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Good Enough

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A young girl with an eating disorder must find the strength to recover in this moving middle-grade novel from Jen Petro-Roy

Before she had an eating disorder, twelve-year-old Riley was many things: an aspiring artist, a runner, a sister, and a friend.

But now, from inside the inpatient treatment center where she's receiving treatment for anorexia, it's easy to forget all of that. Especially since under the influence of her eating disorder, Riley alienated her friends, abandoned her art, turned running into something harmful, and destroyed her family's trust.

If Riley wants her life back, she has to recover. Part of her wants to get better. As she goes to therapy, makes friends in the hospital, and starts to draw again, things begin to look up.

But when her roommate starts to break the rules, triggering Riley's old behaviors and blackmailing her into silence, Riley realizes that recovery will be even harder than she thought. She starts to think that even if she does "recover," there's no way she'll stay recovered once she leaves the hospital and is faced with her dieting mom, the school bully, and her gymnastics-star sister.

Written by an eating disorder survivor and activist, Good Enough is a realistic depiction of inpatient eating disorder treatment, and a moving story about a girl who has to fight herself to survive.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published February 19, 2019

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About the author

Jen Petro-Roy

8 books338 followers
Jen Petro-Roy is the author of the middle grade contemporary novel P.S. I MISS YOU (releasing by Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends in Fall 2017). Jen is a teen librarian who lives with her husband and two daughters in Massachusetts.

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5 stars
590 (39%)
4 stars
557 (37%)
3 stars
281 (18%)
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46 (3%)
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14 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 290 reviews
Profile Image for Ruby Granger.
Author 2 books45k followers
January 6, 2020
I was really looking forward to reading this. I really don't think there's enough middle grade literature about eating disorders and, with younger and younger kids struggling with body image issues and eating, it's important that this literature is available.

Riley is twelve years old and struggling with anorexia nervosa. Admitted to an eating disorder clinic at the beginning of the book, this novel covers these two crucial months in her recovery. She starts out resistant and refuses to admit she has a problem; however, gradually, through group and individual therapy, her mindset begins to change. This shift in her character is truly beautiful to see. If you have a history of disordered eating, do keep in mind that Petro-Roy does detail some of Riley's behaviours; however, since the book focuses on her recovery (with flashbacks to the time before she was admitted), I don't /think/ potential triggers are as much as an issue as in some other books out there. Rather than glorify eating disorders, which some YA fiction unfortunately does, Petro-Roy's novel is incredibly sensitive. It appreciates the pressures which 11-14 year olds are under, and how these pressures can turn toxic. The writing itself is also wonderfully lyrical (reminds me a little of Laurie Halse Anderson who is one of my favourite YA authors!).

I would highly recommend this books to pre-teens and young teens.

*For me to give a book three stars, it needs to be a really good book that I would recommend (for four stars, it must be a fantastic book which I would highly highly recommend; for it to be five stars, it must be a life-changing book which everyone must read). I just want to clarify this because I don't want you to think I didn't like it. The only reason it didn't get four stars is because this book was too young for me and so some of the content similarly felt a bit outdated).
Profile Image for Rachel007.
409 reviews47 followers
June 9, 2018
I just cried reading this entire thing. I tried to read this book last year when Jen started it. "I don't have an eating disorder anymore, it's fine," I said. I was wrong. Page one bothered me but I couldn’t figure out why. It took me a long time to realize that I was bothered because I still had an ED. If I ignored it, no, it didn't go away. Jen (and lots of other incredible ED warriors!) pushed me to get help. I got help.

...But if I had this book at 11, when I first started actively doing disordered eating habits, it would have changed everything. At 13, I had a therapist who suggested I go to Renfrew. I told her all I needed was a school change. It took me 16 years to accept she was right. A different school didn't make my issues go away. It took me a long time to figure this out.

I am SO grateful GOOD ENOUGH exists. I am so glad girls and boys and kids - AND adults - will have this book on their library/bookstore/home bookshelf. This book is powerful & important. It is hopeful when hope feels lightyears away. I can't wait for February 2019 until this book is out in the world & I can have my very own copy.

