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Nothing

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  472 ratings  ·  68 reviews
"Sometimes trees can look healthy on the outside, but actually be dying inside. These trees fall unexpectedly during a storm." For high school senior Parker Rabinowitz, anything less than success is a failure. A dropped extracurricular, a C on a calc quiz, a non-Jewish shiksa girlfriend--one misstep, and his meticulously constructed life splinters and collapses. The countd ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published August 8th 2008 by Flux (first published August 1st 2008)
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  472 ratings  ·  68 reviews


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Steph (Reviewer X)
Jun 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
The only reason I even bothered finishing this is because I have to review it for Book Divas. Had that not been the case, well, I can pretty much guarantee you I'd have stopped reading this after the first ten pages. If I even made it to that.

Let's start with the main character, Parker, who was so groundbreakingly annoying and one dimensional, I couldn't figure out how anyone in their right mind could bear write about him, much less work consistently with him until the book was accepted for publ
...more
Evrim Akman
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. I could not put it down. I can not say in words how much I loved this book. I would also like to say, you can feel how the character and his sister go through the journey. I would recommend this book to everyone!
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marie Robinson for TeensReadToo.com

It is a rare occurrence for me to read a book all the way through in one sitting, yet that is exactly what happened with NOTHING. I could not put it down.

It is the story of a high school senior struggling with bulimia. What makes this story unique is that the bulimic student is a boy. As he struggles with his illness, his younger sister struggles with her own feelings of inadequacy. It's tough for her to be the kid sister of a shining star. Both Pa
...more
Steven
Apr 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
That has to be the shortest yet most descriptive title of any of the books I've reviewed to date. I was drawn to this novel because it's out of the ordinary. It tells a, fictional, story about an adolescent boys struggle with bulimia. Although the story is fictional, the facts are not. Males can suffer with eating disorders whether it be bulimi, anorexia or overeating. Robin combined a great amount of real things teens suffer with namely sibling rivalry, college, first love, and of course the ea ...more
Camila Falcon
The book: Nothing by Robin Friedman is about a young Jewish man in high school that is stressing about going to HYP (Harvard, Yale, Princeton) he's a very talented, goal driven man with the motivation from his father yet, whenever he undergoes pressure he has to binge food, and then purge the food out. This is called bulimia, and even though mostly females suffer from this, 1 out of 4 people who suffer from bulimia is male. The reason he is bulimic is that he thinks he is overweight. He's very i ...more
Katherine (DarlingBibliophile)
I picked this up at the Thrift Store without even knowing what it was about. Turns out it was a really short story about a male with an Eating Disorder (Bulimia Nervosa to be specific). I've never read a story with a male suffering from an ED, but it happens and I think it should be written about more.

Males suffer from mental illnesses as well. They're less likely to seek help as well, simply because they're kind of ignored in regards to mental health. Having more media addressing males with po
...more
Khepre
Jun 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Light Spoliers ahead

This book was a mess. The writing style was weird and didn't feel fitting for a novel dealing with tough subjects like eating disorders. The novel had a piss poor ending. No character growth at all. Very lifetime and Disney in the sense that it was very predictable at times. I will give the author credit for making the boy have an eating disorder instead of the typical teenage girl .
Trina Collins
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: twenty-eighteen
Honestly I chose this book to read because I needed a book starting with N for a reading challenge. I did not expect it to be as good as it is or to have as powerful of a lesson to it.
Alex LaCrosse
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was walking through the Sheboygan Falls High School's library looking for books but none were grabbing my attention. All the fonts were ones I've seen frequently used. The colors were blah and boring. Also the titles were unentertaining. With extraordinary irony the first book that caught my attention was titled Nothing. The first thing that came to mind was someone saying "What book are you reading?" and me responding "nothing." without being secretive or ignoring the person. The book was whi ...more
Vic
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i gave this book five stars not because i liked it, but because the main characters struggles were relatable to me. i found it to be an accurate mindset.
Lyv
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
The ending made me angry.
Kendell M
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really puts things into perspective for both characters involved. It gives you a chance to see how quickly things can become out of control.
Amy
Apr 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-issues
The main char is a teen (Jewish) guy who struggles with bulimia and meeting his own and parents' high expectations. Friedman does the issue justice. This is an important book because the idea that a male may struggle with an eating disorder isn't as readily discussed -- it's not just a girl thing, after all. I also learned a lot about the Jewish culture (the pressure to succeed, etc, that I knew existed but never read a story depicting it). The male voice is believable -- insecure and fragile un ...more
124hannah
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
While I really enjoyed this book because it raises awareness about insecurities and health problems in men- I also could have done without it. My reason being that almost all of the characters in this book were annoying. Parker-the main charcter- is, although insecure and going through some real stress and tough times, rather self-centered. I don't want to sound heartless or like I have no concious, but in the book he has a girl madly in-love and head-over-heels for him... but doesn't have the n ...more
Sally Kruger
Life should be perfect for Parker, but sometimes he thinks that might be the problem. He tries to be perfect - the perfect student, the perfect son, the perfect athlete. If he is perfect, he will get into HYP, that is Harvard or Yale or Princeton. That's what everyone expects.

