Friday, October 14, 2011

"Reasons to be Happy" Review

"Reasons to be Happy"
 by Katrina Kittle

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: Oct 1, 2011 
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from  

Hannah's parents are glamorous Hollywood royalty, and sometimes she feels like the ugly duckling in a family of swans. After her mother's tragic death, Hannah's grief is compounded by her desperate need to live up to her mother's image. She tries to control her weight through Bulimia, and her devastated father is too distracted to notice. The secret of her eating disorder weighs heavily on Hannah, but the new eighth grade Beverly Hills clique she's befriended only reinforces her desire to be beautiful. The only one who seems to notice, or care, that something is wrong is Jasper, the quirky mistfit.

My Review:

I usually consider it a spoiler to reveal too much more than what the back cover of a book delivers, but this book is about bulimia. I thought I knew what bulimia was before I read this book, but I realize now I barely knew anything. The author paints a gruesome look at all of the dirty, embarrassing details of the eating disorder, without sugar coating anything. She creates an honest, and still very compassionate, view of a young girl with bulimia.

I think this book could be really helpful if you know someone with this eating disorder. It really helps to understand what the disease is and what the person is going through. 

Hannah's relationship with her dad is so honest, especially since he is going through a disease that has many similar qualities. In the end when you can tell he finally understands, it is really bittersweet. 

When Hannah goes to Ghana with her aunt, it really puts her decisions into perspective for both Hannah and the reader. I thought this was a really interesting perspective on the disease.

Jasper was too adorable as a love interest. He was much more mature and accepting than most 8th grade boys in my opinion (and probably more mature than most adults for that matter). Sometimes, I felt like Hannah was a little older than 8th grade as well. The book felt more mature than a middle grade book, so I think I would classify it as YA instead of MG.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line: There's so much to mention about this book and not enough space. But overall, it is an honest, compassionate look at the effects of bulimia.

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