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Zoe Letting Go

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  965 ratings  ·  157 reviews
“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...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 14th 2012 by Razorbill (first published June 1st 2012)
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Cinder by Marissa MeyerThe Selection by Kiera CassUnder the Never Sky by Veronica RossiEverneath by Brodi AshtonIncarnate by Jodi Meadows
2012 Debut Authors (Young Adult & Middle Grade)
233rd out of 971 books — 5,756 voters
Cinder by Marissa MeyerUnder the Never Sky by Veronica RossiThe Broken Destiny by Carlyle LabuschagneIncarnate by Jodi MeadowsEverneath by Brodi Ashton
YA Debuts 2012
210th out of 429 books — 1,337 voters

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Community Reviews

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I won this advanced copy from Good Reads.

I’m not sure how I want to compile my thoughts for this book. There was such a presence of underlying sadness that just resonated with me.

Zoe finds herself at Twin Birch, a secluded home for girls battling issues. She’s told she’s finally somewhere that can help her, but the problem is, she doesn’t think she needs help.

Forced into treatment for anorexia, Zoe uses all of her energy to find out why she’s really at Twin Birch. Coping with her separation from...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First off, I personally think that the description written for this book is a bit misleading and overdramatic. The reason I had originally picked this book up was it’s comparison to Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, which is one of my favorite books. In general, I think comparisons to very popular works of literature are risky, because they create very high expectations. That was exactly the case for me when I sat down with this book. I don’t I’ve ever read something as beautifully haunting...more
Judged by Cover: Subtlety is Key

First, let's take the time to give the cover designer a round of applause for NOT chopping of the poor model's body. Good job!
For a quick glance, the cover might not appear that extraordinary. In fact, it may even get you to start worrying that it's time for yet another appointment to the optometrist. At a second glance, though, the cover makes you think of a photograph that someone crumpled up and threw away. Any design with that much though but not shoving it i...more
"When you have a small group of friends—or no friends except for one other person—twenty minutes is the precise length of time it takes to become achingly reacquainted with your loneliness.”

Setting:Brooklyn, New York and Twin Birch; 2013

Coverly Love?:No I was so confused at first because I thought there was something wrong with the cover for it to be so blurry. Than I realized that it was supposed to represent a blurry old photo. I don't really get the meaning of it for the story, though.

Ms. Yingling
Zoe is not at all pleased when her mother wakes her up, all but throws her in the car, and dumps her at Twin Birch. It's not a hospital, it's not a jail, but the six girls who are there have very strict rules they need to follow, especially when it comes to food and "sharing" with the other patients. Zoe doesn't need to be at Twin Birch; she tries not to fight against the counselors when she has to do therapy sessions, she eats what she is supposed to even though she can tell she's gaining weigh...more
3.5/5 stars

Zoe Letting Go is definitely in a genre I don't usual venture into and that is the realistic contemporary. Also, this novel centers around a girl with an eating disorder which is the type of novel Farah loves. Therefore I had some restraint when I picked this novel up. However this novel was such a different adventure. Also the main protagonist was so likable. However till the end you don't really understand exactly what is the real problem with Zoe. However that was what kept me flip...more
*not a native english speaker

I started this book thinking it was something else. I don't know where I was thinking reading the plot but reading it I saw that this was about girls with eating disorders but I didn't stop there. I like this kind of books. I don't read them very often because they are depresing on some levels.

The book is part Zoes journal , part Zoes letters to her best friend Elise. What was weird was the fact that Zoe describing her life showed signs of anorexia all over the plac...more
Miharu Rokujou
I wanted to read this book because the description on Goodreads made it sound incredibly interesting to me, seeing as I've read the books that this site related it to. I was highly disappointed, however, because it didn't appear to be anything like those other books I actually did enjoy.

I was bored from the beginning and considered dropping the book about half way through. It got slightly more interesting after the half way point, but it certainly felt like it was dragging on and nothing was rea...more
Talk about a book that hits home. As a sufferer of anorexia at the same age as Zoe, I found this book relatable and truthful. I can only assume that Nora Price has also suffered through the hardships of anorexia , as I assume only a sufferer can understand the complexity of anorexia and the control over your life. My initial thoughts about Elise were that she was the "other" Zoe- meaning a created person to distinguish the eating disorder from Zoe herself. A very therapeutic approach to eating d...more

