Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Feeling For Bones” as Want to Read:
Feeling For Bones
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Feeling For Bones

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  786 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
At sixteen, Olivia Monahan is uprooted from her home when a scandal in the local church costs her father his ministry. The family retreats to the seclusion of a small Pennsylvanian town, where a host of rich characters all play part in Olivia's struggle to understand her disillusionment with Christianity and gather courage to fight the eating disorder threatening her healt ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Moody Publishers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Feeling For Bones, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Feeling For Bones

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 27, 2011 Ashley rated it did not like it
First half of the book setup for an intriguing family dynamic and a young girl plagued by an eating disorder. However, the second half of the book was anticlimactic. The ending was awful and didn't fit with the story line. I read some comments before reading this book and they mentioned the "Christian" element to this author's writing style. Well until the last 2 chapters, it really wasn't apparent. However, the last 2 chapters were nothing but a tribute to the author's Christian roots and didn' ...more
Andrea Fife
Sep 30, 2009 Andrea Fife rated it really liked it
I picked this book up from the library based on the cover and title and proved the cliche about books and their covers. I was expecting a crime novel... you know... bones. Instead, I got a great story about a girl battling with her faith and anorexia... you know... bones. I love a good story about the human struggle, and this was exactly that. It was a quick and easy but compelling read.
Nov 13, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I thought this book was very well-written, solid plot and character development, but my favorite aspect was the imagery. Pierce is able to make even the most mundane events or observations shine with precise descriptions. My least favorite aspect of the book occurs near the end, although the turns of events are logical and true to the characters' personalities. All in all, I was fascinated by the life of the main character (her struggles, her relationships, her aspirations), but the religious un ...more
There were some good quotes in this book. I only wish I had written them down before returning the book back to the library.

It was Christian-based without being overly preachy though I skimmed some parts near the end. I liked the confluence of events and characters in Olivia's life -- they were sources of instability and stress, but also of support. It left with loose strings, about herself and other characters so it wasn't all neatly packaged.
C.J. Darlington
At first glance the cover of Feeling for Bones doesn't make sense. A branch, possibly from a rose bush, stretches thin and gnarled across the paper, its sharp thorns protruding from the limbs. But when we immerse ourselves in the story understanding dawns.

Olivia is sixteen-years-old when her minister father loses his job and the family moves into a ramshackle house on Great-aunt Margaret's property. Everyone tries to adjust, but it's not easy. With so much out of her control, Olivia controls the
Jan 24, 2016 Michelle rated it liked it
"I am small in this universe, infinitesimal inside infinity. But size is never the measure of worth."

I originally picked up this book because I was intrigued by its premise - a girl with a Christian upbringing battles an eating disorder. It's a premise I could sympathize with considering it mirrored my own life story. However, the Christianity portrayed in this book was often legalistic & ceremonial, and Olivia struggled against it. It's only when Olivia starts looking to God to save her r
Jul 23, 2015 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y-a, psych-disorders
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2010 Liralen rated it really liked it
I read this book in 2010 and liked it quite a bit. Several months later, I read reviews that referred to it as "Christian fiction", and I blinked and looked around: What? Really? Huh.

So, naturally, I read it again to see for myself - and, hey, what do you know? Christian fiction.

As Olivia's world crumbles around her, she takes charge of the only thing she can - her body. Things aren't quite right at home, they aren't quite right at school, and she doesn't have a lot of ways to remedy that.

I thin
Jul 01, 2012 Aayla rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book.

When I first started reading it, I thought it was supposed to be a memoir. Through that lens, the voice bothered me because there were times when it would depart from its usual narrative and become far too lofty and metaphorical. Then I realized it was fiction, but the prose still felt half rushed and half forced.

In terms of the story-line, I was disappointed. I picked up the book expecting a certain level of "troubled adolescent angst" and instead I got a w
Sep 16, 2011 Kendra rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
This book is a look into the mind of a teen girl, Olivia, who suffers from anorexia. The way she perceives herself and those around her is sometimes distorted, but her perspective changes as the book resolves itself.

At the beginning of the book, Olivia and her family are moving from their home because her dad lost his job as a pastor. Olivia relates how she keeps track of how many calories she eats, what types of food are "good" or "bad", and how, when she eats more than the restricted amount s
Camilla Kristensen
Jun 13, 2014 Camilla Kristensen rated it did not like it

Fiction about eating disorders is my guilty pleasure and I rarely expect much from it. I believe it's very hard to write fiction about eating disorders (and mental illness in general) because it's one of these conditions, where... you know, the truth is almost too hard to imagine, even for a very talented author.

