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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,766 ratings  ·  230 reviews
From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED.

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,766 ratings  ·  230 reviews

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Nov 21, 2008 rated it liked it
This one has been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I'm not sure why I was so apprehensive about reading it. I think I was scared after reading Wintergirls by Laure Halse Anderson. I have to be in a mood for books that drain me emotionally like that. Wintergirls was difficult to read, and I don't think I was ready to tackle something like that again so soon.

But Purge was a lot different than Wintergirls. Besides the fact that it's about Bulimia and not Anorexia, it also very easy to read. No
Lauren Hopkins
Feb 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is quite honestly one of the worst books I have ever read PERIOD in addition to being one of the worst eating disorder books out there. Here's the plot - girl is in treatment for bulimia, girl has setback, girl has breakthrough, and three weeks later, everything's sunny all the time always. THAT'S EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS! It's like the author watched every single Lifetime movie out there and was like "That! That is what I want to write!"

So basically it's completely unrealistic in many ways and
Dec 21, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I picked this up because I was looking for books with hardcore topics. This is one WITH A HARD CORE TOPIC. And the book is okay, but it's no WinterGirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. If you want a really hardcore book that makes the tears come out, then you need to read Wintergirls.

This was more fluffy than raw. And that upset me. Like a lot. I wanted to stop reading this for a minute, but it is really short, so I finished it in a couple of hours. One problem I had with the book was the characters,
May 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
Journal entries and first-person narrative describe 16-year-old Janie's journey through bulimia and recovery.

As a YA problem novel, Purge is a serviceable, accessible addition to the current literature. Teens who are grappling with eating disorders will relate to Janie's struggle; and if the novel encourages one teen to choose recovery over self-destructive behavior, then Purge has fulfilled its mission.

But to me, this novel just fell flat. Purge suffers from an overly convenient fairy-tale endi
Makayla D
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Picked this book up after I did not quite finish it last year and absolutely loved it! I could not stop reading this book. It is about a girl who is in a psych ward for having an eating disorder. She struggles with her new life at the ward and also struggles to keep her recovery going. They have many strict rules which are hard for her to adapt too. It talks about the people she meets their how their recovery process is going for them. Janie starts to make progress very fast while one girl just ...more
Mar 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
A perfect example of telling not showing. And the ending? Utterly unbelievable.
Carlie Slyh
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Having read all Littman's other books (except her two for very young children) I was extremely disappointed in this one.

I wasn't crazy about the subject matter to begin with as I don't have nor know anybody with an eating disorder, so there was no appeal of reading about a girl who throws up. I wanted to read this because I very much liked her other works which made this book even worse than it is.

Her other books I found very hard to put down as they would keep me wanting to know what would hap
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
PURGE isn't the first young adult novel I've read with a main character who struggles with an eating disorder, but it's the first one with this strong a mix of raw emotion, tension, and humor. Just as experts who help teens with eating disorders have to peel back the layers to get to the heart of the problem, Sarah Littman's book offers numerous layers, too. Her main character, Janie, is hospitalized for bulimia after she causes a scene at the wedding of her older sister, "Perfect Jenny." But it ...more
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Purge is about a girl who is in a rehabilitation clinic (read: psych ward) for bulimia and attempted suicide. She has a crass way of seeing the world and of describing her surroundings, one that I actually appreciated and enjoyed. It even made me laugh a few times, despite the seriousness of the topic.

I've read other books about eating disorders, but I think Purge ranks as one of the best books for teens/pre-teens because it is so readable,descriptive, and candid about general teenager issues s
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Janie could be anyone and her experience inside a treatment center for eating disorders, reveals that teens have a lot of pressures that they're processing, and sometimes, any path to feeling lighter brings relief.

I don't want to reveal too much about that catalyst of Janie's disease, breakdown or admission to the facility, except that my heart broke as it probably mirrors the story of millions of young women across America.

I appreciated the interior monologue of Janie's Diary as well as the l
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
what I liked about the book was that it was a lot lighter than wintergirls but it still managed to capture the evolution of Janie really well. I was looking for a ED related book that wouldn't leave me completely emotionally drained, so this book was a good choice.
There were times when I didn't like Janie very much though. Being in a (mental health) hospital against your own will can turn you into a bitch, yes, but the way she looked down at the anorexics for being too late for the meals or frea
Bethany Tyler
3.5 stars because of language
ALEXUS Williams
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Personal response
I thought the book Purge was all right. It got a little boring after a while. However, I did like how this book showed what people with eating disorders go through every day. I also liked how the author included both genders suffering with an eating disorder.

Janie is a 16 year old who has a lot going on in her life. Besides lying to her parents about personal matters, she suffered with an eating disorder. When her parents find out, they put her in Golden Slopes (A rehab cent
Breanna Weiland
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Personal Response:
I think The Purge was a good book. Though at times, it lost some of my interest and I had to push myself through it. I think the author did a great job of making sure the main idea of the story was clear. I also think that the main idea of the story was an amazing lesson for everyone to be able to read and understand. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The Plot:
The story began with a girl named Janie. Janie was diagnosed with Bulimia, a mental disorder where people feel the n
Purge intrigued me. What goes through the mind of a teenage girl suffering from bulimia, an eating disorder? Young people having eating disorders are so common now where image is so important and everyone strives for that vision of perfection.

This issue is so close to many of us young adult's hearts. We find this so relatable with all the pressure to be perfect instead of accepting who we are.

