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The Pain Eater

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  740 ratings  ·  164 reviews
She hadn’t told anyone. Not a single soul. Not one word about that night and what had been done to her had ever passed Maddy Malone’s lips. She’d thought about it at first - had been desperate, even frantic, to tell. But then had come the shame, and the intimidation from the boys who raped her - and the one who held her down.

Now it’s the beginning of a new school year and
Paperback, 236 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Second Story Press
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Melinda Yes, it's both the story of 15-year-old Maddy and the story of 15-year-old pain eater Farang. Told through the eyes of Maddy's classmates, "The Pain…moreYes, it's both the story of 15-year-old Maddy and the story of 15-year-old pain eater Farang. Told through the eyes of Maddy's classmates, "The Pain Eater" collective novel showcases the different ways her peers view — and treat — Farang, while the larger novel explores the relationship between Maddy and Farang.(less)

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Emily May
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
“This novel is called The Pain Eater,” said Kara. “In the hills of Faraway, there lived a tribe that had a tradition. Once in each generation, they chose a child who had to carry the pain of everyone in the tribe. They called this child ‘the pain eater.’”

Warning: both the book and this review contain discussion about rape.

Goobie's The Pain Eater is about fifteen-year-old Maddy Malone who was raped one evening by three boys from her school, held down by another, while a fifth boy stood by and di
Yon Nyan (BiblioNyan)
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
“How had she gotten to this place of twisted self-hatred? She hadn’t done anything wrong. She hadn’t attacked and hurt someone else. So why was she being punished in this way—shut out of ordinary human activity, all those normal parts of life like smiling, conversation, hellos and how are yous?”

The Pain Eater by Beth Goobie was such a difficult book for me to read. As a survivor of rape, the triggers were at times quite overwhelming. I remember when there was a period in my life where I never would
Lauren Lanzilotta
3.5 stars

“She was just a smudge of nothingness these days- a blur of silence that everyone ignored.”

The Pain eater follows a girl named Maddy Malone, who at the age of fourteen was raped by a group of boys from her school. She hasn’t told a single person about what happened, hoping to sink into the background and go about school unnoticed. That is until Maddy’s English teacher assigns a group novel-writing project. She thinks that reading her chapter to the class might be enough to reveal the/>
Karen Barber
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
The book opens with the rape of fourteen year old Maddy by three of her schoolmates. She tells nobody.
One year later, Maddy's pain is too much to bear. She burns herself in an attempt to cope with how bad she feels. She is used to keeping her head down and being invisible. Over the year since the attack, Maddy has worked out the identities of her attackers and things come to a head when she finds herself in English class with two of them.
The class are set an intriguing task-a collabo
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Holy. Shit. This book... I will write my review as soon as I have processed what I just read. What I will say though is 1. Tears 2. Important.

Okay, actual review:

*Thanks NetGalley for an ARC of this book, however, all opinions are my own*

This book opens up as Maddy Malone is getting gang raped. This is the prologue. So, obvious trigger warnings for rape but also self-harm.

Maddy Malone is fifteen years old when part of her soul is stolen from her. S
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was worried about reading this due to the subject matter, but I'd heard it was good, so I gave it a shot and I'm happy I did. The juxtaposition of the "Pain Eater" story with Maddy's life was powerful and fascinating. To me, it showed how fiction can sometimes convey truth of emotion better than nonfiction. Small spoiler, I would have liked an epilogue to find out what happened with the case, but the ending worked because you got the feeling that no matter what happened, Maddy was going to be ...more
Read InAGarden
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Maddie was gang raped after a play last school year, she didn't tell anyone and now that the new school year has begun she's not faring well. She's internalized her pain and has begun abusing herself. She has figured out 3 of the boys who raped her and is startled to find that one is in her English class. As the semester progresses, her English teacher assigns a collectively written story with each student supplying a short chapter. What Maddie begins to realize is that some of her classmates se ...more
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
I received this ARC from NetGalley one exchange for my honest review.

I am going to be the black sheep here. Everyone else seemed to love this book and I'm sorry, but I just didn't.