Thank you Jen for writing, and Macmillan for publishing. I was given an advanced copy & my opinion is mine alone, and not influenced by the writer or others in any way.
Profile Image for Beth.
910 reviews
March 10, 2019
Finally!!! This is the book about eating disorders that I have been waiting for! It's not a "how-to", an "over-the-top", or a "make-light-of-the-situation" book. This book gives an amazing insight into why a child might begin habits that move into an eating disorder, and why he/she would continue. Parents should read this book too. Your heart will break for the main character and the girls in treatment with her. It will leave you with food for thought and a feeling of hope. Also, read the author's note. Lastly, I was very glad to see places where people could reach out for help...I appreciate that a lot! Every library should have this book!!!
Profile Image for Renata.
2,478 reviews334 followers
October 23, 2018
This is a really moving read that gives you a character to root for and smashes a lot of myths about eating disorders and diet culture in general. I also loved the way Riley's journey is rooted in pop culture, taking inspiration from superheroes and Disney characters--I think that's so relatable and going to make this so resonant for a lot of tweens (and beyond!).
Profile Image for Kelly Hager.
3,097 reviews129 followers
June 9, 2018
I loved Jen's debut novel, PS I Miss You, and so I was waiting for this with no small amount of impatience. I'm only mildly ashamed to admit that once I knew that egalleys were a thing, I basically pouted and whined and used emojis as a weapon. I didn't mean to read this in one afternoon. I wanted to savor it, because Jen's writing is gorgeous.

But I immediately loved Riley and I worried about her. I worried about whether she'd be able to have a healthy relationship with food and if she'd be able to talk to her family about her feelings, if they'd listen to just keep assigning blame and ignoring her feelings.

I had to know what would happen next, and each page made me completely feel for her. (A lot of feelings--sadness, sometimes anger, always pride.) 

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Jen Petro-Roy is this generation's Judy Blume. She's talking about hard topics, things parents may not feel their kids are ready to know about. But Jen's not writing for the parents. She's writing for the kids, and she's telling them the best, most important message ever: you will be OK. You are enough, just as you are. You aren't alone. You can do this. Whatever "this" you're struggling with, you can beat it. You will be OK. 

It's something we all need to hear, but kids especially.

Highly, highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,205 followers
February 18, 2019
A fantastic read about a 12-year-old girl named Riley whose parents put her in an in-patient treatment center for her anorexia. I've read a number of books that take on eating disorders without shying away from the hard details, but this is the first one I've read aimed at middle grade readers -- where, as author, survivor, and recovery advocate Petro-Roy herself states she began to exhibit the behaviors.

It's hard not to root for Riley or any of her peers, and her emotional journeys are up and down, much like recovery itself. As someone who struggles with a mental illness, I especially appreciated how much was discussed about recovery not being linear. That there are bump and hiccups and that those are part of the process, rather than any indication of failure or inability to succeed.

Well-written, immersive, and one that anyone who works with people 9-13 should have in their back pocket for those who might be struggling with an eating disorder, navigating a challenging diet culture, or who want to better understand what it means to work on recovery with mental health.
574 reviews30 followers
April 5, 2019
I can't give this a star rating, because I have very mixed feelings about it. There's some technical writing issues - the author puts really important conversations into summary, instead of having them in scene, which kills their emotional immediacy and allows the narrator to gloss over difficult topics. The author also jumps forward over scenes that should be important, like Riley's check-in after she refuses to eat, which leaves weird gaps in the narrative.

But those aren't really the crux of my uncertainty over the book. This book is about Riley, who is in treatment for her eating disorder. And the author clearly tried to do everything that's right when writing about an eating disorder - she didn't use any numbers, so that the reader can't compare their weight to Riley's. She mentioned very little about Riley's tricks and methods for losing weight, so that the reader can't use those as a guide. She focused a lot on Riley's emotions, and on the positives of recovery, and tried to avoid any glorification of an eating disorder. I want to give the author credit for clearly working hard to write a book that shouldn't be used to encourage an eating disorder.

