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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  60 reviews
John Green meets Laurie Halse Anderson in this award-winning, "haunting," and "incredibly real" book that "holds you there until the very last sentence".

16-year-old Wes McCoy is not the favorite child.

He does not have a wrestling scholarship to Stanford nor does he live up to the family legacy as an athlete, unlike his brother, Jason. But when Jason dies in a car accident
Published November 2020 by Immortal Works
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  88 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Anna {Follow me for reviews! (✿◡‿◡)}
I received a free PDF copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Molly Fennig!

First off, I don't know why more people don't know about this book! I found that this book in particular pulled me in more than some books I've read about the topics of eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa. It was also interesting as it's in the POV of a teen boy instead of a teen girl. I think that people often just associate these disorders with only girls without really thinking
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, read-agains
4.5 ⭐️ this really hit a spot
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Firstly, thank you to Molly Fennig for sending me a copy of her fantastically emotive debut novel about eating disorders and other mental health issues within contemporary teenage society.

As a teacher of sixteen to nineteen year olds, I hold a genuine interest of looking at the world and the difficulties surrounding it through the eyes of people within and around this age group. Fennig captured the voice, feelings and actions of teenagers fantastically well, whilst also inputting her knowledge
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Wes, a wrestler, develops anorexia after her brother’s death and his girlfriend’s struggle with the eating disorder.

STARVATION is a heavy-handed story about eating disorders and mental illness that doesn’t try to be anything else. Molly Fennig filled her book with Messages (with a capital M) often in stilted dialogue that didn’t sound like any teenage boy I’ve ever met.

I am glad Fennig tried to tell a story about a boy with an eating disorder. I wish she had teen boy beta readers to make the voi
Jenni Bishop
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Starvation by Molly Fennig is a raw YA story where the main character, a male has an eating disorder and mental illness. It is a pretty heavy handed topic and tale that many will find confronting. The story is told in dual timelines, the before and the after, the past and the present which shows why Wes became how he is. I found the writing style very descriptive. It is a powerful and very emotional read and certainly sends a message.
Marieke du Pré
His therapist asks, “What do you know about eating disorders?” Wes answers, “I don’t have one. I’m not a girl.”

It’s like autism but the other way round. With autism we immediately think about boys, but girls have it too. They only can adapt better, making it less noticeable. With anorexia we all think about girls but more and more boys have it too. Anorexic boys only can hide their eating behavior better, making it less noticeable.

This book is about Wes who meets Caila, an anorexic girl. Caila
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Definitely enjoyable! Thank you to Molly Fennig for the ARC. I’ve read a lot of books along these lines but this really came from a different perspective.
Pages For Thoughts
I screamed at my computer screen "No! That's it???" There has to be more. I want more! Do they both get better? Do they get married? Get to go to college? However, I suppose the emphasis on uncertainty matches with the unpredictability of eating disorders and other mental illness. Relapse is extremely common in anorexia patients.
Starvation portrays the most accurate and realistic view of the development of eating disorders that I have ever read, and I definitely learned more about the motivation
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So I knew going into this story it was going to be a tense read that would really make me think and play with my emotions. I was probably a little underprepared though lol. I have to say this book is very well written and engaging but be prepared to want to scream and cry all at once more often than not while reading. I have had very dear friends of my struggle with eating disorders and this book really captures what it is like to not only live with one yourself but the way this impacts family a ...more
Molly Fennig
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Editorial Reviews (5, all 5 stars):

Reviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite - 5 stars

Starvation by Molly Fennig is a YA novel that addresses realistic issues and presents elaborately developed and compelling characters. Sixteen-year-old Wes McCoy has never been the favorite of the family. His brother, Jason, who is the apple of everyone’s eye, dies in a car accident on his way to the State wrestling championship. Wes’s life gets upended in ways he can’t understand. In his struggle to cop
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sixteen-year-old Wes McCoy passes out during wrestling practice. He is sent to the hospital and begins to reflect. Before and after, before and after. The story is told in alternating timelines, answering the questions of how we got here and what happens next. The development of Wes's eating disorder is devastating, and all the more so because no one seemed to notice, despite his losing 55 pounds in less than a year. Sadly, this unbelievable plot is not so hard to believe. Just as Wes himself a ...more
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sixteen year old Wes can’t believe that his brother Jason is dead. Wes meets Caila sitting in the high school hall on a windowsill crying. She is dressed as a ballerina. She thanks Wes after they talk a little but Wes doesn’t understand. Caila decides to go on a fruit diet and asks Wes to do it too. It’s for a report on changing eating habits. Wes doesn’t know if it’s a good thing to do. Caila wants to lose weight to be able to dance ballet better. She does lose weight and doesn’t stop. Wes can’ ...more
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Starvation by Molly Fennig

5 Stars

WOW!! I finished this book a day or so ago and it has stayed with me every minute since. This story was so sad and dark and felt so so real. It had a few surprise moments that I didn't see coming and I normally could read this book in a day but there was so much emotion that went with reading this story that I literally had to put it down more often than normal to let what I read sink in.

This was a beautifully written story and I became completely invested in Wes
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Starvation is the first book I have read by Molly Fennig, but I would absolutely read more. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time, it will leave a lasting impression. I caution the reader, as it is a very emotional book. It is very well written, where we can see and feel what the characters are going through. There is a lot of struggle and heartbreak, but also a lot of true feelings teens go through in their lives. It is very real. I never really thought about how one develops ...more
Laura Furuta
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By Molly Fennig
5 out of 5 stars

This is a book that had me hooked from the very beginning and I didn’t want to put it down until the final page. It is the story of a young man named Wes McCoy. He is going through his life feeling that he is judged and always compared to his older brother. He tries to take control of the one thing he can, how much he eats. When tragedy strikes this only makes his situation harder to deal with as well as his relationships with others suffer. Wes is a ch
Anantha Rusum
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very powerful emotional roller-coaster read about a very rare topic, eating disorder in men.
The story runs in two timelines, present, and past.
The past tells a story of a young Wes, who has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, a wrestling champion.
He meets a girl Caila, who wants to diet for her ballet dancing. He gets into this dieting habit with her and falls deeper and deeper to extreme diet. As his brother dies, he somehow lets this diet take control over his life.
And as tim
Bridgette Pronozuk
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I started and finished this book in two days! It’s compelling, thoughtfully and well-written, and accurately portrays an individual’s life with an eating disorder. As someone who has been in and out of treatment for anorexia numerous times, I’m often hesitant to read such things (and certainly wouldn’t consider it for “pleasure”!). Fennig’s writing is done in a way that doesn’t at all “mock” the struggles that individuals facing mental illness experience, and I genuinely appreciated the story.
Bobbi Wagner
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is my first book by this author, I look forward to reading more from her in the future. I enjoyed this young adult story. This was an emotional story that I could relate to being an emotional eater for many, many years. The characters brought this story to life for me. They are connectable and made the story an emotional roller coaster ride. This is a story about Wes who is nothing like his brother but when his brother dies in an accident, his life changes. This is where things really chang ...more
Jessica Engel
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Starvation by Molly Fenning was an excellent, realistic story told from the point of view of main character Wes. The story is told in alternating chapters from Before and After a tragic accident takes a loved one from Wes until we find Wes in the present. I found story telling from this perspective as powerful. The reader really gains insight into Wes' life and witnesses the development of an eating disorder and the toll it takes on his life and interpersonal relationships.