Maddy is gang raped one night after a school play. Five boys are involved; three boys rape her, one holds her down and one watches from afar. For a book about a girl who is raped, I just didn't feel much in terms of emotion. Maybe the fact that I have read so many books on the subject has ruined me. But I
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Because I'm not eating your pain anymore. And I'm not eating my silence anymore, either. Silence is a poison and it's not a good poison."

Wow just wow...

My sister mentioned this book to me and I'm so glad I decided to read it. This was such a moving story and I loved it so fucking much.

Beth Goobie tells the story of fifteen-year-old Maddy Malone who was gang raped by a group of boys. It talks about her struggles to speak up about what happened and her shame associated with the
Joana Bookneeders
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions, are as always, my own.*


That pretty much describes everything I have to say about this book.

I never go much for this type of books because they make me a bit uncomfortable. But this book was incredibly amazing! It was emotionally a heavy read. But it was so realistic, so powerful, so sad and mos
Nicole Hewitt
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book is an incredibly painful read because of the traumatic events that Maddy has lived through (and continues to relive). Maddy has become a shell of herself ever since she was raped—she barely speaks, never makes eye contact, and causes herself physical pain in order to block out the emotional turmoil she’s constantly experiencing. She’s tried so hard to forget—but she can’t.

The book follows Maddy’s
Aug 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hated-it, 1-star

There is no word strong enough for how much I hate this book.

My school happened to pick this book for me to annotate it for my AP English program. Failure to do so would have resulted in immediate removal of the program. Like the good student I am, I annotated it. It took me so long because I procrastinated it. I did everything in my power to get out of doing it so I could just not read this book. In the end, I had to, but that's not the point.
Bookworm LLC
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cindy-bookshelf
WOW! Talk about intense. This book is a story within a story. Once you start reading it you will understand what I mean.
The Pain Eater is a story about a young girl named Maddy who has her innocence taken away and feels she has to stay quiet and try to let it go. However, the people responsible will not let her forget.
She struggles through her young life trying to come to terms with her feelings and wondering if she will EVER be the same again.
Then something amazing happens........t
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
"You make someone else eat your pain (...). You kick the dog or pick on your little brother, and then you feel better. Why is that? How can hurting someone else take away your own hurt?"

14-year old Maddie is raped by 3 boys from her school. The fourth one is holding her and the fifth one just watches. That's the very beginning of the book. For months she doesn't say anything. She withdrew from life. With the beginnig of a new school year she's being harassed by the boys who raped her. At the same ti
Dynah Thirst
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book got to me. The way the story is interwoven with the story the English class is writing is very effective. The descriptions of Maddy's panic makes you feel like you're right there with her, as does the descriptions of the relief she feels when she starts to be able to talk to people about what happened. This book should become required reading in junior high schools.
Lisa Mandina
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I know that a vague ending is best, and it is basically what Maddy did for her story, even though there is nothing more I want to read than that group getting what they deserve. Wonderful story. Emotional. Sitting at my desk at work with tears in my eyes with the last chapters finished.

You can read my full review on Lisa Loves Literature HERE.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I received a free e-copy of THE PAIN EATER from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


One Word: empowering

After Maddy is gang raped by several classmates, she withdraws into herself, fearful and depressed. She said tells no one. Two of the assailants are in her English class, where students are writing a progressive novel, each writing a chapter. The story is an allegory of a fifteen-year-old girl known as the Pain Eater in her ancient, mythical
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Second Story Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of The Pain Eater, in exchange for an honest review.

When 14 year old Maddy Malone was savagely attacked by some fellow high school students while on the way home, her efforts to stop her inner pain almost resulted in self destruction. After months of self inflicted pain, Maddy begins to realize how to take her life back.

At the beginning, I was skeptical that The Pain Eater would be unique enough to be me
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Spur-of-the-moment, the act sucked up the boys’ attention like a supernatural vortex, leaving no thought, no consciousness for anything but their own crazed heat until they found themselves running, still masked and hooting, down the avenue, away from the copse and the still, slender body lying among the aspen."