And yet I 100% know that I would have read this book over and over, and bathed in the warm glow of acceptance it would have given me when I was chronically anorexic. I was just a little older than Riley is in the book when I first developed an eating disorder, and I struggled with it for about a decade. Even now, it feels weird to put that in the past tense, because I don't really feel completely recovered - I can have a bad day and be totally back in my disordered way of thinking.

At that time in my life, I poured over books about eating disorders. I read Wasted about a thousand times, I read every memoir that was out there, every fictionalized account, I read books on the history of anorexia in religious orders and joined pro-eating disorder listserves and livejournal groups. Those books helped fuel my obsession (to be clear, they did not create it), gave me companionship and made me feel normal. Even the books that were supposed to be about recovery just gave me more fuel for my eating disorder.

I would have read the shit out of this book. Even though it's about recovery, and even though the author tries to do everything right.

I don't want to blame the author for that, but I just don't know if it's possible to write an eating disorder story that doesn't encourage more disordered behavior in the people who are already sick. I'm a full-grown adult who's been recovered for ten years, and reading this book I was going, "Man, not eating does feel great. I miss that feeling. Maybe I could just cut down a little?" Folks with eating disorders can be pretty similar to drug addicts, in that way. Open the door a little and the whole thing comes crashing down.

I don't think I'm going to ever feel comfortable recommending this book to the kids who come into the library. I just would be too afraid that I would be handing it to a kid who's already on the path to an eating disorder, and that I'd be providing them something that would hold their hand while they went even further along the road.
Profile Image for Laurie.
864 reviews
December 19, 2018
Have you ever felt like you weren't good enough? Not pretty enough? Not skinny enough? Clothes not nice enough? These are some of the issues that twelve-year-old Riley are going through. She used to have a "normal" life with her friends, her family, and her art. One day all of that changed when a mean girl in her school made fun of her weight. Riley vowed then and there that she would lose all the weight that she could and become a fierce competitor in track and field. Because of her extreme desire, Riley developed an eating disorder called anorexia. She began to alienate her friends, her family, and even food to achieve her goal. Her parents began to fear for her health so they admitted her to a hospital to receive treatment for this disorder. She is so not happy at first, but as she begins to delve deeper into herself through the help of the therapist, Riley learns that she has so much more to overcome that just eating food. Does Riley have the strength to fight the chaos that is living inside her? Can her new friends at the hospital help her or are the battles they are fighting going to bring her down? Will Riley's relationships with her family and friends ever be the same again? Read this incredible story of one girl's journey to finding herself and possibly her freedom!

This book is absolutely amazing! From page one you begin the journey with Riley and it doesn't stop at the last page. Riley's story grabs hold of you and doesn't let go. I found myself crying with her, laughing with her, and cheering for her. I have never dealt with this disorder in my life but I know there are so many people, including children, who are going through this right now, even in my own school. It is so great to have a book that they can read to know that they are not alone and that there is help out there. Jen Petro-Roy has now had two knock-out books and I expect many, many more from her. Do not miss this incredible story of family, friendship, and finding the strength in yourself to overcome even the darkest of days!
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Profile Image for Laura Gardner.
1,669 reviews108 followers
August 1, 2019
“I can’t control my body and be me”
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this incredible MG novel about a girl realizing she has to give up her eating disorder to regain her life.
Petro-Roy explores the following:
Ups and downs of recovery
Fractured relationships with friends and family
Eating disorders as a family illness
Internal struggle of wanting to recover, but being unable to stop thinking in a disordered way
Reality of insurance companies only paying for a minimum stay in a facility and the fear of leaving
So powerful. Recommended for grades 5+. Trigger warnings for readers with eating disorder backgrounds. Book 51 for #30booksummer
#mglit #mgbooks #bookstagram #bookreview #booksbooksbooks
Profile Image for Karley.
32 reviews
June 14, 2019
I thought this book was really good! Really sad though. I still would highly recommend it! :~)
761 reviews2 followers
July 15, 2019
I’ve been looking for a book about eating disorders to share with my students. The setting is mostly in a hospital setting. Very strong protagonist voice- great figurative language- and most of all important lessons for those that struggle with eating disorders-peers of those friends- parents/ teachers- anyone that cares and loves young people that are dealing with eating disorders. I think some readers may get upset at how the parents are portrayed-I thought it was very authentic and real. They love and care for their daughter- but don’t understand. There is another author’s quote recommending this book on the cover that claims that this book will save lives- I agree. I’m not sure why this book is not getting more attention. I think it is a Newbery contender and filling a gaping hole about a topic that needs more written about it.
Profile Image for Cidney Mayes.
276 reviews3 followers
June 2, 2019
This is such an important book that will help those struggling with eating disorders, seeking recovery, or help support people to understand the nature of anorexia. Riley’s voice is incredibly authentic, and there is, accurately, no magic fix-it moment where her family suddenly changes their behaviors and everything is okay. It is real life, and accurately represented. A must-read.
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,286 reviews216 followers
February 22, 2019