Die Wahrheit liegt in der Vergangenheit

Ohne Vorwarnung wird die 16-jährige Zoe von ihrer Mutter in eine Einrichtung namens »Twin Birch« verfrachtet. Was soll sie hier zwischen all den dürren, kranken Mädchen? Ihr einziger Halt sind die Briefe, die sie an ihre beste Freundin Elise schreibt. Doch Elise antwortet nicht. Nie. Nur langsam erkennt Zoe, dass der Grund für ihren Aufenthalt in »Twin Birch« in ihrer Vergangenheit liegt, bei Elise. Erst als sie die tragische Wahrheit akzeptiert, gel...more
BAYA Librarian
Debut author Nora Price has contributed a new Young Adult book to the catalog of eating disorder books, following a teen girl’s institutionalization into an anorexia clinic, through lessening stages of denial, to recovery. Zoe, 16, finds herself en route through rural Massachusetts, away from her home in Brooklyn, being driven somewhere, for some reason she can’t deduce. Zoe wonders what she did to provoke her mother into making her pack and leave home. She can’t recall what brought on this pare...more
Debut author Nora Price has contributed a new Young Adult book to the catalog of eating disorder books, following a teen girl’s institutionalization into an anorexia clinic, through lessening stages of denial, to recovery. Zoe, 16, finds herself en route through rural Massachusetts, away from her home in Brooklyn, being driven somewhere, for some reason she can’t deduce. Zoe wonders what she did to provoke her mother into making her pack and leave home. She can’t recall what brought on this pare...more
This is one of those books that just gets right down deep inside you. It's simply amazing, so heartbreaking and wonderful, and easily one of my 'favourite' books of the year.

(view spoiler)...more
3.75 stars. I really liked this book. I'm tempted to give this book 4 stars but I didn't have the burning desire to get through this book like I have with others. I was motivated to get through it fairly quickly though. The beginning bothered me because Zoe had no idea she was going to an institution until her mother dropped her off there and then no idea why she was there. I thought that was a little dramatic... but then it started to pull together as she continued to write in her journal and g...more
3.5 of 5 stars
When Zoe's mother drops her off at Twin Birch, a small, treatment center nestled in rural Massachusetts, she has no idea why she's admitted to the facility's 6 week summer program. The only five others residents, all appear to be anorexic, but Zoe doesn't have an eating disorder. She spends her free time writing letters to her best friend Elise (no electronics allowed) and writing about her days at Twin Birch. As she waits for replies from Elise, engages in therapy, and befriends a...more
I have to say that this one was unexpected..I don't want to ruin what was so unexpected for other people who haven't read it yet..but let me say I thought Zoe's friend, that whole part of the story would turn out to be very different from what it was revealed to be.

I didn't expect this to be such an " issues" book. Honestly I expected more of a psych thriller. Although I can't say I wasn't glued to the pages and Twin Birch where Zoe finds herself for the summer was intriguing and kmd of mysteri...more
Da ich Bücher über Krankheiten in Verbindungen mit Therapien schon immer sehr interessant fand, konnte ich an "Heute will ich leben" nicht vorbei gehen. Ich habe mir von dem Buch einiges versprochen, weil die Kurzbeschreibung sehr vielversprechend klang, doch am Ende war ich sehr enttäuscht und es grenzt schon fast an ein Wunder, dass ich dieses Buch überhaupt beendet habe.

An sich hatte die Autorin sogar einige recht gute Ideen und hat die Themen Magersucht, Therapiemöglichkeiten, etc. gut reche...more
Carmie Thomas
This book was one of those books that didn't really catch my attention at first. I had seen it in Ollie's (it was bought for $1.99) I kinda felt maybe it would be like Suicide Notes or Wintergirls but it had it's own thing going for it. This book kept me guessing, which is good and bad. Good because I like mystery but bad because, when it comes to books, I'm the rich brat who wants an answer to everything all at once so I don't feel like I'm being attacked without warning. These plot twists can...more
The premise of this book sounded really awesome (and really emotional). Zoe is at a treatment center and doesn’t understand why, but through letters to her best friend she learns some things. I know that’s a crap summary, but I’m not going to just spit out the jacket cover and I’m not going to spoil it. Suffice to say it sounded great. Now that I’ve read it all the way through, I gotta say my feelings are thoroughly mixed.