This book was amazing and original. Despite the horrible undertones, I found myself reading rapidly to soak in this unique, straightforward narrative. The messages the author
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A powerful, well-written book. Maddy struggles to cope with what happened to her - keep quiet, or tell? Avoid them completely, or face them? To cope, Maddy turns to art and self-harm. I enjoyed the story of Farang, The Pain Eater and the parallels between Farang and Maddy as the story goes on.

May be triggering for some readers.

Thanks to NetGalley and Second Story Press for the ARC.
Talia Duty
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good. It is about a girl her name was Maddy one night she was walking home from the play she was in, she was walking and all of the sudden there were 4 guys holding her down and another standing at a distance. She didn't know who the men were because they had a mask on so she began to figure out who they were by the voices. She began to start being really depressed and gloomy her parents were worried and tried to send her to see a psychist but she told them she wasn't crazy ...more
“How had she gotten to this place of twisted self-hatred? She hadn’t done anything wrong. She hadn’t attacked and hurt someone else. So why was she being punished in this way—shut out of ordinary human activity, all those normal parts of life like smiling, conversation, hellos and how are yous?”

I simultaneously have nothing and everything to say about The Pain Eater. I finished it last night and I am still finding myself going back and flipping through it. Starting with the dedication which reads..
Pages For Thoughts
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is very rare to encounter two stories in one. Both Maddy's story and Farang's story were amazing, and I would read Farang's story even if it was just a book on its own! The parallelism and juxtaposition were extraordinary, and it really showed through. It is very obvious as the story goes on and the two worlds collide. Farang's life is basically a huge metaphor for Maddy, and I have never read anything quite like it! I was disappointed that the teacher did not do much to help. Sure, Ms. Mousu ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF’d at 36%

I just... couldn’t care.

About the main character.

About her family.

About the class novel this story is written around.

In fact, I think that’s what really killed any motivation to continue, is the class “novel” that Maddy’s English teacher is forcing them to do, and the drama that was starting to crop up around that, involving the girl who wrote the first chapter and the popular bitch trying to “ruin” it because... I don’t even know why,
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't often write reviews here; I just keep track of the books I read and how much I enjoyed them, but for The Pain Eater, I need to say something.

Wow. That is all I can really say. While I do get into books, it has been a long, long time since knots of anxiety of formed in my stomach while reading. This book was difficult to read, but so, so good.
kenzie ✰
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Didn’t mind this book; one of the characters bugged me. For example, I feel like David had the potential to be a good guy and maybe turn into a good character but nothing ever happened there. I am also not satisfied with the ending. The plot was good though, but it seemed a bit repetitive to me.
Millie Cross
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good and I finished it in like 3 days. It kept me really interested throughout the entire thing and I'm really glad that I found it and started to read it. There's some sensitive parts in this book but overall, it's really good and emotional.
Stranger Unidentified
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
An adventure truly
Rachel Prince
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The latter half of the novel was so powerful it brought me to tears a few times. Reminded me a lot of Speak, but some parts were even better.
Nicole Monk
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-realistic, ya
It is an incredibly hard book to read, but it was well done.
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Beth Goobie is best known for her quirky and dark young adult novels. She's published several of them, beginning in 1994. Her novel Before Wings won the Canadian Library Association's Young Adult Book Award in 2000, and was chosen by young readers for the Best Books list of the American Library Association.Much of the turmoil in Goobie's life has been laid bare in two books for adult readers, Scar ...more
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“I don’t know about you and your brother. I don’t give a shit about your goddamn brother. That’s your problem, and I’m not eating your pain.” 0 likes
“The groans did not frighten her. As she watched, her heart thudded slow and steady; she felt something dark and unnamed shift deep within herself. That inner shifting and what she'd drawn on the wall seemed to go together; Maddy could feel the formlessness inside herself reaching out toward the wall, as if wanting to connect. She thought of Rhonda Hinkle standing before the class and proclaiming "I can!" She thought of David, his head down, saying, "Just an average, ordinary kid. A watcher and a knower." Well, that was what she was too - an average, ordinary kid now staring at some kind of knowing... a knowing that was undefined, something inside herself that wanted out.
I can, Maddy thought.”
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