Twelve-year-old Riley winds up on an eating disorder unit of a local hospital. At first she fights recovery, then takes tentative and finally more concrete steps to take back her life.

Jen Petro-Roy’s debut middle grade novel also has a companion nonfiction self-help book. Unlike YA eating disorder books, GOOD ENOUGH has no tension or edge. It’s a book with a Big Message, a primer on body image and eating disorders. There was never any doubt Riley would recover.

Riley, a likable main character, narrates with a sincere and sometimes sarcastic voice. Tween girls will be interested in her story, though may become bored with repetitiveness, which, while realistic to recovery, doesn’t make for interesting reading.

Petro-Roy did a good job illustrating different types of eating disorder with the similarities and differences in the underlying issues. I wish she had focused more on the other girls’ issues instead of so much on the food and eating with only a sentence or two interspersed throughout the book. Riley had a specific, privileged set of issues and while important, throwing in a less wealthy kid, bisexual or a black girl doesn’t make for diversity.

GOOD ENOUGH has more telling than showing. Much of the story revolves around what Riley is thinking. She has more insights, even at the beginning of her journey, than any tween I’ve worked with or known. I’m not sure what kind of insurance her family had, because nothing in the USA would cover almost two months inpatient anorexia treatment. The girls in the program do discuss coverage and money, but not in a manner that bears any relationship to actual insurance issues.

I’m glad a middle grade book in eating disorders and recovery exists, which is why I rounded up to three stars.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,380 reviews233 followers
February 4, 2019
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Good Enough was a first hand account of Riley's inpatient treatment as she began her recovery from anorexia. It's been over 25 years since my inpatient treatment for disordered eating, but Petro-Roy's depiction of Riley's battle with ED (eating disorder) immediately brought me back to my own struggle.

I applaud the author's decision to write this story in journal format, because it was the perfect way to clearly capture and communicate Riley's emotions. She skillfully depicted the sadness, loneliness, anxiety, desperation, and shame that results from this disease. She explored the secretive nature of it, and how it forces the one suffering from the disorder to withdraw from their life. Riley often lamented giving up things, activities, and people who made her happy in order to protect her secret. This part was so honest and really hit home with me.

I loved the way Petro-Roy laid out Riley's recovery as well. I don't think people realize how difficult it is to wage a war with an eating disorder. Someone suffering from anorexia or bulimia NEEDS food to survive. They need to make peace with this enemy, and it's a very, very difficult thing to do. Riley's struggle was authentic, and because of that, her recovery was not all rainbows and unicorns. It was difficult, and it was hard work, and this was addressed very well in the book.

Another thing I personally connected with and, thought was done really well, was the way Riley's family and friends reacted to her illness. I remember my own sister coming to visit me in the hospital, and asking me, "Why can't you just eat and be happy?" This must be a common response, because Riley met with the same line of questioning. There were a lot of other reactions from her friends and family, which aligned with my own experiences, and I really appreciated that some time was dedicated to this in the story.

