Sheree's Reviews > Dancing With Ana

Dancing With Ana by Nicole Barker
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's review
Sep 10, 09

bookshelves: own, young-adult, read-in-2009, reviews
Recommended for: teens
Read in September, 2009

4.5 stars

Dancing With Ana is a touching read told from the heart with a teen voice.

Beth, Rachel, Melanie and Jenny have been best friends since they were little. These normal, very real girls from varying backgrounds struggle with real issues that affect many teens today. They aren't just characters in a book, they could very well be the girls next door. This story is about friendship, not just the girls' friendship but the friendship between Beth and Jeremy which is blossoming into first love. It's about the strength and support of friendship providing a safe harbour from despair.

A gorgeous, popular and thin girl at school becomes the catalyst for the four friends to make a pact to lose weight with an extreme diet. What starts off as just a few pounds, turns into an obsession for Beth and quickly becomes a destructive way for her to gain some control in her emotionally out-of-control life. And so begins the dance with anorexia; not someone in the unrelenting grip of the disease, devoured by the illness but someone who could go either way.

I think Nicole Barker does a wonderful job of capturing youthful essence in this novel. The emotional cost for children of divorce was sensitively and insightfully written and having been through divorce and having teens myself I thought the problems, emotions and actions of the characters were portrayed with honesty & believability.

A little book with important subject matter, sensitively written.
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