Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nothing Tastes as Good” as Want to Read:
Nothing Tastes as Good
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nothing Tastes as Good

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  675 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Don’t call her a guardian angel. Annabel is dead – but she hasn’t completely gone away. Annabel immediately understands why her first assignment as a ghostly helper is to her old classmate: Julia is fat. And being fat makes you unhappy. Simple, right?

As Annabel shadows Julia’s life in the pressured final year of school, Julia gradually lets Annabel’s voice in, guiding her
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 14th 2016 by Hot Key Books
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 Nothing Tastes as Good, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ellie It's not really that Julia's character being overweight is bad in itself but that it is revealed that she also has an unhealthy relationship with food…moreIt's not really that Julia's character being overweight is bad in itself but that it is revealed that she also has an unhealthy relationship with food. She starts binge eating, and I felt the book showed how that was a symptom of an emotional problem that needed help, not that her weight was a problem.

But the book is told by a narrator who would fat shame. So I completely understand that people might read a sample and jump to conclusions. It is uncomfortable reading in places. I'm not sure I would give to someone who was vulnerable regarding an eating disorder but I thought it was a good book which would generate plenty of discussion.

Note, I'm not defending the author's recent behaviour, just talking about the book in isolation.(less)
Lady Midnight by Cassandra ClareGlass Sword by Victoria AveyardHeartless by Marissa MeyerCrooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoThe Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
YA Novels of 2016
1,130 books — 9,721 voters
One by Sarah CrossanAsking For It by Louise O'NeillThe Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-DoyleOnly Ever Yours by Louise O'NeillThe Call by Peadar Ó Guilín
Irish YA
113 books — 34 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  675 ratings  ·  136 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Nothing Tastes as Good
Ruby Granger
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I've read a fair few books about anorexia and bulimia, but Hennessy's novel has an interesting twist. The novel is narrated by 17 year old Annabelle who has recently died as a result of her eating disorder, and who has now, in afterlife, been assigned to help one of her peers, Julia. Julia has struggled with binging for a year, and Annabelle, still sick, encourages her to lose weight.

The book deals with some really important issues (eating disorders, trauma, sexual abuse etc.) and there is ofte
May 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Couldn't get through first 50 pages
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**
Feb 08, 2018 marked it as not-gonna-happen-because-reasons

That's a NOPE from me! Fatphobic and glorifies eating disorders.
Regina Foo
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is so...good! A new realistic topic that could've neglected by some of us. Love the meaningful quotes, the humorous writing and I love the ending! Nothing Tastes As Good is the next phenomenon after All The Bright Places.

Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the distributor in exchange of my honest review.

Two things hit me in the gut, or would if I still had one. One: I know this girl. Two: She's fat. If I'm supposed to save her from obesity, this is really not funny.

These words are printed o
Karen Barber
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book has come in for some negative comments - claiming the author is upholding an anti-obesity message. Forgive me if I'm missing something that these readers have picked up on, but this is a story where the central character has died of anorexia. She is still in the grips of the illness, so of course her views towards fat are negative.
Annabel acts as a commentary on Julia's life. We can see there are issues, but we learn about them slowly. Through Annabel's voice we learn about the issues
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: School, pressure, eating-disorder, relationships, secrets.

This book is fantastically written, but it is so draining, so difficult, so demanding...

This book should absolutely come with trigger warnings.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
To be honest I really didn't enjoy this book. It wasn't written very well and even though I loved the idea of a young adult novel dealing with eating disorders and I think there should he more like that. But this novel was poorly executed and I struggled to finish it.
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
. Why I really liked reading this story is that Claire Hennessy has came up with a refreshing idea to write a novel about a guardian angel.
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
This was an okay read about a girl who has been recruited, after her death, to help the living.

Annabel was a bit of a messed-up narrator and really loved to fat-shame, which got a bit tedious at times. She did grow by the end of the book, though, which was a relief. Julia was okay, but she needed to stand up for herself a bit more, especially with her horrible, toxic friend.

The story centered around Annabel berating Julia for eating too much and being overweight, and Julia's life at school which
Laly Villablanca
Mar 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
I did not like the execution of the story and the treatment of certain topics. It wasn't as difficult to read as I expected from the shitty title (which has horrible connotations as is) but I did have to stop and breath in and out a couple of times to stop feeling dirty. As an approach to teenagers and ED I do think the book could be triggering, and the end didn't reply redeem its faults in my eyes.
The story could've been better executed.
When Annabel is assigned to help her old classmate Julia, she agrees as it is her only chance to get a last message through to her family - because Annabel is a ghost. She knows how to 'fix' Julia too - after all, if she is overweight, Annabel knows all the tips and tricks to stop yourself from eating...but who is really helping who?

A smart, thought-provoking and moving tale.

Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it
RTC. Jarring, good but yeah...different
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews.

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for providing a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Nothing Tastes As Good was a very confronting but important read about body image and confidence. I was a little bit tentative going into the story but ultimately, it blew me away. However, there were a couple of things that held me back from giving it a higher rating and I’m going to get into those now.

Trigger warning for
A Colleen Jones
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but I am so glad I read it. I didn’t like dearly-departed Annabel much at the start of the story, but as things were revealed, I started to understand her. As she gained her own insights, she became much more sympathetic. I think her story arc was very tricky to write, and Claire has managed it every effectively. I like that Annabel is able to dip into the thoughts, feelings, and memories of various characters to some degree without revealing everythin ...more
I connected with this book, as I could see a lot of myself in Julia.
I feel for her and also try to smother my emotions with food.
Annabel was a difficult narrator to read, and it became clear why after a few chapters. Once I adjusted my mindset to see the struggles that Annabel faced - her own issues with food - I really got into this book. It was well-written, with realistic reactions and shows an understanding of the topics, while still telling a relatable and intriguing story.
One thing that
Rosanna Threakall
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sent-for-review
Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy!