Finally, it was extremely rewarding to watch Riley progress. The war against ED is fought on the battlefield of the mind, and this can be a very difficult place to win any skirmishes. That push and pull of conflicting emotions and clashing wants and needs were omnipresent in Riley's story. I was so proud of Riley as she fought back against the negative and tried to embrace the positive. I was also proud of the way she opened up and began to assert her wants and needs to her family and friends. All were such important parts of her recovery.

When I started this book, I immediately thought it brilliantly captured the emotions and experiences of someone suffering from an eating disorder. When I finished the book, I thought it would be a fantastic book for the friends and family of someone with this illness, because it would give them great insight and maybe help them understand what it's like to have an eating disorder.

Overall: A wonderfully written and emotional look into the mind of a young anoretic as she works towards recovery.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Marcia Arguelles.
167 reviews3 followers
November 5, 2021
This was an incredibly heart-warming, eye opening realistic view on ED.

The saddest part of it all is how you realize that it can come at all ages. This was about her journey to recovery and although not everyone that deals with an ED goes to a clinic to recover we still get to visualize what goes on in one’s mind when dealing with this.

Everything was realistic and as someone who had an ED and is still recovering from it, I felt struck with the reality that I’m not alone in this.

We’re met with her raw thought and although written from the point of view of a 12 year old, the reality of the situation connects with all ages.
Profile Image for Dee Dee G.
502 reviews7 followers
June 26, 2019
This book opened my eyes about what people go through fighting eating disorders. Written in diary format, which didn’t feel like you were reading a diary. My heart goes out to people fighting this disorder.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,700 reviews42 followers
November 5, 2018
* This review is of an advanced reader copy

Most fictional portrayals of eating disorders widely miss the mark by furthering the stereotype that eating disorders afflict intelligent young women and teens who begin dieting either in an attempt to gain control over their lives in the wake of an overbearing mother or to garner attention from absent parents. After reaching a medical crisis point the teen is forced into treatment where she is initially resistant but, with the help of a compassionate sagacious therapist, she slowly begins to eat and is miraculously cured. Cue appropriate empowering music.
Therefore, I began Good Enough with a jaded perspective. Based on prior literary depictions, the snowflake worthy title, and an incredibly ugly mustard colored cover, I held out little hope for this novel. To my surprise, Good Enough actually did eating disorders justice. The book follows twelve-year-old protagonist, Riley, during her stay in an inpatient hospital eating disorder unit. Riley's narration of the struggle between a desire to recover and the fears she has surrounding food and weight rang true. Furthermore, the inpatient unit's program closely resembles the way many treatment centers are ran. I applaud author Jen Petro-Roy for refraining from mentioning specific numbers in relation to calories or weight as well as rarely mentioning the types of food Riley consumes. Even better, Riley's therapist emphasizes the fact that eating disorders are biologically based diseases. They are not caused by the media or enmeshed families or trauma. They are not simply diets that get a little out of hand. Those factors may be the catalyst to an individual's initial reduction in food intake but it is this energy deficit that triggers the genetic response in individuals prone to anorexia. Talk therapy can not heal this deficit. The only way out is through nutritional rehabilitation and neural rewiring. Therapy may be beneficial to some individuals as a means of encouragement and support. I appreciate that Riley made progress primarily through a consistent intake of food and the accountability of being in a supervised facility. Her progress is not linear and she does stumble along the way. There are no "burning bush" moments, just a slow upward climb towards a life without restriction.
This book is not perfect, there are bits and pieces I would have changed. However, overall, it is one of the few fictional accounts of an eating disorder that actually hit the mark. Hopefully, with time, the stereotypes of yore will fall by the wayside and the focus will shift from treating people with eating disorders through talk therapy and self-esteem building exercises to treating them with food.
Profile Image for Lisa Welch.
1,166 reviews8 followers
March 6, 2019
An excellent middle grade novel about a girl and her battle with an eating disorder. It's written by an #ownvoices author, and that is so evident in the writing. The metaphors and comparisons make the experience so much more relatable to those who do not have an eating disorder and are struggling to understand.
Profile Image for Cindy.
Author 4 books313 followers
December 20, 2017
I had the privilege of reading an early draft of this, and loved it SO much. Riley has such a fierce and indomitable spirit, and seeing her learn to make peace with who she is is incredible. I can't wait until this one's out in the world! ���️
Profile Image for Kellie Cruz.
119 reviews8 followers
May 31, 2019
A perfect middle school book about eating disorders and the road to recovery. I am so glad this book was written so I can put it in the hands and hearts of those who are struggling and those students who want to learn more and help. Thank you!
Profile Image for Elina.
200 reviews
April 15, 2021
ترس از دنیا
ترس از دوست داشتنی نبودن
ترس از وزن
ترس از زیادی جا گرفتن
ترس از رایلی بودن
رایلی بودن اشکال نداره
میخگاهم رایلی باشم
من رایلی هستم.
خودم بودن اشکال ندارد
Profile Image for Sandy.
2,520 reviews60 followers
September 11, 2019
I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I first started listening to it. I knew that I wanted to read it as it was on my TBR list but as I started to listen to it, I didn’t like how the book was starting out. I continued listening and, in the end, I liked the rollercoaster ride that I took with Riley.