To feel he is in control, Parker has developed bulimia. There is a certain sense of power when he binges and purges. It started by accident after one incredible Thanksgiving dinner, but when he realized it would allow him t
...more
Ann Marie
Dec 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I may be just a little generous with three stars...2 1/2 would be my preferred choice...I truly disliked this book for the first 1/2...I felt the author was pushing the "Jewish" a bit to much...fact is 90 % of the teenage population feels pressure...and many of this group have way to many barrels on their carts...but the author seemed (to me) to want you to believe that being Jewish added to the plight...once she got over herself though the book took a turn and came out very well...Parker is a t ...more
Emily
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-mental-health
This book addressed a very sad problem that teenagers all over the world deal with every day. Parker is a Jewish high school teenager who has spent his entire high school career trying to get into Princeton, Harvard, or Yale. He does all the extracurricular activities and does sports and is admired by everyone. He battles with his weight even though it's clear there is no apparent problem, but his self esteem is so low that he thinks he needs to lose weight. His parents are blind to his plight a ...more
Abby Johnson
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
This story is a gripping portrayal of a life spiraling out of control. Parker's frank tone is coupled with free-verse poems from Danielle's point of view, giving us a complete picture of a family falling apart. Parker doesn't know how to ask for help and Danielle, who would help him, has no idea what's going on. Mom and Dad are clueless, especially when Mr. Rabinowitz becomes ill.

A Looking-for-Alaska-esque countdown starts on the first page with "88 days before" and helps move the action forward
...more
Emma
Sep 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ssr
Emma Andrews
period 12/13
"Nothing"
by: Robin Friedman
pgs: 221
completed: September 29, 2009
rating: 10
Book #4

For a book to deserve a rating of 10, it must keep me dying to get my hands on it every chance I get. As soon as I started reading the book "Nothing", all I wanted to do was read it. Forget friends, dinner, homework, everything. I just wanted to read it and once I was finished I was quite sad it was over. Parker and his sister, Rachel, both share their thoughts and feelings in this book. Park
...more
Billy Huynh
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked that the author of this book explored a not commonly talked about topic in society and that they did it in a way that was relatable to young adults. I also found the style of the writing engaging and interesting; a back and forth of diary narratives between Parker and Daisy made the story seem very personal and intimate, almost as if we were invited into these troubled lives. However, one thing I could not get over was how unappealing the characters were; I found myself getting annoyed w ...more
Naomi
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have read a lot of fiction about eating disorders, and I bought 'Nothing' because FINALLY the character with bulimia is male! Kudos to Friedman for that However, it didn't really do much for me.

