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3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  2,387 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED.

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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press
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Nov 21, 2008 Kristi rated it liked it
This one has been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I'm not sure why I was so apprehensive about reading it. I think I was scared after reading Wintergirls by Laure Halse Anderson. I have to be in a mood for books that drain me emotionally like that. Wintergirls was difficult to read, and I don't think I was ready to tackle something like that again so soon.

But Purge was a lot different than Wintergirls. Besides the fact that it's about Bulimia and not Anorexia, it also very easy to read. No
Dec 21, 2008 Yan rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I picked this up because I was looking for books with hardcore topics. This is one WITH A HARD CORE TOPIC. And the book is okay, but it's no WinterGirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. If you want a really hardcore book that makes the tears come out, then you need to read Wintergirls.

This was more fluffy than raw. And that upset me. Like a lot. I wanted to stop reading this for a minute, but it is really short, so I finished it in a couple of hours. One problem I had with the book was the characters,
May 21, 2010 Tracie rated it did not like it
Journal entries and first-person narrative describe 16-year-old Janie's journey through bulimia and recovery.

As a YA problem novel, Purge is a serviceable, accessible addition to the current literature. Teens who are grappling with eating disorders will relate to Janie's struggle; and if the novel encourages one teen to choose recovery over self-destructive behavior, then Purge has fulfilled its mission.

But to me, this novel just fell flat. Purge suffers from an overly convenient fairy-tale endi
Carlie Slyh
Feb 03, 2017 Carlie Slyh rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2009 46milestogo rated it did not like it
A perfect example of telling not showing. And the ending? Utterly unbelievable.
Lauren Hopkins
Feb 16, 2017 Lauren Hopkins rated it did not like it
This is quite honestly one of the worst books I have ever read PERIOD in addition to being one of the worst eating disorder books out there. Here's the plot - girl is in treatment for bulimia, girl has setback, girl has breakthrough, and three weeks later, everything's sunny all the time always. THAT'S EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS! It's like the author watched every single Lifetime movie out there and was like "That! That is what I want to write!"

So basically it's completely unrealistic in many ways and
Dec 20, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing
PURGE isn't the first young adult novel I've read with a main character who struggles with an eating disorder, but it's the first one with this strong a mix of raw emotion, tension, and humor. Just as experts who help teens with eating disorders have to peel back the layers to get to the heart of the problem, Sarah Littman's book offers numerous layers, too. Her main character, Janie, is hospitalized for bulimia after she causes a scene at the wedding of her older sister, "Perfect Jenny." But it ...more
Sep 29, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Purge is about a girl who is in a rehabilitation clinic (read: psych ward) for bulimia and attempted suicide. She has a crass way of seeing the world and of describing her surroundings, one that I actually appreciated and enjoyed. It even made me laugh a few times, despite the seriousness of the topic.

I've read other books about eating disorders, but I think Purge ranks as one of the best books for teens/pre-teens because it is so readable,descriptive, and candid about general teenager issues s
Jan 27, 2017 Brittany rated it really liked it
Janie could be anyone and her experience inside a treatment center for eating disorders, reveals that teens have a lot of pressures that they're processing, and sometimes, any path to feeling lighter brings relief.

I don't want to reveal too much about that catalyst of Janie's disease, breakdown or admission to the facility, except that my heart broke as it probably mirrors the story of millions of young women across America.

I appreciated the interior monologue of Janie's Diary as well as the l
ALEXUS Williams
Mar 09, 2016 ALEXUS Williams rated it liked it
Personal response
I thought the book Purge was all right. It got a little boring after a while. However, I did like how this book showed what people with eating disorders go through every day. I also liked how the author included both genders suffering with an eating disorder.

Janie is a 16 year old who has a lot going on in her life. Besides lying to her parents about personal matters, she suffered with an eating disorder. When her parents find out, they put her in Golden Slopes (A rehab cent
Breanna Weiland
Jan 09, 2017 Breanna Weiland rated it liked it
Personal Response:
I think The Purge was a good book. Though at times, it lost some of my interest and I had to push myself through it. I think the author did a great job of making sure the main idea of the story was clear. I also think that the main idea of the story was an amazing lesson for everyone to be able to read and understand. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The Plot:
The story began with a girl named Janie. Janie was diagnosed with Bulimia, a mental disorder where people feel the n
Purge intrigued me. What goes through the mind of a teenage girl suffering from bulimia, an eating disorder? Young people having eating disorders are so common now where image is so important and everyone strives for that vision of perfection.

This issue is so close to many of us young adult's hearts. We find this so relatable with all the pressure to be perfect instead of accepting who we are.

Janie is admitted at Golden Slopes for bingeing and bulimia, she hates throwing up so why does she do it
Jul 03, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
Janie doesn't think she has an eating problem, but after disgracing herself at her sister's wedding she finds herself at Golden Slopes, a mental institution for teenage 'barfers and starvers'. Janie is a purger and this is her story told in the first person with each chapter beginning with entries from a journal given to her in her therapy group. The reader becomes drawn into the world of the bulimic by reading Janie's private thoughts and following her journey from denial through to her underst ...more
Brea Mapes
Oct 25, 2012 Brea Mapes rated it liked it
I read the book "Purge" by Sarah Darer Littman. I've always been into the YA books, and this was just another one. It didn’t stand out much compared to the other ones I’ve read in the past. Janie was supposedly sent to a mental hospital, because she suffered from Bulimia. Once you start reading further into the book you realize there is more to the story then what she’s saying. By the end of the book she reveals the real reason why she was put into the hospital and all I can say is that I didn’t ...more
Paola L.
Personal Response:
Purge by Sarah Darer Littman was an okay book. It was not the best book I have read, but it was not the worst book either. It was fun to to see the main character, Janie, develop throughout the story and admit her problem. Janie was the one telling the story, so her feelings and point of view were easy to comprehend. The book was also a little confusing. This was because sometimes the author was not very clear on who was sharing their emotions with Janie at times. The reader wa
Jul 21, 2010 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-contemporary
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. From Amazon US

This was such an amazing book! And in
Original post here:

Purge is a wonderfully crafted look into what it is like for a teen girl living with and trying to understand her bulimia. With a realistic and lovable heroine, not to mention a gripping story line that will sink it's hooks into you from the first page, this is a book I feel would be a great read for many teens.

