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Sad Perfect

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,380 ratings  ·  345 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Pea looks normal, but she has a secret: she has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It is like having a monster inside of her, one that not only dictates what she can eat, but also causes anxiety, depression, and thoughts that she doesn’t want to have. When she falls crazy-mad in love with Ben, she hides her disorder from him, pretending tha ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
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Stephanie Elliot Hi, thank you for this question. This is Stephanie Elliot, the author. My daughter has ARFID. She was in a 20-week intense outpatient therapy program …moreHi, thank you for this question. This is Stephanie Elliot, the author. My daughter has ARFID. She was in a 20-week intense outpatient therapy program when I wrote Sad Perfect. You can read more about our ARFID awareness program on our website, and my daughter's personal struggles. She is almost 18 and very open about sharing her experience, and she gave me permission to write about her. While Sad Perfect, the story is fiction, everything about the disorder in the book is true. Please contact me on our ARFID website if you have questions directly related to her treatment! Be well!
Conan I have read this book, and no, it will not scar you emotionally. It's a book written in the second person perspective about a girl with ARFID and how …moreI have read this book, and no, it will not scar you emotionally. It's a book written in the second person perspective about a girl with ARFID and how she feels a monster inside her controlling every aspect of her life, ruining her relationship with her family and her boyfriend, but then overcomes it with the help of her boyfriend, Ben, her family, and her therapist Shayna. Here's a warning however-this book is so sad it might make you cry. I actually cried while I was reading this book. That's how you know it's a good book.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,380 ratings  ·  345 reviews

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Emma Giordano
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Update: I just wanted to place this review at the top of mind to let you all know that another reviewer was very harmed by the rep in this book. I think it's important that while I'll continue to love this book and what it's done for me, I give you guys the opportunity to view someone else's experience (but spoiler warning for this review). So if you'd like to see how this book affected someone the complete opposite way it affected me, I encourage you to read this review before making a decision ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Ahhh disappointment, my old friend, it's nice to see you. It's been awhile.

For a more detailed and better explanation about how problematic this book is, feel free to read this review

Warning: I get incredibly personal in this review and I apologize in advance for it. I'm not usually this personal. I do talking about some stuff that I'm not usually open to sharing. Because's it hard for me to share as many people struggle to comprehend the way my brain works. Now, I'm used to people judgin
Mar 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that should not be read by those who currently have or have had an eating disorder (ED). It's not just that the depiction of those who have EDs is bad, it's that the depiction is legitimately dangerous to those of us who do/have had an ED.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT put this book into the hands of anyone who has a history of an ED. And please, for the love of god, read the following review before posting one of your own for this book (positive, or negative).
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Pea is a sixteen year old girl who struggles with the eating disorder ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder). Her illness makes her avoid certain foods limiting her socialization with friends. She meets a boy named Ben but fears he will reject her once he discovers her secret. Her last boyfriend couldn't handle her illness and this hurt her emotionally.

After a few weeks with Ben, Pea starts to feel happier and decides to go off of her anxiety medication. She does this without notifyi
There are readers, particularly those who have dealt with eating disorders (specifically anorexia and bulimia), who find this book triggering. So please be warned and take care of yourself.

I really, really wanted to like Sad Perfect, but unfortunately, it just… didn’t work for me. I had high hopes, and now that I see that this book pretty much only has 5-star reviews, I think I’m going to be a black sheep.

I am glad I read the book, because I honestly didn’t even know ARFID existed, and now I kno
I read about 50 pages into this book (~15%) and stumbled upon a disturbing review about it, as well as the possible effects it would have on potential readers. With that, I'm not wasting anymore time on this harmful, damaging book.

I originally requested this because it seemed like a hopeful story of a mental illness that is newly discovered, offering insight on eating disorders and how to get treatment. From my reading experience, the narrator - using a second person POV - is talking about girl-
*Trigger warning*

What I love about this website and the book community, in general, is being able to learn more from others. I want to thank a commenter who explain how she disagreed with me. How she felt this was cliche and hatred towards other types of EDs. I can see where she is coming from and wanted to express her thoughts see I think it's important ESPECIALLY for a book about a Mental Illness to see all different types of reviews. I still stand by majority of what I said but if some people
Olyvia Moriarty
Feb 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Holy god this book is awful. I'm gonna try to sleep on it to write a review that isn't just angry yelling, but I can't make any promises.