I was struck by how r
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

Starvation by Molly Fennig is a young adult story that tackles the sensitive topic of eating disorders- from a male perspective.
It is raw, honest, and at times very confronting. Molly Fennig doesn’t shy away from this difficult topic, giving a warts-and-all account that really made me sit up and take notice.
The story alternated from past to present and back again- theses transitions were seamlessly choreographed into a seamless and powerfully realistic story. We follow Wes as he grapple
Rachel Moss
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Starvation by Molly Fennig was an incredible book, one that will resonate with you for awhile. While the author tries to take a stab at some dark humor sprinkled throughout, this a serious novel, one that deals with many things. It deals with depression, suicide, anxiety, and eating disorders. It could definitely be triggering for the right person, but I also think that if the right person reads this novel, it can help more than harm them. This book was so well written, I felt like I was right t ...more
Tausha Treadway
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Starvation by Molly Fennig. This book is one of those that will make you think about it long after you have finished. It covers some very sensitive issues so beware before you start. Its the story of Wes McCoy who is always the underdog. He has a older brother Jason who is the star student, star athlete, star all around kid and Wes can never live up to him. When Jason dies in a tragic accident the only way Wes knows how to deal with it is to control the one thing he can, what he eats. He becomes ...more
Erica Fish
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by Molly Fennig. This is a great YA book. It deals with a subject matter that is sensitive in nature. It is about eating disorders.It is an emotional read. The characters are well developed and are complicated. This book is a roller coaster ride for emotions. This story is about Wes, a not so popular teen. His brother on the other hand was very popular. This all changes in a minute. Wes is thrown into the spotlight and that is when the eating disorder takes ove ...more
Kerry Baker
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Starvation by Molly Fennig is a book that will completely take over your senses and leave you reeling page after page after page. It is dark and emotional and feels so real it is genuinely frightening at times. Why? Because it speaks about subject that is so emotional and yet happens every day without people realising. The author delves into a world that is foreign to a lot of us and yet so true so many more. The fact that it is told from the POV of a teenage boy just creates a bigger impact and ...more
Dawn Daughenbaugh
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Star
Starvation by Molly Fennig

Starvation by Molly Fennig is wonderfully written story that at times I had a hard time reading. The subject of Starvation strikes very close to home. I had a very close friend who battled with this and looking back now all the signs were there just nobody realized this person had a problem until it was to late. But my friend got the help they needed .Wes looses his brother due to a accident and after that things start to change. He meets Caila and she introduces
Julia Tannenbaum
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
This book tackled the complex topic of eating disorders in an educated and generally realistic way. As someone who has struggled with anorexia first-hand, I could relate to much of what the protagonist dealt with. Furthermore, I appreciate that the protagonist is male since there's a misconception that eating disorders only affect females, and representation is truly the best way to combat that.

My main problem with the book is the dialogue. It didn't read as realistically teen and was often stil
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
After I finished the book I was left with a jumble of emotions, I can't help but feel for the lead character.

The story of Wes is told through two timelines, present, and past. The storytelling is brilliant. It gives the story a unique depth and contrast between before and after. Of how is it to live with anorexia, how hard to even want to get better, and on another side how easily is to slip from good to a bad place.

The past tells a story of Wes, before. He was always living in a shadow of his
Kerry  carr
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This was a hard book to read but for the right reason. It covers subjects such as loss and eating disorders. What I really like about it is that the story is from a male perspective which I think is really important in opening up talk about eating disorders in men. Helping to realise it isn't just an illness women suffer.
The loss also hits our character at the same time he is dealing with this as he loses his brother. The pain and grief is hard to read and when the truth of what happens come out
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
TW:// Eating Disorders (anorexia and bulimia [in particular: purging, bingeing, restricting]), suicide, depression, mention of leukemia, loss of a sibling

Book Summary:

This follows our main character Wes. Wes is 16 years old and he is suffering from an eating disorder that he sustained over the course of the book. This is told from points of views where Wes is trying to get better (after) and where he starts to go down the road of eating disorder (before).

Wes meets this girl Caila who is anorexic
Rebecca Nagrodski
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In "Starvation", Molly Fennig does an amazing job at protraying anorexia/mental health honestly.

There is no preaching in this story, only a message that everyone is responsible for their own actions and everyone deserves to be happy in their own skin.

I really enjoyed how this story unfolded by switching back and forth between timelines. Although I don't usually like this style of storytelling, it worked perfectly for this story and really added to it.

Thank you to Netgalley; the publisher; and
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Molly Fennig is a Minnesota native who has published in The Blue Route Literary Magazine, The Blue Nib, other literary presses, two short story anthologies, and multiple scientific journals.

Molly is pursuing her PhD in clinical psychology at Washington University in St. Louis with a specialization in eating disorders. Her YA novel on the subject, Starvation, won a 2021 Independent Press Award.


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