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The Year I Didn't Eat

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  33 reviews
This heartfelt, captivating novel chronicles a year in the life of 14-year-old Max as he struggles with anorexia.

Dear Ana,

Some days are normal. Some days, everything is OK, and I eat three square meals, pretty much, even if those squares are ridiculously small squares.

Some days, I can almost pretend there's nothing wrong.

Fourteen-year-old Max doesn't like to eat, and the o
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Yellow Jacket (first published February 25th 2019)
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4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  97 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Lucy Powrie
Samuel Pollen is a new and exciting voice in teen fiction. The Year I Didn’t Eat offers a sensitive and honest insight into what it’s like to live with anorexia, whilst also being full of warmth and heart. I loved it.
Savannah Brown
Gentle without condescension, THE YEAR I DIDN’T EAT offers invaluable, honest representation of an often overlooked group, situated harmoniously alongside buckets of humor and warmth. A hugely important story.
Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
I absolutely loved this important, beautiful little book.

Max loves birds, wants to be a zoologist, has just discovered geocaching, and has anorexia. The novel follows him through the realities of eating disorders -- how they feel and how they make your thoughts distort -- but also how he copes with changes in his family, new friends, a new school year. It is overall a beautiful novel, that ends with a positive note and hope for recovery.

In terms of content notes, BMIs are never mentioned. Max’s
I grew up thinking that anorexia and bulimia were only diseases that women got. Nobody directly told me this, I believed this because any book I read or anything I saw in the gossip magazines talked about how these diseases were affecting women, not men. We rarely talk about the men that deal with this horrible disease and this impacted how I understood eating disorders. When I was older I learned that both men and women suffered from these diseases. But still, it boggles my mind that I could ha ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is destined to be an important middle grade novel.
Lucy ❁♡ ★
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“THE YEAR I DIDN’T EAT” by SAMUEL POLLEN is a beautiful and honest portrayal of a teenage boy with anorexia.

This was one of my most, if not my most, anticipated releases of 2019 because an own~voices novel featuring one of the most overlooked and ignored victims of eating disorders? Yes please!

This book follows Max, an aspiring zoologist, lover of birds, brother of Robin and anorexia sufferer.
Max was a protagonist I instantly connected with. He’s raw and relatable and so precious. I felt my h
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a woman in her fifties, I'm not the target market for this book. However, as a reader, and a person who appreciates fine writing, it's an absolute to pleasure to read this novel.

Men's and boy's mental health has been discussed a lot this year, and ZunTold believe that it's important that we keep talking and keeping it high on the radar.
The Year I Didn't Eat will be part of their 'Fiction As Therapy' arm, focussing on books with a therapeutic value.

I think it's safe to say that most people, wh
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never had anorexia, but disordered eating and twisty thinking are familiar ground. I'm glad the author warns about the content, because I knew to watch myself a little closer and to make sure I ate normally over the two days I was reading this.

I can't remember the last time I tore through a book in two days! I did it because I *couldn't not.* I sank into Max's story like a warm bath. It is human, it is relatable, and it will stay with me for a long, long time. The characters are well-develo
Shauna Holyoak
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Someone doesn't need to understand you to save your life. They just need to care." A touching and authentic story about a teenage boy with anorexia. I grew to love Max, his loving and supportive family and all those in his network who rallied around him as he struggled with his eating disorder. So many kids will benefit from this beautiful story.
Gabriel Dylan
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping, poignant, and very well written read - sometimes funny, sometimes downright terrifying, always warm, I really enjoyed this debut. A very important book - as someone who works with young people I've learnt a lot from this, and I think this is a novel that every school library in the country should have a copy of.
Mar 23, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: coming-soon-19
While women do get eating disorders, and statistically more than men, their narratives are what almost entirely make up the "eating disorder fiction" world. Men, and young boys, can and do get eating disorders, and seeing this representation, especially for children, makes me hopeful.
Cerys Weston (BrowsingForBooks)
I was gifted an advanced reader copy of this book by ZunTold Publishing, though all my thoughts in this review are my own.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains descriptions of disordered eating, anorexia and calorie numbers.