Parker is still the usual super-achieving Caucasian American teenager applying for all the best colleges, etc. There is not much background to his bulimia. I get all the pressure to be perfect, and there's a brief mention of his athletics coach wanting the boys to be leaner, but it feels as though the
...more
A
Parker is perfect on the outside, straight-A student, president of this club, captain of this time, Princeton bound just like his father wants. Danielle, Parker's sister, always in his shadow is the only one who notices Parker slipping into nothing (because of Bulemia). Parker denies it until he suffers a seizure when his dad is yelling at him because he didn't make it into Princeton and suddenly everyone knows. The book is written in a way to draw in a reluctant reader with short (1-3 page) cha ...more
Duane
Jun 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
I was hoping for so much more from this book. Following the struggles of Parker, a perfect teen boy except for one thing, he suffers from bulimia. The author keeps reminding us how attractive and smart Parker is, yet no matter how much you read into him, it's impossible to even remotely like him. His parents are even more unlikeable which is hard to fathom. The entire book is filled with spoiled rich kids who are so one dimensional it's almost sickening. Actually, the only character I even came ...more
Alexandria Hiam
Parker is perfect on the outside, straight-A student, president of this club, captain of this time, Princeton bound just like his father wants. Danielle, Parker's sister, always in his shadow is the only one who notices Parker slipping into nothing (because of Bulemia). Parker denies it until he suffers a seizure when his dad is yelling at him because he didn't make it into Princeton and suddenly everyone knows. The book is written in a way to draw in a reluctant reader with short (1-3 page) cha ...more
Flora
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I needed something short yet engaging to read and this was perfect for that. So perfect in fact that I read it in one setting. However I haven't given it five stars because personally I don't enjoy books written in verse which the sisters POV was in this book, but if you like that then good for you. Also the endings of books are really important to me, especially the last lines, and for this book I was really excited about the last line but in the end it really wasn't ...more
Zoe
Jan 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teens looking for a quick read, too-skinny boys, overachievers
Parker, the Princeton-bound overachieving Jew hottie, develops bulimia as a way to cope with the stress of college applications, extracurriculars, Calculus, and his family. Chapters are told in alternate points of view from Parker as he binges, purges, hooks up, and hides his problems from his family, and from Danielle, his 14-year-old sister who lives in his shadow.

As far as teen "issue" books are concerned, this one goes down pretty easy and covers a subject area (men with eating disorders) t
...more
Samantha Weber
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
the fact that this author pushed the fact that the characters were Jewish so hard definitely threw me off a little as it distracted from the main story. and while I'm sure the author wrote it to where Parker deteriorated so quickly due to the bulimia to keep the story moving along, I definitely related to his story, regardless of the dramatization. after I read this book I went through my old journals in the two years prior to me being diagnosed with an eating disorder and found that a lot of wh ...more
  Syd シド ♫Just one of the wolves ♫
this book is one of those books when you would absolutly hate or you loved it. first of all let me get this outta the way the only reason i picked this book up is because of the guy on front and in a way he is kinda hott. back to the point now personally i really liked it and thought it was an eye opener i read the whole book in 3 sittings which with skool still going on that is pretty good. basically this book is about a guy named parker and his sister and how parker comes to terms with his phy ...more
Terri
Nov 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Terri by: Battle of the Books 2014
I don't feel like I could relate to Parker, but it did make me wonder if I'm too hard on my own kids. Something to think about . . .

The story is very well written. Each chapter is a new day and counts down. The chapters change perspective between Parker - written in prose - and his sister Danielle - written in free verse. The countdown of the chapters pushes the story along and leaves you wondering what will happen next and what climax will occur.

Super fast read - only took about an hour total.
Sarah Hayes
Jun 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
I didn't connect with this novel at all - the characters were flat, the medical science questionable, and the dialogue/plot twists contrived and cliched - but I blew through it really fast so at least it was a quick read. I just think that, if someone is looking for a nuanced and helpful YA novel about a bulimic young Jewish teenage boy dealing with EDs and parental/societal pressures, you could do better than Nothing. But it could be used as a conversation starter about teenage boys with eating ...more
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Book Review 1 5 May 01, 2013 11:38PM  

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Growing up, Robin Friedman loved to write, but it was not until after she had worked as an editor in New York City and attended a year of law school that she finally decided to pursue a career as a children's book author. Beginning her writing career in 2000, Friedman is the author of How I Survived My Summer Vacation: And Lived to Write the Story and The Silent Witness.
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“Who are you?
Just because you break hearts
doesn't make you a heartbreaker.
Just because you get straight A's
doesn't make you a success.
Just because you have a college consultant
doesn't make you college bound.
Just because you fail to act
doesn't make you cowardly.
Just because you need help,
doesn't make you weak.
Just because the world sees you as something
or as nothing
doesn't mean anything
at all.”
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