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Holding Out for a Zero

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  33 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
"I'm doing the right thing, not feeding myself. It's the only thing I can do, so I will do it. Gloria can somehow have the energy I don't take in, and it will help her stay alive."

Twenty years ago, fourteen-year-old Valerie rushed off for lunch with her boyfriend instead of properly putting away a packet of balloons, and her little brother choked to death on his third birt
Published December 13th 2016 by Heather Wardell
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Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This book was a moving tale of everything that Valerie did to escape her battle with survivor's guilt. What a different (and heavy) topic to touch on, which left me wanting to keep reading. The subtle touches of romance added flavor to the main story line. The most important reminder is that until someone realizes they need help, all help offered will go through one ear and out the other.

I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review.
NagQuita  Winfield
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. I am a big fan Heather Wardell books so I was very excited to receive a copy to review honestly.
I always find it so easy to relate to the characters in Heather’s books, but when I started this book I thought there is no way I would relate to Valerie. I was wrong. Valerie is not an easy person to like but I was able to understand the inner workings of her mind. I rooted for her to get it together.
Please understand that when you start r
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are books that are really difficult to read and this one is one of those. It talks about forgiving yourself, but also about a real struggle in today's society: anorexia.

Following the descent into hell of the main character in a false hope of saving her injured sister is painful. What is even more is that she shows no sign of stopping. She's far too gone in her path of deep control over her life.

This book is troubling me because it is everything I am fighting against put into one deep and
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After a terrible mistake years before that resulted in her brother’s death, Valerie has tried to take complete control of her life. When her sister, Gloria, is comatose after a random attack, Valerie is bothered because she cannot control what is happening. Valerie knows her sister Gloria always wanted to be a size zero, so decides that, by becoming a size zero herself, Valerie is doing all she can to save Gloria. However, Valerie ends up in a mad dash to lose the weight and become a size zero b ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading Heather's books for awhile now and I can honestly say that this is one of her best books yet. It was extremely emotional. Valerie is a total control freak, who needs every aspect of her life under her complete control. This way in her mind she can make up for her younger brother's tragic death that happened on his third birthday. So when her sister Gloria is the victim of a random assault one night ending up in the hospital, Valerie again seeks the control that she needs to g ...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
This was a heartbreaking look at eating disorders, and how trying to be in control can slide into complete out-of-control behaviour. That slide was so gradual that it didn't seem like a big deal, until you compared the current result with the beginning, and then it became horrendous.

I tend to love this author's works for their realism, and this was no exception. Valerie may not have been the nicest person, but she was very real and very believable. Her internal thoughts made sense, and it was ea
Mel Walker
Who is really in control?

Is the constant theme which flows through Heather Wardell’s latest Holding out for a Zero.

Please note I received an Advanced Reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

The story follows the main character, Valerie, having suffered a devastating loss years prior having evolved into a uber-control freak. Everything from her personal life (weight), career (promotion) and relationships with her family are not deemed as variables but elements which she believes she can con
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I was provided a pre-publication copy of this book for review purposes.

I absolutely love Heather Wardell's books and was excited to read this book and even more excited to get to read it before many other people. Unfortunately it was not my favorite book. Some of my rationale may have been the storyline. The concept of "Holding Out for Zero" is a little uncomfortable to me. As a medical professional, it bothers me that it took so long for there to be a sincere intervention by her family, friends
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review.

I have read all of Ms Wardell's books and loved them all. She writes strong female characters, many of them having trials in their lives they've had to overcome. Valerie is one or her most neurotic characters by far. This is a very well written story of an addictive personality, brought on by a life altering event that happened when she was a teenager. At times the story was almost too brutally honest, a truly stark look into the mind of someo
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC copy of Holding Out for a Zero by Heather Wardell that I was able to read and review.
I really had a problem with this book because I did not like the main character or the message her boss was sending to her employees about body image. So from the start I had a negative attitude about the book so I did not give it the attention I probably should have. Then the stupid idea Valerie gets that if she stops eating she can help her sister who is in a coma is idiotic bey
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

First of all I would like to thank Heather for sending in this ARC for an honest review. I took my time, but it was all worth it.