This review was originally published on the blog

A couple disclaimers before I get started. Jessica originally agreed to write an honest review of this book in exchange for an advanced copy. As someone in recovery for ED, she jumped on the chance to review a new book with positive representation, especially about a rela
Mary Kubica
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Elliot's raw YA debut, SAD PERFECT, tells the story of a high school girl with ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), one which impacts every aspect of her life - from her association with food to her relationships with family and friends. Pea is quite convinced a monster lives inside her, and keeping the monster content is her mission in life. Elliot's graphic and realistic portrayal of a young girl struggling with an eating disorder - as well as depression and anxiety - w ...more
Taylor B.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm giving this book a one star rating because it was in fact a book and I wasn't bamboozled by the publisher. However, I was hit in the face with one of the most callous and inexcusable depictions of EDs from someone who should have known better that I have come across in a long time. Not only were depictions of EDs in this book inaccurate, but some of them were actually dangerous. The fellow anorexic that wrote the review I have linked down below summed it up better than I have the spoons to d ...more
Carrie (The Butterfly Reader)
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: may-2017
Pea doesn't have an easy life. Her family is very dysfunctional and she's struggling with an eating disorder and all that comes with it. Depression, anxiety, and she even dabbles in self harm. I'd never even heard of her eating disorder until this book. Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is something rather newly named, most people just call them picky eaters.

Here is what Wikipedia says about it: Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), also previously known as selective eating
Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink*
I will never read this book and I want to explain why. Hopefully someone else can benefit from me explaining my reasoning.

I have an eating disorder. I've been fighting against anorexia for years. I read another review, read the quotes from the book, and I have never been so close to tears over someone else's review.

This book is potentially extremely dangerous for people with eating disorders. It maligns people with anorexia and bulimia. It reinforces the catastrophic thoughts that encourage ED
Sep 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
Note: I have ARFID, have self-harmed, and have been locked up in a mental ward against my will.

Trigger warnings for this book (review is safe): anorexia, bulimia, vomiting, self-harm, suicide, mental hospitals

Man, I am so disappointed. When I first heard that there was going to be a book about ARFID, I was so excited. Not just so I could finally see this side of myself in a book, but also because other people would learn about ARFID. Maybe I was naive, but I was hoping for some good representati
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
"Sad Perfect" takes exactly after its title. This book is both sad and perfect yet ends on a high note, leaving readers with a sigh full of contentment and a hint of something good on the horizon for these wonderful characters.

Sad Perfect is about a girl, Pea, who has an eating disorder called Avoidance/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (AFRID). Stephanie Elliot did a tremendous job informing the reader of the disorder and helping us understand it. So often in society there is such a stigma behin
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
1.5 Stars

Pea has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), a lesser known known eating disorder. She meets Ben, falls immediately in love and stops taking her meds, before embracing recovery.