Janie is admitted at Golden Slopes for bingeing and bulimia, she hates throwing up so why does she do it
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Janie doesn't think she has an eating problem, but after disgracing herself at her sister's wedding she finds herself at Golden Slopes, a mental institution for teenage 'barfers and starvers'. Janie is a purger and this is her story told in the first person with each chapter beginning with entries from a journal given to her in her therapy group. The reader becomes drawn into the world of the bulimic by reading Janie's private thoughts and following her journey from denial through to her underst ...more
Brea Mapes
Oct 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I read the book "Purge" by Sarah Darer Littman. I've always been into the YA books, and this was just another one. It didn’t stand out much compared to the other ones I’ve read in the past. Janie was supposedly sent to a mental hospital, because she suffered from Bulimia. Once you start reading further into the book you realize there is more to the story then what she’s saying. By the end of the book she reveals the real reason why she was put into the hospital and all I can say is that I didn’t ...more
Dec 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
I like eating disorder books. I know that sounds creepy, but it's true. I also like rehab stories, so I thought this book would be great. But I just couldn't get past the voice. No teenager talks like Janie. Except maybe Ellen Paige in Juno, which is also unrealistic.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
didnt stand out read wintergirls!!! if ur interested in a book such as this.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paola L.
Personal Response:
Purge by Sarah Darer Littman was an okay book. It was not the best book I have read, but it was not the worst book either. It was fun to to see the main character, Janie, develop throughout the story and admit her problem. Janie was the one telling the story, so her feelings and point of view were easy to comprehend. The book was also a little confusing. This was because sometimes the author was not very clear on who was sharing their emotions with Janie at times. The reader wa
Beautifully Broken
This took me a while to finish, but not because I couldn't concentrate. It was simply because I haven't read much the past few days, as I've found myself preoccupied with other things. And let me tell you-if I wasn't preoccupied and able to read, I probably would have read this in one or two sittings-that's how I finished it, at least. It was just that gripping. I couldn't put it down, as it had me hooked.

For one, the storyline is just so realistic. For some reason, I've always had an interest
Hadyn Hartle
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. This book made me realize that many girls and guys have secrets and sometime those secrets can change your life. I would have to recommend this book for any one who struggles with a mental disorder, or a eating disorder.
The main character in this book called “Purge”is Janie. Janie struggles with the eating disorder bulimia. She hates throwing up, and having to do it ever time she eats. Janie is in sports at school, and loves being a athlete, but her eating disorder gets
Morgan Wessell
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read "Purge" by Sarah Darer Littman and found it to be surprisingly about overcoming obstacles whether it's physically, mentally, or emotionally. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling or trying to conquer there day by day battles. Janie Ryman is a teenager obsessed with throwing up, but she doesn't like it at all. In fact, she wants to be a normal teenager who can finish her food and not have to throw up every time she eats. This is her secret but this doesn't remain quiet fo ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Littman, Sarah Darer Purge, 240 (approx.). Scholastic, April 2009. Language – R, Sexual Content – PG-13.

After a spectacular incident at her half-sister’s wedding, Janie finds herself in Golden Slopes Hospital labeled as a Barfer (as the other inmates call her type of eating disorder). While Janie is resistant to opening up in private or group counseling sessions, she happy to unburden her soul in the pages of her journal. Her journey to self-awareness and relative health is aided and hindered by
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A read that is entertaining and realistic.

This isn't your ordinary cut, copy, and paste novel about another girl with something wrong with her and a few problems. The wedding for instance is a driving plot point that gets revealed more and more as you read. The audience saw many breakthroughs like with Tom's scene with Royce. It was priceless. 10/10 nice mention and handling of that subplot.

One thing that was funny and sometimes over the line at times was how //blunt// the MC was about puking a
Eve beinguniquebooks
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Janie is a secret bulimic, until now as she finds herself hospitalized and facing weeks of therapy alone and in a group. As she stays with anorexics and bulimics in the hospital, ruled by nurses and therapists she slowly unravels and finally confides the events culminating in her admission.

Janie is a typical teen in the issues she deals with by binging and purging as she feels lost and insecure as well as rejected from her family and the boy she liked. Dealing with her sister getting married and
Brooklyn Byers
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anamia
I thought that it portrayed realistic formality of the true hardships, denials, and origins of someone with an Eating Disorder. It includes very shocking events that easily do happen and I just overall feel this book was very spot on for an ED book. Now as far as the character goes I feel she was a bit bland at some times but she could be very dramatic as well, more so black and white. I really did enjoy it and it definitely shows the hard truth behind eating disorders.
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Sarah Darer Littman is the award-winning author of CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC, PURGE, LIFE, AFTER, WANT TO GO PRIVATE? and the upcoming CHARMED, I'M SURE and IN CASE YOU MISSED IT and middle grade fairy tale retellings CHARMED I'M SURE, and FAIREST OF THEM ALL. She lives in Connecticut, in a house that never seems to have enough bookshelves.

Tweeters follow Sarah @SarahDarerLitt

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“So there you have it--my sorry tale. That's how something I though I controlled ended up controlling me.” 18 likes
“But who am I if I'm not Janie the bulimic? Bulimia has become so much a part of me that I can't remember what it felt like not to purge. It's been this secret that I have hidden from my parents and my friends (well, except for Nancy) and the rest of the world. It's the way I can let off the pressure of always feeling like I'm not smart enough, I'm not thin enough, not pretty enough, not funny enough, just plain not enough enough.” 10 likes
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