When Riley was checked into the treatment center by her mother, Riley acted standoffish and I thought she wouldn’t make it. She didn’t see herself belonging to the individuals on this floor. She didn’t feel that she had an eating disorder and she believed that she would be in-and-out of the center within hours. She hid behind the truth because she believed it, she’d convinced herself that she was normal, so why was she there?

Riley liked salad and she liked to run. Actually, I thought Riley was obsessed with running. If you could look inside her head, you would see a different Riley but of course, you couldn’t. Riley had convinced herself that what she was doing was normal because that was the world that she lived in. I could totally understand what Riley was saying and why she was saying it. Riley had not just convinced me but I looked at Riley’s life and I saw things the way she saw them. While at the center, Riley was playing the staff and not being totally honest with them. I felt that if she continued, they might just release her, and then what? She’d go right back to being Riley and hiding her eating disorder. Riley really needed to see that eating healthy wasn’t a bad thing, she needed someone to help her take those first few steps.

Being in treatment, Riley is able to take a few baby steps towards a healthy eating plan. There are others in the program who are struggling, so she is not alone. It’s not easy, every meal they struggled and there are the inner voices that haunt and taunt them, as their eyes glare down on their food. It was the voices that got me as I listened to this novel on audio. I don’t feel that I have an eating disorder but I could totally relate to what they were telling Riley. I’m health conscious and I think about those extra calories before I eat them.

I thought she was making huge improvements. Riley was starting to feel good about herself, she was learning to accept her new image, and Riley was living in a controlled environment, yet wait…....what would happen when they set her free? I hate to be a Debbie Downer but let’s face reality here. What would happen when Riley gets released and she has to face her friends, her family, and the real world? You have to consider this outside world influences Riley. How is she going to handle this? Riley is a twelve-year-old teen and pressure is high at this age. I, seriously had my doubts for Riley. I wouldn’t be surprised or upset if Riley had issues once she is released.

I like how this book addressed Riley’s eating disorder. How it began, her struggles and successes, and how her life was like outside the center. This was a great, realistic novel that I’m glad I read and would definitely recommend.
Profile Image for lucy♡.
791 reviews3 followers
June 4, 2020
This was just...incredible.

The novel follows a twelve-year-old girl named Riley Logan who is being admitted into an inpatient treatment centre for anorexia nervosa. The story details the first two months of recovery, depicting her resistance, anger, fear, the painful physical symptoms (gosh, those stomachaches you get in the refeeding process are killers) and the rollercoaster of emotions she goes on. The entire time, I was sobbing and overwhelmed with empathy as I understood everything she was going through, her thoughts far too familiar. I wanted nothing more than to embrace her in the biggest hug and tell her that every time she questions if it’s worth it and if giving up her underweight body is okay if she gets her life back in return and I just wanted to scream “YES. YES, IT IS SO WORTH IT.” Watching her fight against her disordered brain and having the internalised struggle of desiring a life beyond this but not sure how to beat this cruel illness was so relatable and authentic, words fail to describe how much this book means to me.