After the last eating disorder book I read turned out to be a bit of a dud, I admit that I was worried about how I would
Jan 09, 2016 Alina rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2009 Janni added it
I resisted seeking out this book at first--even though I knew from a couple of Sarah's readings just how powerful her writing is--I think because I felt like I'd read Wintergirls and felt like I wasn't up for another eating disorders book yet. (Wintergirls deals with anorexia, Purge with bulimia, but both books touch on both eating disorders.) Then I saw a copy sitting in the bookstore, opened it, and just got sucked in by the prose--I kept trying to put the book down and couldn't, so finally ga ...more
May 09, 2009 Rachael rated it it was amazing
Janie Hyman’s life is a mess, riddled with confusion and contradictions. She may have confidence when acting on stage, but everywhere else, she’s insecure. That’s why she binges and purges several times a day even though she absolutely hates throwing up. That’s why she’s at Golden Slopes with a handful of other eating disorder kids, the Barfers and Starvers, to end, hopefully, Janie’s love-hate relationship with good—otherwise known as bulimia. But Janie doesn’t think she’s ill; she views purgin ...more
Oct 26, 2008 Karin rated it it was amazing
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 t
Oct 09, 2015 Karissa rated it really liked it
This was a well done book about eating disorders. The story was engaging and easy to read. It was heartwarming and thought-provoking.

Janie’s issues climax after Janie Ryman ruins her half sister’s wedding with a big barfing scene in the men's bathroom. After this (and publically admitting that she has been binging and purging for a while) Janie is placed into Golden Slopes a facility that deals with teens with eating disorders. Here Janie must navigate the politics of the Barfers and Starvers a
Jun 20, 2009 Kat rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sia Fauntleroy
Feb 23, 2017 Sia Fauntleroy rated it did not like it
this book was about a girl who has an eating disorder and she has to go to this place with other people like herself.I gave this book a 1 star because it really wasn't that interesting to me. I feel like people who like boring books will like this book.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

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
Feb 11, 2009 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Purge is a well written book that grabs you from the first page and dosen't let you go till the very last word.

For some reason, I had been putting off reading this for a while now. I'm not sure why, but it probably it has something to do with Wintergirls. Since, while I loved that book with all my heart because of it's rawness and reality, it was all the fiction I could take for a while dealing with eating disorders. Surprisingly, Purge tended to show a lighter tone to eating disorders. Though,
Amy's Book Reviews
Dec 05, 2014 Amy's Book Reviews rated it liked it
3.5 of 5
The day after embarrassing herself at her stepsister's wedding, Janie is admitted to a psych hospital on an eating disorder unit where she encounters The Starvers (anorexics) and The Purgers (bulimics) and even 2 boys. While at the hospital, she's have to learn how to deal with her emotions, her parents and perfect stepsister, how to assert herself and how to cope without making herself vomit.

PURGE gives a fairly realistic account of the underlying issues one teen faces, and through the
Aug 11, 2009 Erica rated it really liked it
Purge was a book I really enjoyed - It feels weird to say I enjoyed it, given the subject matter, but Sarah Darer Littman has written a book filled with such hope and a positive message for teens.

I really liked the characters. I thought Janie, and all the other teens at Golden Slopes. They all were very different, but I found them all very easy to connect to. No, I haven't gone through the same things as they had been through, but so many contributing factors to their situation I have experienc
Apr 05, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
Shelves: psycology
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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  • Unwell
  • Thin
  • More Than You Can Chew
  • Perfect: Anorexia & Me
  • Mercy, Unbound
  • Empty: A Story of Anorexia
  • Feeling For Bones
  • Diary of an Anorexic Girl
  • After the Strawberry
  • Goodbye, Paper Doll
  • Diary of an Exercise Addict
  • Massive
  • Life-Size
  • Purge: Rehab Diaries
  • Hunger Point
  • My Sister's Bones
  • Biting Anorexia: A Firsthand Account of an Internal War
  • Crosses
Sarah Darer Littman is the award-winning author of CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC, PURGE, LIFE, AFTER, WANT TO GO PRIVATE? and the upcoming CHARMED, I'M SURE and IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. In addition to writing for teens, she is a columnist the website She lives in Connecticut, in a house that never seems to have enough bookshelves.

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“So there you have it--my sorry tale. That's how something I though I controlled ended up controlling me.” 14 likes
“But who am I if I'm not Janie the bulimic? Bulimia has become so much a part of me that I can't remember what it felt like not to purge. It's been this secret that I have hidden from my parents and my friends (well, except for Nancy) and the rest of the world. It's the way I can let off the pressure of always feeling like I'm not smart enough, I'm not thin enough, not pretty enough, not funny enough, just plain not enough enough.” 7 likes
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