This book is amazing and focuses on food, friends, family and your lasting legacy.

Definitely recommend you pick it up!

Full review will be here soon:

Ellen Brickley
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. A great voice, excellent, human, flawed, lovely (some awful) characters, insightful, innovative, rocking.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was really well written and I think it portrayed the mentality of someone with body image issues very well. Really enjoyable
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: disability, ya
Claire Hennessy pulls off a really interesting narrative trick in this book. It's told in first person from the perspective of a ghost, Annabelle, who is haunting her former classmate, Julia. The really interesting part is that Annabelle, being a ghost, has the ability to read the thoughts of those around her: so not only does she know what Julia is thinking, but also her classmates and parents. This sounds needlessly complex, but Hennessy makes it work. The narration feels effortless and authen ...more
Frances Wilde
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is literally stunning- a stand out dialogue of Irish mental health, the education system and coming of age. The very existence of 'Annabel''s narrative makes us question if she is the 'ana' of 'pro-ana' blog posts or if she is the innocent child she should have been.
I do wish the book had acknowledged the difficulty of recovering from an eating disorder mind set, because even slight tendencies related to a phobia of food or body image can take time and effort to shift.
But, ending asi
I can see why people have negative reactions to this book. But I think that it is very well done. Yes, it seems as though it is 'fat shaming' and 'glorifying eating disorders', but it is not really doing that. If you have ever had a real eating disorder, then you will reckonise this narrator's talk quite well. This is what its like to have that ed voice in your head (although this is a pretty light example). Its a positive outlook at the end and I think those who did not read until the end, gave ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favourites
I was so excited for this book and as usual with Claire's books, it exceeded my expectations. I haven't the words to do it justice but the writing really lets you get into the mind and world of eating disorders. The developments along the way and just everything was so perfect. I actually cried at the end. I wish everyone could read this. Well done Claire Hennessy, can't wait for the next!
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a quite harrowing, and very realistic, insight into the world of someone suffering with an eating disorder. I don't think there's many of us who don't have our own Annabel inside.

For a full review, please visit PrettyPurplePolkaDots
Stef White
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Being a bigger person I related with this book, I know the bad connection you can have with food and how hard it is to break it.
I liked that this book promotes that and does it in a good way.
I really enjoyed the character development and the story development :) it was just a stunning read.
Definitely a recommend read.
Jenna (collectorof-words)
Apr 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is such a harmful book. I have pages and pages of notes as to why this is harmful, which I will type up at some point.
If you suffer with an ed, or have suffered from one, or just are a decent human being, do not read this book. I've been in a state of depression since I read this a few weeks ago. I thought I was OK to read it, but I wasn't. Do not risk your health by reading it.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, mental-health
Another 5 star! Either I'm going soft, or I keep picking really good recs. (In this case, I think the latter).
Potential Carnegie nom??
Eve beinguniquebooks
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Julia is a girl affected by her past, Annabel is the voice urging her on into disordered eating, a voice of a girl who died due to her anorexia.

In order to get a message home from beyond the grave, Annabel must help Julia to become happy believing Julia is stressed and sad because of her pressure she puts on herself to be perfect, flawless in her future career as a journalist and run the school newspaper efficiently.

However as deeper issues surrounding an older man come to light, broken friendsh
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
It's predictable. But the feeling rollercoaster is real.
Eleanor Luhar
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I happened to see this book by chance, in my local library. I was drawn to it because it's cover, it's title - I'm anorexic, and I happen to be drawn to things relating to mental health. It doesn't expressly say on it that it's about anorexia, but the cover made it pretty obvious to me. A warning to anyone that wants to read it: it's hard. If you suffer from something like this, like me, then you will probably have difficulty reading something so close to home. Especially if you're recovering. B ...more
Catalina Gavril
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I particularly liked the way Claire manages to make her characters sound like real teenagers and not simply what an adult thinks teenagers sound like. The plot is interesting and the guardian angel/spirit idea is cute.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Thousand Perfect Notes
  • Orangeboy
  • Meat Market
  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
  • Paperweight
  • Countless
  • The Weight of a Thousand Feathers
  • Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite
  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart
  • Goblins Wear Suits (The Magical Beings' Rehabilitation Center, #2)
  • Lies Like Poison
  • Vampires Drink Tomato Juice (Magical Beings' Rehabilitation Center, #1)
  • Toffee
  • The 13th Witch (The King's Watch, #1)
  • The Paper & Hearts Society (The Paper & Hearts Society #1)
  • The Places I've Cried in Public
  • Cinderella Is Dead
  • Believarexic
See similar books…
** mostly not here - if you need to get in touch, website is best! **


Writer, reader, reviewer, creative writing facilitator, editor.

News & Interviews

Ashley Poston made her name with Once Upon a Con, a contemporary series set in the world of fandom, and her two-part space opera, Heart of...
44 likes · 7 comments
“I don't think you should shape yourself for a boy, or anyone else. I didn't. You need to know deep down, in your own truest self, that you are more powerful when you're not lugging around all that flab. You are in control. You are strong. You are glorious.” 6 likes
“I think people can be very nice and charming without being decent human beings.” 2 likes
More quotes…