Awesome: The epistolary format. The story is a mix of Zoe’s journal entrie...more
Paula  Phillips
Im not too sure why as I have never suffered a mental illness , but it could be stemmed from the fact that my Dad works in this area but when it comes to Edgy Content I just love reading tales of Mental Health , Drugs and Alcohol but more preferably the category of the different mental health issues and disorders.
In Zoe Letting Go , we meet Zoe whom has been taken to the Twin Oaks Institute for girls . At this institute, they cater to six girls all with different forms of eating disorders. At f...more
E. Anderson
Zoe doesn't know why she's at Twin Birch. Her mother woke her up one morning and drove her here. The place isn't like a hospital -- not like most of them, anyway. It's a fancy house with dorms and cooking classes and supervised eating. That's the hardest part.

Still, Zoe doesn't know why she's there. She keeps writing letters to her best friend, Elise. Elise doesn't ever answer, but Zoe knows there must be a good reason -- a last minute vacation or a busy summer or something. Meanwhile, Zoe is le...more
Sixteen-year old, Zoe gets packed up and shipped off to Twin Birch, a six week program for anorexia girls. But Zoe doesn’t believe she fits the profile and soon finds out that the other patients agree. So why exactly is she there? With no contact with the outside world Zoe has to try to piece this puzzle together surrounded by individuals that she believes she has nothing in common with. So Zoe starts to write letters back home to her best friend Elise. These letters go into great detail explain...more
As many of you know, I love reading books with eating disorders. I'm not sure why. I always thought it was fascinating trying to figure out how those girls thought and what really made them tick, and then it got personal when a good friend of mine struggled with anorexia. I kept reading these books to try to understand why my bright and vibrant friend, who I'd always thought was gorgeous, thought she needed to turn into a tiny shell of herself. I still haven't found an answer. Fortunately, she'...more
This book is haunting. It begins as we meet Zoe, who is being whisked away by her mother and put into an institution that she knows nothing about. Aside from her anger towards her mother, she is also depressed and worried that her best friend, Elise, will wonder where she went or what has happened. The mysterious facility, it happens, is an anorexia clinic. Zoe is quite confused as to why she is here; she seems healthier than any of the girls here, and often tends to find fault with everyone she...more
I've read a fair share of YA 'issue' books in the past, but Zoe Letting Go is the first one I've read that deals directly with eating disorders. And unlike many issues books, eating disorders is something we can all probably relate to a little - that voice inside our heads that tells us we really shouldn't have that second piece of cake, a crash diet before we go on holidays to look better in a swimsuit - food, unfortunately, can have a pretty big grip on our lives at one time or another.

Zoe Let...more
From the very first chapter I thought I knew everything. It was so obvious that Zoe had a split personality; many of the memories or thoughts she had about her and Elise was just too weird and close to not be the same person. Well, I was wrong. They were two separate people only extremely close, and a few years back they both started a diet together. It escalated to an eating disorder, for both of them I think, but Zoe never really omitted that she had one, but she for sure had several related s...more
Aug 14, 2012 Tasha rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Zoe has been placed at a treatment facility by her mother. At Twin Birch, each of the six patients arrives on a different day, staggered so that they can have a personal intake. When Zoe arrives, she has no idea why she is there. It just gets more confusing as she meets the other girls who are patients too. They are all skeletal and obviously suffering from anorexia, but Zoe is not like them. She has never stopped eating, she is larger than all of them, and her body doesn’t shiver after eating l...more
Originally posted at

This is one of those books where I was immediately drawn in by the cover. I know it’s quite a simple cover but something about it makes it look all mysterious and whatnot and I can’t avoid a good mysterious book.

Before I actually started this book I knew very little about it- I knew that it had something to do with mental illness in some way and a possibly toxic friendship. I wasn’t quite expecting what this turned into. The blurb I h...more
Zoe Letting Go starts off with the protagonist (Zoe, duh) being dropped off at a treatment center for girls with anorexia. There are only five other patients, and they're all quiet and basically wasting away. Zoe can't figure out why she's been sent here. She's not frail like them, she's never tried to harm herself. Why has her mother sent her here for six weeks during the summer?

To pass time, and to help sort her thoughts, she journals and writes letters to her best friend Elise. She sees a th...more
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Unanswered Questions 2 23 Oct 02, 2012 09:26PM  
  • Crazy
  • The Girls of No Return
  • Getting Somewhere
  • Fingerprints of You
  • 34 Pieces of You
  • All These Lives
  • Never Enough
  • Fall to Pieces
  • My Life in Black and White
  • Life is But a Dream
  • Kiss the Morning Star
  • Cracked
  • I Swear
  • Devine Intervention
  • Miracle
  • Forget Me Not
  • Counting Backwards
  • Perfect Escape
I'm a writer living in Brooklyn. My debut YA novel is "Zoe Letting Go", published by Razorbill in June 2012.

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