I really wanted to like SAD PERFECT. Mental health books are wonderful resources to help teenagers understand themselves and others. Bibliotherapy can help teens (and adults) recognize problems and give them avenues to seek help, SAD PERFECT may be the first book written about ARFID which m
S.M. Parker
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Holy hell, this book broke me in the best way. This is a raw, visceral look at one teen's struggle with a newly classified eating disorder and her path to finding self acceptance. Told in the second person, Sad Perfect is a masterpiece of craft. I felt like I was holding my breath throughout the entire book and I wasn't sorry for a second. Highly recommend! ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of SAD PERFECT in exchange for an honest review.
In Stephanie Elliot's impressive YA debut, we meet Pea, a 16-year-old high school student who struggles with ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), a complex and often confusing eating disorder. Pea is unable to tolerate the taste, feel, and smell of most foods, which makes eating a constant challenge. In fact, Pea feels as if there's a "monster" living inside her; a monster that controls her every
Ruth Lehrer
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-debuts
I was lucky enough to receive a free ARC of this 2017 YA novel.
Such a touching, honest book! It is worth reading just for the skillful and unexpected use of a second person narrator alone. It allowed me to live more fully in the life of the main character. Despite the heavy topic, this book was a fast read. I’m sure this is going to be an important book for teenagers who have this eating disorder which many people are not aware of. I am looking forward to anything Stephanie Eliot writes next.
Lisa Steinke
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Elliot has written a fabulous debut! From the unique premise to the complex characters, this novel hooked me from page one. I could not put it down! If you love YA or even if you've never read a young adult novel, you will definitely adore this book. I absolutely loved it. Bravo, Stephanie! ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this beautiful book in one sitting. Told in a unique second person perspective, Pea's story put me through a wringer of emotions. I smiled (Ben, hello), I cried, I raged for Pea. This is a tough subject, but handled so perfectly by the author. Well done. ...more
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, physical-2016
If I could give this book all of the stars in the sky, it still might not be enough. I have so much love for this story and this author. Pea's story is lovingly and brilliantly told. I want everyone to read this book. I think everyone should read this book. Please, promise me that you are going to read this book.

Full review can be found here:

I count myself fortunate to read this book as part of the author’s ARC tour. This book caught me off guard for seve
Jeff Giles
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
SUCH a moving novel with SUCH a loud, beating heart. Stephanie Elliot's debut YA novel is about a 16-year-old girl named Pea, who's life is ruled by "the monster" inside her. The monster is a rare eating disorder, called ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), which makes it hard for Pea to stand the sight of most foods, let alone eat them. Even when Pea meets an amazingly kind, supportive boy named Ben, the disorder undermines and devastates her at every turn. Her family is loving, s ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I definitely knew Stephanie Elliot comes from experience in writing this book and I'm grateful for the knowledge of this new eating disorder that I hadn't heard of. A must read for any young person who struggles with fitting in or relating to their family or anxiety or depression. A quick and important read that opened my eyes with fiction to this new disorder. I look forward to another book by her. ...more
Sundara Gandhi
Rating: 4 stars


Genre: YA/Eating disorder/Anxiety/Depression

Being one of my anticipated releases of 2017, I personally loved this book becau
Karen Fortunati
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've been sitting on this review for almost a week, processing the whirlwind of emotions SAD PERFECT caused in me. This book is profound, moving, important, and beautiful. The second person narrative knocked my socks off. I've never loved second person, so I was nervous going into this, but I was wrong to be. Experiencing everything as Pea absolutely made the book. It was a unique, ingenious way to remove the distance that a book about an unknown eating disorder could normally cause. Instead, I ...more
Heather Hughes
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a book like this before. It's always either in the first person or third person. I was afraid that the second person would throw me off, but it was smooth sailing. It felt like Stephanie was just writing a long letter to her daughter, who suffers from the same eating disorder as Pea.

Eating disorders are nothing to joke about. It isn't just anorexia or bulimia or binge eating. Apparently there are others out there. Pea has one of them. She is a picky eater, but it goes much deep
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Elliot's SAD PERFECT was... well, sad and perfect. I loved this story, which takes us deep into the psyche of a nameless girl (who her father calls Pea) and right into the heart of her struggle with food and how it affects literally every aspect of her life. I wouldn't go so far as to say I have ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), but I have some food avoidance issues of my own, so I deeply related to Pea's social problems. I often have worries about food in the back of ...more
Marci Curtis
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully raw and haunting. Absolutely brilliant.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
3* (Surprisingly the best part of the book is that it's written in 2nd person pov. That's fun.)
This book is really stupid, but I enjoyed it more than the other 2 star books so it gets a 3.

The stupidity... I can't even. The main character's an asshole. She hates popular people and calls them sluts. She hates on the other girls in therapy who have a different eating disorders than her while they comforting her. A mental institution she is sent to is made out to be a terrible place with terrible au
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