Riley herself was a spectacular character. She was so complex and her emotions and thoughts felt so real to me. She loves art and track and her friends and she hates Talia and is jealous of her sister and she feels things so intensely that I felt them too. She was a truly beautiful girl. I enjoyed how she also enjoys pop culture which means the story felt more relatable to the readers.

I appreciated that this novel is middle-grade and our protagonist is younger as most eating disorder fiction is aimed at an older audience, although statistics suggest kids are getting sicker at a younger age. Children aren’t educated on this, despite them being vulnerable so I adore the fact that this literature is available to them.

Another thing I want to highlight is we see a case of bulimia in Riley's treatment centre, which I was grateful for. When the term “eating disorder” is said, most people immediately think anorexia, ignoring other types so the diversity is brilliant. However, seeing a case of BED, ARFID or EDNOS would have been beneficial to prevent the reader from feeling like they can only be poorly if they fit into that strict box.

The novel takes place in a treatment centre, which was great but my problem is that it’s not the reality. Being admitted into an inpatient facility is actually not as common as the media and literature make it out to be, in fact, in the U.K., only 0.8% of sufferers are admitted to hospital, meaning over 99% of us aren’t. Therefore, exacerbating the stereotype that all people with eating disorders go to hospital, which is harmful and can perpetuate the idea that someone is not “sick enough” or valid for not receiving this particular form of treatment. Setting the book elsewhere and having Riley simply be an outpatient and endeavouring to recover in the real world may have been more helpful for the reader.

However, that being said, this book was otherwise fantastic and definitely one of my new favourites. It carries so many amazing messages and Riley is an inspiration to us all. The author handled all of the subplots brilliantly and it honestly felt like she'd peeked inside my brain and vocalised all of the thoughts I’ve previously failed to communicate. It’s a perfect representation of what it’s like to live with an eating disorder. The writer shows how Riley's health is compromised and how it’s not as glamorous as the stereotype suggests and how Riley actually becomes so poorly, how her grades suffer, how her friendships are jeopardised and her home life is miserable. I loved how the writer shows eating disorders to be a family illness and explores how they contribute to the disease. The comparison to her “perfect” sister, the mom who is diet-culture obsessed, the absent and ignorant dad and the toxic relationship the parents both have with their daughter who often denies her attention, invalidates her feelings and minimises her struggles was so well done. It was all just so authentic and raw and I adored it.

Another thing I’d like to praise is the positive representation of mental health professionals. Far too often, therapists and psychologists are demonised but Petro-Roy shows how they are an aid in Riley's recovery and are beyond helpful, which often is the truth for real life. Showing how therapy is nothing to be ashamed of is a remarkable message to convey, especially considering the younger readers who are being targeted.

Unfortunately, some behaviours of Riley's and the other girls are detailed so I do advise caution and be aware of that before delving in. On the other hand, the writer avoids all numbers and deliberate triggers so I felt very safe when consuming the story, which only added to my enjoyment.

The novel is often criticised for having the main messages be out in summary rather than subtext which robs them from their emotional intensity and although to an extent, I can agree, I think that this was necessary. In no way would I like to suggest that younger readers are stupid and incapable of comprehending complex messages and morals, but the more harmful aspects of the book such as the setting could be taken to be the main elements of this, ultimately making the book out to be what it is not and have the opposite effect than intended. Therefore, it could be possible that Petro-Roy's blatancy in conveying the messages and themes of the book could be to ensure the novel has its intended purpose and the readers take away what they were meant to.