And there's so many clichés in Feeling for Bones - stuff like 'the beautiful best friend who's secretly insecure', 'I can't decide if I like this guy because I'm so insecure
Hannah Sillars
Jan 22, 2015 Hannah Sillars rated it really liked it
I cannot rave about this book enough. I lent it to my friends--each from different backgrounds and ages--and each connected deeply with this book.

The characters in Pierce's novel are utterly human, complete with both flaws and beauty. As someone who went through some eating struggles similar to Olivia's, her words and perspective rang true. Describing her surroundings in terms such as "sunken," "bloated," or "bird-like" was such an accurate way of depicting a anorexia-tainted perspective and rev
May 25, 2015 Shannon rated it it was ok
This is a decent book but it lacks something. I found myself skimming at times, especially later in the book, as it seemed that some long passages did nothing to further plot or character development. I think that she got some things right - the psychological part works, and the first tentative relationship with it's mixed emotions and unsteady footing is believable despite there being no resolution. I also enjoyed the dynamics of Mollie and Olivia's friendship, about how it deepens and we later ...more
Sep 15, 2012 Anna rated it it was ok
This was a disappointment to say the least. I feel the author had some great ideas for a novel, but didn't allow them to fully flourish. For starters, the concept behind the plot, anorexia, is intriguing and carries a lot of weight. Unfortunately, it fell flat. I also think the character development could have drastically been improved. There were details in the book that I couldn't quite understand why they were included because they seemed unnecessary and disruptive to the flow of the book. I ...more
Nov 05, 2011 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family, religion
The premise of this book is a good one: family dynamics, religion, financial struggle and body image all come into play in "Feeling for Bones." But the story is so slow and fragmented, that nothing ever seems to happen or be resolved. Every time something 'exciting' happens, that story line is squashed. There are a few events in this book that could make for a good novel,but they're not explored. Unfortunately, the author has chosen to turn a teenager's battle with anorexia into a religious conf ...more
Dec 12, 2012 Cecilya rated it did not like it
This is actually. the. absolute. WORST. book i have ever read. ever. there is not one thing about this book that i could compliment other than how nice the cover looks and the pictures of the branches before each chapter start. other than that, the whole entire thing was just. a fantastic mess. it was so hard to read. i kept pushing hoping the next chapter would get better and it never did. there is no "problem" to keep reading for you to find out how it was solved. it was just super boring. it' ...more
Dec 23, 2009 Victoria rated it it was ok
Shelves: lit-fic, sold
Well, I admit that after reading some very raving reviews for this book, I harbored some high hopes. I also found the anorexia topic an interesting one for fiction. But the way the book danced around this issue, was downright strange - there was not subtle leading into it, as the book opens with the main character fully displaying this disorder. Her naivete of what the disorder actually was pretty shocking, too - as well as unbelievable. I was also surprised at just how secular this Christian fi ...more
Mar 04, 2011 Deb rated it liked it
Shelves: christian, fiction
This introspective novel takes you through one girls journey. At 16, Olivia Monahan is uprooted from her home when a scandal in the local church costs her father his ministry. The family retreats to the seclusion of a small Pennsylvanian town, where a host of rich characters all play part in Olivia's struggle to understand her disillusionment with Christianity and gather courage to fight the eating disorder threatening her health. [return]This was good, it alternates between happy episodes and p ...more
Apr 29, 2010 Louisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, 99-problems
Okay, I got about thirty pages into ostensibly another girl struggling with an eating disorder story before the churchy, preachy Christian element started to make me nervous. Don't get me wrong, stories about faith and a loss of faith are generally some of my favorites but this just made me nauseous. Firstly, the writing is not the best--just cheesy with unconvincing dialogue, etc. Secondly, I found it disconcerting that Olivia, already in the throes of this terrible disease by the time the narr ...more
May 21, 2013 Chloey rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: 2013
I was definitely disappointed with this book. I thought it would be interesting to read a book on a girl with an eating disorder from a Christian perspective, but I was sorely mistaken...
The book dragged, I didn't feel any real emotional connection with the main character, and I just felt it was rather boring and didn't portray an eating disorder very well (maybe I'm biased from reading Wintergirls). The only meriting factor was the ending. The author decided to use some rather beautifully writt
Klaudyna Z.
Oct 05, 2011 Klaudyna Z. rated it it was ok
This book was odd. THe first half sounded promising and then once I got through the second half, I felt like I wasn't even reading the same book. I felt like there was nothing important that happened in the second half and it just fell flat. I skimmed the last two chapters because I was bored and I feel like this book wasn't really about anything. It touched on eating disorders, art, and family dynamics but there are much better eating disorder books out there than this one. I felt like there wa ...more
Apr 29, 2008 Beth rated it liked it
I just picked this book off the shelf with no idea what it would be about, but it turned out pretty good. The book is written from the perspective of a girl who is struggling with anorexia, but that is just part of what is going on. Her dad was a minister who lost his job and they had to move to a small town near her eccentric great aunt. I liked the descriptions in this book, very poetic, and I really liked that everything wasn't neatly tied up at the end. I would have liked to see a little mor ...more
Sep 02, 2015 Rebecca rated it did not like it
this book seemed to be tackling the topic of eating disorders but most of the book had nothing to do with anorexia. i felt a bit misled by the description. I've personally read a lot of books about eating disorders and this one doesn't even come close to comparing. a lot of the storyline seemed unimportant and the ending was horrible. if you have an eating disorder you'll know how unrealistic the story was overall, but particularly the ending which implies that one can simply will themselves to ...more
Jan 21, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it
This book made me cry several times over because I recognized the statements in it. I folded down the corners of at least twenty pages because they contained something that I had felt before, put into elegant words. The ending was superb-normally with ED books, the heroine dies at the end or is hospitalized with little hope. Not so with this one, bearing the message that if you have an Eating Disorder it does not necessarily have you. You are not ruined by this and your spirit is not less for it ...more
I wanted to like this book. I really did. The book had several potentially great but underdeveloped plot lines. Considering the book's title, I was expecting far more of the character's experience of anorexia, and it just wasn't there.