This book was totally immersive and engaging from the beginning. I believed Max's story, and that is so important in a book like this. I haven't read anything about what it is like to have an eating disorder, and I neither have an eating disorder nor am I aware of anyone I know
Ms. Yingling
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Public Library Copy

Fourteen-year-old Max has been struggling with anorexia for a while. His family is doing all of the right things: he's in therapy, they don't make a big deal about food, and his brother Robin is especially supportive. Still, while he is generally holding things together, there are rough moments. When things don't go according to plan (like Christmas dinner with relatives), he gets very upset. Things are going fairly well at school, and he has good friends, as well as a new gir
Ian Tatlock
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fabulous, important novel works on several levels but more than any other, it’s a comforting and enlightening read for all who are directly or indirectly involved in the fight against anorexia. Without ducking anything, it provides a useful sprinkling of facts whilst sensitively examining related issues and emotions from every angle. In that sense it’s a vital source of information, support and insight for anybody struggling with an eating disorder, as well as their parents, friends, relati ...more
Lydia Massiah
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A totally engaging and believable description of a teenage boy's struggle with anorexia. Having read this story I understand so much more about mental illness, and yet the book wasn't bleak, as there was a very powerful current of warmth and humour throughout. The characters were real and kind, and there was a positive message about overcoming mental illness, which is really wonderful in fiction for this age range. The novel really resonated because one of my sons suffered serious clinical depre ...more
Kathy (McDowell) Miller
I was surprised to see a lot of myself in this book. I'm not male or anorexic. I used to be a female fitness competitor. I understand the constant counting of calories, protein, fat, and carb content. Obsession with food and the need to control one's food intake is a difficult habit to break. I don't think it ever goes away completely, no matter how "cured" you might think you are.
Anyway, this isn't about me. Read the book. It's an easy read. The type is large and the lines are double-spaced.
Joseph Elliott
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The characters are so believable they leap off the page, meaning you really experience every joy and heartache that Max does. The whole novel is filled with so much warmth and written with great sensitivity. The way the author tackles the subject matter is both tactful and uncompromising, giving an extremely eye-opening insight into childhood anorexia. This is a very important book that will undoubtedly change children's lives for the better.
Gena-mour Barrett
I struggled to get through this, despite the topic being something I find particularly important. But an important topic alone cannot drive a narrative and I found myself halfway through the book wondering when anything was going to *happen*. Some parts were overexplained in a way that felt like a memoir and I wish the character of Evie was built out a lot more than it was. Overall, a book that sheds light on a significant issue, but didn’t quite hit home for me.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”The moral of the story is that, if you ask for help, people will help you. Not definitely. Not always. But most of the time. And here’s the important bit. The bit I got really, really wrong. Those people who are trying to help you? Those people who end up saving your life? They don’t need to understand everything.”
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic read about an important topic. Loved that it was a compelling story in its own right about a boy *with* anorexia rather than getting lost in the message or lesson. Loved the side characters too, especially Robin. You don't see many adult siblings in children's books. Also enjoyed that whole mystery with the note-writer and the exchanges with bonkers Evie.
Layla Bouguettaya
So interesting and never a boring part! I love how it shows how a person withe anorexia really feels and their thoughts. I loved the plot twist at the end( I won't spoil it for those who are thinking of reading this). I was kind of confused about Evie, though. However, I don't recommend this book for anyone younger than 12 because of swearing and some dirty stuff.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I loved this sensitive, honest account of one fourteen-year-old boy's year battling anorexia. I learnt so much about this illness (also birds and geocaching - read it and you'll know what I mean). It's tender, funny and full of realistic family moments that feel so rare in contemporary YA.
Orlaith Wood
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny, poignant and full of hope. A book anyone who’s been a teenager will relate to. I hope it finds the people who need it most.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My heart goes out to Max!! This book REALLY captures his struggles in a way that made me understand what he was feeling. Definitely recommend.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rare but important look into the world of male eating disorders.
Karrie S
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s set in the UK. It’s about a teen boy.

I can relate bc I’ve had this more of my life at this point than not. I don’t think everyone’s reasons are the same. It was an easy read story.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mock-printz-2020
Sweet and challenging. I really felt as though the teens were given authentic voices. On the younger side for Printz.
faith ✨
If this turns out to be another one of those books that cures mental illness with romance I'm suing
Damaris Young
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An engaging and poignant story by an exciting new author of teen fiction. THE YEAR I DIDN'T EAT offers an honest and uncompromising insight into living with anorexia, written with humour and warmth.
Jennifer Whitt
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read that allows reader to have a glimpse into the mind of a boy with anorexia. Cautious about sharing this book with impressionable students though.
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book cover amended 1 3 Dec 19, 2018 02:31AM  
Book cover change 1 1 Dec 12, 2018 07:50AM