Being familiar with the style of writing, I was really glad to see her effortless way of narrating a story based on a concept that is quite a part and parcel of our society. The beautiful way in which the author has captured the essence of Eating Disorders and the struggles that are often seen and endured is something that will appreciated by all those who wom
Shana Hoch
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wardell does it again in her latest book Holding out for a Zero. Her characters come to life, and you can relate to their feelings, anxieties and internal battles. In Holding out for a Zero, the main character Valerie strives to keep control in her life by managing numbers and keeping others at bay. The deeply rooted desire for control comes from a tragedy in her past - if she doesn't let people get close, she can't get hurt, and she can't hurt them. But when she nearly loses her sister, her des ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let me begin by stating that I am a fan of Heather Wardell and I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. Holding Out for a Zero is the story of Valerie, a woman whose determination to control every aspect of her life spins out of control. When her sister is left in a coma after being attacked, Valerie can only think of one way to control the situation. Valerie convinces herself that Gloria will recover if she diets until she becomes the size zero that Gloria has always wanted ...more
Megan Smith
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read most of Heather Wardell's books, but thoroughly enjoyed Holding Out for a Zero as one of my favorites. There are aspects of the main character, Valerie, that I think all women have felt: the struggle to maintain control while balancing family, a career, and a personal life. During parts of the book, you truly want to dislike Valerie for things she says or does, but in the end, you feel a true compassion for her. Valerie is one of the darker main characters out of all of Heather's boo ...more
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Heather Wardell books. This book is about a woman who works in the fashion industry in New York (new locale for Heather) in an admin job. When her sister is hurt in a random attack, Valerie, who is estranged from her whole family, finds her life shifting as she tries to control her weight going from a size 6 to a size zero with a fad diet -- hoping this control will somehow help save her sister's life. Along the way, Heather develops the story and the characters so that you understand how ...more
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
This book was full of heartbreak and courage. Valerie a control freak from the age of 14, can't control her sister's coma. So what does she do? She decides if she reaches the size 0 her sister will survive. This is a harrowing tale of guilt, trying to take control, and an eating disorder. I have read all of Heather Wardell's books and enjoyed them all. This book was emotional and uplifting. All of Heather's books have a real heroine that improves or tries to improve herself in the novel. I love ...more
Donna Hatridge
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holding out for a zero is an intense and emotional story about how life events and our perceptions of them can take control of our lives. Valerie's journey begins when her little brother dies and circumstances look like she was to blame for his death. Thinking if she can keep tight control in all areas of her life nothing bad like that can happen again. But when she loses a promotion at work then her sister is violently assaulted, her need to control gets skewed by connecting her eating with sav ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, kindle, read-in-2016
Heather Wardell did it again! Every time I pick up one of her books, I already know I'm going to love it. And this book was no exception. At first I thought I knew where this story was going, but there were so many twists and turns that I was often caught off guard. I don't think this one was my favorite book of hers, but I still really enjoyed it - mostly because of how I didn't usually know what to expect and what was going to happen next.

Thanks to Heather for the free copy in exchange for an
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

I've read every book by this author and this one might be my new favorite! Wardell does such a good job developing her characters and making them relatable. I'm glad she shed light on the not often talked about subject of eating disorders, even if it was uncomfortable to read at times. I enjoyed that she could evoke an emotional response from me. That's good writing!
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Heather Wardell is one of my favorite authors of all time and this book is another winner.
I read a lot of fantasy / sci fi / dystopia / etc. etc. but Heather's books are just so real. They take place in the real world and could easily be true stories - that is what I absolutely love.
I highly recommend this book!

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great story
Clare Moore
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant book, very emotional in parts. Xxx
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I am a natural 1200 wpm speed reader and the author of nineteen self-published novels including the free ebook "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" which has had over 385,000 downloads.

In my spare time, I read, run, swim, crochet, take care of my aquarium and my cat Trinity, and play drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.

I only record books here if I absolutely love them and hugely recomm
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