through. It's really a book everyone should be reading and chatting about. It's that good.

~ Yabooknerd @ http://www.yabooknerd.blogspot.com/
professerawesomo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That¿s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward. Sarah Littman created this character from personal connections. " As a recovered bulimic myself, I feel very passionate about this story. I spent way too much of my life hating my body, and even though I¿m about 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was a teenager, I like myself much better than when I had a ¿better¿ figure. It wasn¿t an easy journey to get where I am today, but it certainly was a worthwhile one. ' she says.In this book, Janie goes through painful treatments and has painful stories fished out of her.Sarah Littman's Purge is one girl's painful journey to get better.
killclockwork on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Purge turned out to be much more airy and humorous than I expected it to be. It worked very well for the personality of the main character (Janie). It focuses on Janie's life and is told primarily through her journal entries at Golden Slopes; a mental health recovery institution. While there are a few deep moments in which you feel your heart sinking they are never too depressing. The people in the book are believable, likeable and generally well thought out but the ending of this book is what disappointed me. It came to an abrupt and fake ending. A little too rushed and unrealistic for my taste.
jonilee73 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read many novels about eating disorders before. The subject fascinates me so I never pass up any book about them. This one was different than what I am used to. Usually the novels are about the suffering that the person goes through, the denial of having a problems, and ends with them in the hospital beginning to overcome their disorder. With this book, the main character, Janie, is already in rehab. The denial is still there but we learn her story of how she ended up in rehab through her counseling sessions and also through her journal, which she writes in every day. I loved this way of writing. It gave the story a sense of mystery, making the reader piece together the little tidbits that Janie gives us as we read the story, trying to figure out what events led up to her being placed in rehab. Janie has a humorous way of recording her thoughts and I found myself chuckling to myself, something I have never done while reading a book that featured eating disorders before. This book gives a fresh look at a problem effecting so many of our youth these days. Not one to be missed!
LauraMoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Janie ryman is bullimic she is a barfer even trough she hates throwing up. When she gets sent away to deal with her illness she learns to survive the daily conflicts between the barrera and the staffers. Although I've read a few books regarding the issues of eating disorders I have to say this was probably my favorite. Sarah darer once struggled with an eating disorder herself which I feel is why this book was so compelling and honest. I like that she mentioned boys also struggling with eating disorders too because this is an issue in my opinion that never gets discussed. Overall this book is a must read I couldnt put this book down until I was finished I loved it.
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So how come she's in the eating disorder unit of the Golden Slopes rehab hospital for being bulimic? Janie doesn't want to talk about her feelings, her family's expectations, or why her self-destructive behavior seems to be the only thing that makes her feel better. But that's what it's going to take to change her life. Secrets have a way of getting out of control, just like the ways people try to hide them... and that includes both the Barfers and the Starvers in the eating disorder unit. Janie needs to deal with her secrets and find new ways to manage her anger and wretched self-image, but sometimes people don't always accept the help they need. Eating disorders can be fatal... so will Janie choose life and recovery, or keep spiraling out of control? 8th grade and up, realistic descriptions and mature language. We've paired this with Wintergirls in our 8th grade Health classes for best books on eating disorders, and the response from our students has been tremendous.