In conclusion, this was an outstanding book with a realistic insight to the reality of an eating disorder and I strongly urge you to read it if it’s appropriate to do so. It is such an important book and I think it can be very significant and influential to younger readers.
January 8, 2022
i think that this book is great for young teens and shows us the importance of self acceptance and how our bodies don’t and will never define us. it shows us an accurate depiction of a 12 year old girl recovering from an eating disorder, how recovery is not a straight line and that sometimes it’s ok to slip - because then you are able to analyse the slip ups and work forward from them. which i really like! overall it was a great read and i 100% recommend.
Profile Image for Melanie  Brinkman.
618 reviews74 followers
July 31, 2019
" I'm not a failure. I'm a work in progress."

Trigger warning for eating disorders.

Before she had an eating disorder, 12 year old Riley was many things : an artist, a runner, a sister, and a friend. Then an eating disorder stole her life away.

Now, inside an inpatient treatment center, Riley must decide to recover, to live.

Part of her wants to recover, but when her roommate breaks rules, triggering old behaviors, Riley begins to realize recovery won't be easy. She must fight to not only stay in recovery, but to survive.

Good Enough is an own voices tale of one young girl struggling with a monster that lives inside her. It's the beginning of the battle to slay that beast. Riley's journey to recovery is an incredible and personally relatable fight.

I loved Riley not only because she is a fellow recovery warrior, but because of her character. Even though E. D. tried to hide who she really was, Riley herself always shown through.

While this book is a difficult, heart-tugging read, it's also enlightning and empowering. There's so much truth within in this book.

Never have I ever read a more realistic account of starting recovery in inpatient treatment. Not only did Jen Petro - Roy do a brilliant job of portraying the different types of eating disorders, and the often monotonous days filled with both victories and setbacks during impatient, she did so without glorifying eating disorders at all. However, what I admire most, is how she always pushed the fact that Riley was not her eating disorder. That part of the story really spoke to me.

Good Enough is one girl's journey to recovery, but it is a brilliant example of how nuanced and difficult eating disorders are. This book is extremely important.
Profile Image for Jenn Bishop.
Author 5 books214 followers
April 8, 2019
Reading Riley's story helped me understand how an eating disorder feels from the inside. Her recovery isn't a straight line, which I'm sure is true to life, and for those struggling in recovery, that aspect will be particularly resonant. I appreciated the scenes with Riley and her therapist Willow, as she unpacks the issues that contributed to her eating disorder. It's never *one* thing -- not for Riley, not for anyone. This book will be especially meaningful for young people and their families navigating similar experiences, but also for friends. The Josies and Emersons (Riley's friends) of the world need this book just as well, to better understand what their friends are struggling with. A life-saving book for young readers.
Profile Image for Barbara.
13k reviews269 followers
March 28, 2019
I'm sure I won't be the only reader who wishes this book had been written when I was growing up. It's honest, filled with details, and yet ends on a hopeful note. For anyone who's struggled with an eating disorder from one side of the spectrum to the other, this book reminds us that we are good enough, and that we should not allow ourselves to be defined by our body size or the numbers on the scale. Twelve-year-old Riley struggles with perfectionism and a need to please her parents while often feeling that she cannot measure up to their expectations or to her little sister's gymnastics talent. When an unexpected incident at school sends her spiraling into a frenzy of self-loathing, Riley becomes obsessed with her weight, reducing her food portions and running in order to rid herself of calories. The book chronicles her nearly two-month journey to recovery with the expected denial, ups and downs, and slips. Part of this book is heartbreaking as the author describes how Riley was belittled by some classmates before going into treatment and how her parents seem clueless as to how to help, but the author doesn't miss a beat in describing how tough but rewarding the road back to health is. I rooted for Riley every step of the way, and I'd suggest that every preadolescent and teen girl read this book. Balancing those Reasons to Recover with those Reasons to Stay Sick was a powerful exercise that might have use for all of us. Thank you, Jen Petro-Roy, for writing this important book.
Profile Image for Pat.
626 reviews
March 30, 2019
I just finished this book, and I applaud its author for having the courage to write it and raise the awareness of eating disorders. The book contains a wonderful, realistic story that emphasizes self esteem and healthy behaviors that lead to actually living instead of being afraid. It can serve as a window for those who don't know about eating disorders, or as a mirror for those who do and need to see themselves as the amazing people they are. Bravo!
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