Liralen's Reviews > Perk!: The Story of a Teenager with Bulimia

Perk! by Liza F. Hall
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Mar 17, 13

bookshelves: ed-etc, fiction, z-2011, reviewed, ya

If the narrator hadn't mentioned being a tenth grader, I would have pegged her as an eighth grader -- and that only because I was guessing middle school and thought wait, it says it's a teenager with bulimia... In any case, the age is off. Actually, "off" describes the whole book pretty well.

Timing: off. It's not clear how much time passes, which may be due to the author wanting to skip from "I just threw up for the first time" to "now I'm fully bulimic".

Characters: off. Well, not "off" so much as "completely one-dimensional". Also, plenty of characters who pop in just long enough to teach Perk a lesson, then pop back out and are never heard from again.

Resolution: off. There's the requisite sappy scene in which the character decides to recover, and then a let's-sum-it-up chapter in which she informs us that it had been a year since that decision and she'd only thrown up a couple of times (which now "made [her] feel really bad"). Her parents are magically nicer, and she suddenly has lots of support, a new best friend, and a new boyfriend.

Publishing: off. I'm not sure what happened when they edited and formatted this book; in several places sentences - or parts of sentences, or possibly entire pages - are missing. It's not hard to fill in the blanks, but it's distracting.

On the upside, it was short enough that not too much time was spent reading it... Oh, okay, I can be nicer than that. It's not that it's a poorly conceived book -- it's more that the author doesn't seem to have a great grip on the age/voice she was going for, and the editing was abysmal. There are much better books out there.
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