kperry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Janie is at Golden Slopes psychiatric hospital in the eating disorder ward where it is the Barfers against the Starvers. Janie fits into the Barfer category. She started bingeing and purging once a day, but it wasn¿t long until she was running to the bathroom to throw up after every meal.PURGE is told through Janie¿s journal entries. The journal was given to her to use as part of her therapy. It is a private place for her to put her most secret thoughts. While others in the therapy group don¿t think this is a particularly valuable thing to do, Janie finds great comfort in her journal and writes in it almost everyday. It is here that we follow Janie through her recovery.Something I didn¿t expect in a serious book about a girl with an eating disorder was the amount of humor that filled the pages. Janie has a dry and witty personality that just leaps off the page. Her descriptions of the tensions between the Barfers and the Starvers is great. Here is one of my favorite excerpts from the beginning of the book:¿We Bulimia Babes are always the first to the table, because we have this strange relationship with food. We want to eat it badly, but afterward we want to puke it up equally as badly.The anorexics are another story. They¿ll do anything to avoid eating, including hiding out at mealtimes, because they have a hate-hate relationship with food. It ends up causing plenty of friction between the bulimics and the anorexics, because we¿ll be sitting at the table ravenous, even for the gross Golden Slopes food, but we¿re not allowed to start until every one of the eating disorder patients is present and whichever nurse is head of the Eating Police for that meal tells us we can begin. It ends up being like a gang war, except instead of the Sharks and the Jets or the Bloods and the Crips, it¿s the Barfers and the Starvers.¿ p.6The passage goes on for a couple more pages describing the scene including dialogue from the other patients. Don¿t get me wrong though. This is a serious look at dangerous topic. The reader gets to see what it is like for a bulimic by reading Janie¿s intimate thoughts. Following Janie¿s progress and witnessing when she comes to an understanding about her issues with food is a relief and leaves the reader with a feeling of hope for others suffering from a similar problem.PURGE by Sarah Darer Littman comes out April 2009.
miki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are a lot of YA books out there set in inpatient psychiatric treatment, especially for eating disorders -- enough so that it's almost a sub-genre of its own at this point. And as books in this category go, this one has a lot going for it -- there are some compelling characters, the book goes well beyond the obvious cliches, and the hospital staff and treatment process are portrayed more realistically than in most books.All that said, there were two things about this book that I really disliked:1) A large chunk of the "plot" is just Janie (the main character) not telling the reader things that she knows. Especially when a book is written in 1st person, I find this a really old trick -- there is so much room here for a real plot that there's really no excuse for this.2) Probably because of the above, the ending seems artificially quick and easy.
Nitestar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This subject is so close to my heart! When I was a teen, Eating Disorders were not discussed (I doubt they were really ever recognized) and yet, this disease is so prevalent in people of EVERY age. This is one of the reasons I am so grateful for books such as Purge, written by Sarah Darer Littman.There are a few things that make Purge different from the other ED books. First off, this is written as a novel, with the voice of Janie basically taking us through her stay at an ED clinic. The second thing that I thought was quite different is that Littman puts Anorexia, Bulimia and binge eating into the same novel - it is extremely fascinating to see how all three groups (although the binge eaters are less represented) interact, but also how they each view so differently the almost same situation (i.e. mealtime).I loved, loved this book. It is obvious that Littman has gotten some firsthand knowledge of this disease - this book is extremely difficult to read and I found that I could not read more than 5 or so pages at a time.The voice of Janie who is in complete denial as she enters the clinic - is clear, scared and a joy to read about. It is fascinating to see her slowly come to understand that 'maybe she does belong here'.This book treats ED with the sensitivity and seriousness it deserves. Never talks down to the reader and yet, manages to educate and inform.I thought this book was heartwarming, tough, honest and beautiful.I recommend this book for ALL adults and for the YA adult out there
Kristi-Reads More than 1 year ago
I got this book as part of a Thrift Books haul. I'll be the first to tell you I'm a sucker for eating disorder books and started reading this with the intention of rating a five. But between the lack of character development and laughable depiction of treatment centers (I've been in a few), I just wasn't that into it. I don't see this book changing or even trying to change anyone's life--if anything, this is the kind of triggering fodder 'pro-anas' live for. Cannot recommend.
Mad_Alice More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book. It was very interesting and a I loved learning the life of Janie. I'm glad the way it turned out in the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Purge is a beautiful writtwn novel about anorexia and bulimia. I defintately reccomend this book. I am bulimic, and this book was a little triggering though.