I don't feel like anything was settled at the end, but rather.. she found Jesus, okay, the end. The ending seemed totally out of place, and left me feeling unsatisfied.

But it gets two stars because I did love the characters and the actual writing was good as well
Debbie Noye
Sep 23, 2011 Debbie Noye rated it liked it
Feeling for Bones is a slightly disturbing novel about a teenage girl and her struggle with an eating disorder. It also touches on the issue of her father having lost his job under circumstances involving child molestation. Perhaps the fact it deals with 2 difficult subject matters is why I found this book a bit more depressing than the fiction I normally enjoy. There are certainly some positive events included and this author's writing style is readable. In our local district library this book ...more
Jessica Lynn
Mar 31, 2013 Jessica Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: want-to-own
There were really only two flaws I found with this book: I love the way it ended, but it ended with a lot of loose ends. Also, it was a pretty slow start for me. The pace picked up very well after that, but it was still a fairly boring beginning. Those are the reasons I gave it four instead of five stars. I really want to know what happened to the other characters, specifically Matthew and Mollie. However, it was a fantastic book overall.
Jamie Gemmell
Aug 21, 2009 Jamie Gemmell rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting read. I think it really opened my eyes about anorexia and eating disorders in general. With the main character being a minister's daughter, it also has a lot of religious issues entwined throughout the book. I think it was an interesting place to find a character in, someone who is trying to find herself and find this God that everyone is telling her about while trying to fight this anorexia demon in her.
Aug 13, 2010 Linsey rated it liked it
This was a nice, easy read about a teenage girl with typical high school troubles- family, friends, love- only on top of that she has anorexia. I did not find it preachy at all, as other readers have complained about. The character's dad happens to be a minister, and she wonders about faith- just like most every teenager does.
The author started writing this book in high school, and I think that is reflected in the realistic way high school is portrayed in the book.
Serenity Huntwork
Apr 13, 2013 Serenity Huntwork rated it really liked it
I was terribly bored the first few chapters. Olivia seemed like your a-typical teen with family-turned poor issues, and a bratty little sister she adores and spoils for some reason.
But then the story picked up. Her anorexia is revealed little by little, and other problems come to light. There are events in this story that cause you to panic and flip the page that much quicker.
Ignoring the first boring chapters, very interesting book,and over-all well written.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • More Than You Can Chew
  • Unwell
  • Perfect: Anorexia & Me
  • Empty: A Story of Anorexia
  • After the Strawberry
  • Thin
  • Diary of an Exercise Addict
  • Life-Size
  • Goodbye, Paper Doll
  • The Passion of Alice
  • Purge: Rehab Diaries
  • Massive
  • Biting Anorexia: A Firsthand Account of an Internal War
  • Mercy, Unbound
  • Hunger Point
  • Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa
  • Restricted: A Novel of Half-Truths
  • Thinspo
Bethany Pierce was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio to a Nazarene minister and an elementary school art teacher who encouraged the reading of books by storing the television on a microwave stand in the hall closet. In 2001 she enrolled in Miami University’s College of Art to study painting, staying a fifth year to complete a Master’s degree in creative writing.

Her artwork has been exhibited in Cincinnat
More about Bethany Pierce...

Share This Book

“If you put the wrong foods in your body, you are contaminated and dirty and your stomach swells. Then the voice says, Why did you do that? Don't you know better? Ugly and wicked, you are disgusting to me.” 41 likes
“My reflection followed me mercilessly in mirrors, car doors, shop windows. I lived in a world of circus mirrors, the grotesque distortion of my body looking back at me everywhere.” 14 likes
More quotes…