Feeling For Bones
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Feeling For Bones

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  493 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Pressurized family dynamics and a dysfunctional church experience force 16-year-old Olivia to seek her own reality. For her self-image as a thinker, painter, and older sister, Olivia determines who she thinks she ought to be.

Her baggy clothes and exhaustive calorie scrutiny can't cover up the fact that she is allowing her body to wither away.As Olivia encounters small town...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Moody Publishers
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Community Reviews

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Ashley
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
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.
Jennifer
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
Amanda
First of all, I liked the two sisters, Olivia and Callpher, in this novel. Their relationship was kind, adorable, and very typical of two sisters 10 years apart in age. The story mainly revolves around Olivia, who is 16. There were many different story lines including a move to a new town and high school, a new friendship, potential love interest, a struggle with religion, an eating disorder, a strained relationship with her parents, and exploring Olivia's new found love of art. These would all...more
Izlinda
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.
Kendra
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...more
Aayla
Oct 20, 2012 Aayla rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
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...more
Liralen
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...more
Tahlia
Feeling For Bones is supposed to be about anorexia, however, anorexia is a small fragment of the numerous unfinished stories running throughout this book. The majority of the book is about religion and NOT about anorexia. The author is a recovering anorexic yet the book reads more like a classic case study than a real story of a girl with anorexia. The reader does not learn the details of her disorder, only that she counts her food intake at her night and does like the way she looks. This is sim...more
ThisIsMyName Abby
This book took me so long to read, not because it was long (because it wasn't), but because it was so dull. The book basically centers on Olivia moving and what goes in life there. Now, I personally like books about "crazy" people (use Laurie Halse Anderson for reference), but this book was not exciting at all. I wasn't drawn in by the characters, I didn't like a single character in the whole entire book, and the events were so mundane.
Jamie
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
Anna
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
Victoria
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
Amanda Mecham
It was kind of intriguing learning about the way she felt about eating disorders. I liked the tie in about God as well. I think the author did a great job sharing someone's innocent faithful testimony. However there were a lot of different plots going on that just quickly came and went. I dunno.. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Louisa
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
Deb
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
Cecilya
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
Chloey
May 21, 2013 Chloey rated it 1 of 5 stars
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...more
Beth
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
Klaudyna Z.
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
Joy
Unexpected and annoying Christian overtones made this go from a 4 star to 2 star.
Debbie Noye
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
Alex
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
Sharon Mast
It was an OK book but probably wont read it again. It didn't seem to go anywhere and kind of boring.
Sara
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...more
Heather
This is the first fiction I've read about a Christian with an eating disorder, and I think the author does a good job of capturing the character's struggle: the guilt, the doubt, the whole if-you-were-a-good-Christian-you-wouldn't-be-like-this thing. I also really like the other characters and think they are well-developed. I didn't care much for the ending, which wrapped up a little too neatly and quickly in my opinion. Overall, a good one.



















Linsey
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
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.
Jessica Lynn
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
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.
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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
More about Bethany Pierce...
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“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.” 22 likes
“The torments of my mind and the source of my hell now fit into a prescribed form. They had always had a name.” 4 likes
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