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
Littman's Purge is a surprisingly fast read for a book that handles a heavy emotional impact; this is partly because Janie's voice is so very distinct, and partly because it is, in fact, a rather small book. That's not a bad thing - in the small span of time, it manages to present the bulimia and anorexia as the diseases that they are and how exactly they manage to worm their way into people's lives. In terms of the actual presentation of eating disorders, Purge is fantastic. As for the actual progression of healing - well, coming from a friend who suffered from anorexia, I'd say that Janie goes through the healing process really quickly, especially compared to everybody else in the novel. But I think that's part of the point: that you can be strong and you can overcome even when nobody else around you can or when it seems like life sucks and nobody's paying attention. So for that reason, I liked Purge. It gives a good example of the disease and it has a fairly inspirational message. And I also like it because of Janie's voice - despite all her flaws, she's a fun character. She's got her own quirky sense of humor and ends up dropping a lot of lines that are extremely quotable. Besides, I have to like Purge. It has my favorite final line of any book I've ever read.
Linute22 More than 1 year ago
Purge is a story about a high school teenager who faces everyday with an eating disorder. Janie the main character, and is put in Camp Golden Slopes to help her with her recovery. She is giving a journal where she chooses to write about anything that she wants. For the first half of the book, Janie explains and complains about being at Camp Golden Slopes and how she believes it is not helping her. Due to her eating disorder, she is called one of the barfers, a bulimic. Janie purging is more of an escape from her body image and a feel of lightness after. She likes the feel of emptiness that it brings after. After one therapy session that she has, she begins to question herself and her identity. Janie starts to open up, and writhing about how she really ended up at Camp Golden Slopes. She explains how her parents compare her to her step sister Jenny, and how the boy she liked for a long time asked her out and how she gave her virginity to him. Janie talks about many factors why she believes that bulimia was on impact in her life and how she, later in the book, believes with the help from Dr. Pardy, she can get out of the place healthy and less self-conscious. Janie explains some the very dramatic events that lead to her coming to Camp Golden Slopes, how she ruined her step sisters "perfect' wedding, and how she felt like she didn't belong in the world and took a bunch of her mom's Xanax pills and how she woke up in a hospital. She conjures her fears of telling everything to her parents making sue that they also understand her feelings towards her life and her bulimia. Sarah Littman has put a very good detailed book about a lot of what young girls are going through and how dangerous eating disorders may be. She uses real life experiences to make the story seem even more realistic then it actually is. This book really can show the dangerous aspects of bulimia, as well as anorexia. I would recommend this book to girls who are going to a phase of questions about their body image and what are the wrong choices in their way of eating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Janie believed it was under control. What began as just a little something to relieve that "full" feeling after a big meal at a Chinese restaurant became the focus of her life. Janie can admit now that she is bulimic. What she can't understand and admit is why she has let this disorder consume her. Perhaps her family is to blame. Her father dotes on her "perfect" older sister. That older sister only pays attention to her own "perfect" wedding plans. Janie's mother not only has a career to attend to, but also that "perfect" wedding to orchestrate. The boy of her dreams finally asks her out, but after only a few short dates expects her to sacrifice her virginity. Afterward, she doesn't feel loved, she just feels like a slut. Embarrassment keeps her from confiding in her real friends, which causes hard feelings and separation. Now after total humiliation at her sister's wedding, Janie finds herself at Golden Slopes, a treatment facility for eating disorders. She is now one of the Barfers waiting in frustration for the Starvers to straggle in for every scheduled meal. In between therapy sessions, she shares her thoughts in a journal. More than anything she wants to go home, but first she must confront her situation and come to terms with the root cause of her constant desire to purge. Author Sarah Darer Littman brings a fresh voice to this growing problem among teens today. Her story proves how wide-spread the problem of eating disorders has become. Among her cast of characters, readers will hear from males as well as females, the well-to-do as well as the disadvantaged, and even someone well beyond her teen years who has fallen victim to the disease. Littman highlights the seriousness and the life-threatening effects of eating disorders, but at the same time, through humor and the results of positive treatment, provides hope and encouragement. PURGE is one you won't want to miss.