Zoe Letting Go

FeaturedHot
 
3.7
 
2.5 (2)
5057 0
Zoe Letting Go
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 28, 2012
ISBN
9781595144669
Buy This Book
      
A girl's letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that's "Wintergirls" meets "The Sixth Sense."

Editor reviews

1 reviews

An intriguing look at eating disorders
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Zoe is not at all pleased when her mother wakes her up, all but throws her in the car, and dumps her at Twin Birch. It's not a hospital, it's not a jail, but the six girls who are there have very strict rules they need to follow, especially when it comes to food and "sharing" with the other patients. Zoe doesn't need to be at Twin Birch; she tries not to fight against the counselors when she has to do therapy sessions, she eats what she is supposed to even though she can tell she's gaining weight, and she hopes that she can leave soon. In order to cope, she writes letters to her best friend Elise, and talks a lot about the food rituals the two develop as well as the problems that they faced in high school. There are problems at Twin Birch as well, and gain, Zoe does not feel that her problems are severe enough to require her to be in this expensive facility. There are parts of her past that she is ignoring, and until she comes to terms with these, she won't really be healed.
Good Points
This is a very good book about anorexia, and I especially appreciated that Zoe was NOT in very bad shape. I think there are a fair number of girls whose anorexia can be dealt with before they really endanger themselves. While more extreme examples are shown in the other patients, Zoe's thought processes are a valuable addition to the canon of eating disorder fiction.
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
2.5
Plot 
 
2.0  (2)
Characters 
 
2.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (2)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Different side of eating disorders
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
This book is an ambitious debut novel that takes a very different approach to eating disorders and recovery from anorexia. The novel’s titular protagonist, is sent to a rehab center but doesn’t know why—she’s so very different from the other girls, she doesn’t fit in, she’s not a freak like them, etc., etc. Most of Zoe Letting Go relies on mystery and, at times, it reads something like a psychological thriller, which may or may not have been a good stylistic decision, but definitely made this book stand out.

In the end, I really liked Price’s treatment of Zoe’s mental journey, her interactions with fellow patients, and the way everything at school functioned. At the same time, I didn’t really buy it. Once the reveal happens and the reader discovers why Zoe was really sent to rehab, things don’t make sense. In my opinion, Zoe was right in that she didn’t belong at that place (and certainly, she shouldn’t have been left to figure things out on her own—that defeats the purpose of therapy, correct?). Yes, Zoe was recovering from an eating disorder, but she also had a bunch of issues that could have been dealt with in more effective ways.

Another thing was the sense of menace that filled the atmosphere at the Twin Birch center. The other girls are out to get Zoe, but she doesn’t know why. She views them as evil wraiths, while she sees herself as mostly normal (which, outwardly, she is). Add in the missing places in her memory, and it really felt like Price was attempting to turn Zoe Letting Go into a thriller. The mystery and danger Zoe felt seemed at odds with her progress toward recovery.

On technical aspects. First, I didn’t feel at all that Price had a good grip on her characters. The book is narrated via Zoe’s journal entries and letters to her friend Elise, but the language did not sound like a teenager’s voice at all. I’m sure some teenagers use words like “rectilinearity” and “perplexing” and “somnolent” in normal conversation, but most don’t. Zoe didn’t seem to have a good reason to write in the way she did, being neither bookish, exposed to that kind of language regularly, nor in possession of above-average schooling. As a result, a lot of the language in Zoe Letting Go felt a bit stilted and inauthentic, though it wasn’t exactly bad.

And second, there were plotholes here and there. Some things didn’t add up, or plotlines were picked up and set aside without being resolved. Not a big deal, but the book did leave some lingering questions and confusion.

I did, in the end, enjoy this book. I thought it was well-written and interesting. Maybe I didn’t get all of it, but I did think the story was engaging. I could be tempted to pick up another book of Nora Price’s, should she choose to write another novel. Zoe Letting Go isn’t a remarkable book, but it’s not half bad.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Slow and kind of boring
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Plot 
 
1.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Why did this book remind me of Cracked and Winter Girls? Six girls in a… what do you call this place since “It's not a hospital, a spa, or an institution. That's what they told me--that's what the brochures promised.”? Anyway, six girls are in this place because they have issues, mental issues, that is.

I liked Girl, Interrupted by Price but Zoe letting go didn’t work for me. I got bored and felt like dropping the book but because it is Price I found it within my heart to finish it.

In this book nothing really happens and nothing is really explained. Who was stealing the articles of clothing?

I got tired of the breakfast- therapy- lunch-socializing-dinner routine and the food/menu.

What I liked: the end was surprising. I finally found out why Zoe was in there but so little was said about it that I just had to guess the rest. The end felt rushed, as if to get the book over with because she couldn’t think of more food to add to the book.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 1
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel...
Corona Daze: Eva's time at home during Covid-19
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"Angel's artwork is an inspirational blend of photographic images and...
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Griffin O’Shea is a traitor. It’s what those outside...
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and...
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (the...
Launch (Rise of the Anointed #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the biblical stories, Samson had great strength. The prophet...
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
The Other Side of Midnight
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The sense of foreboding came out of nowhere. It was...
Light of Orion-Guardians of Orion Book 2
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Evil is gathering strength. When she learns the truth, it...
Mark of Orion-Guardians of Orion Book 1
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If you like sinister demons, warrior angels, supernatural powers, ancient...

Latest Member Reviews

Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
"GOBLIN KING is a much faster-paced and action-packed YA fantasy sequel. Janneke has taken the mantle of the stag, though..."
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
"SWAMP THING: TWIN BRANCHES is a graphic novel about finding yourself, remembering history, and forging your own path forward. Alec..."
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
"BROKEN WISH is a beautifully composed fairytale. The book begins with the story of Mathilda and Agnes, neighbors who have..."
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
"THE GILDED WOLVES is a fantastic YA fantasy. Although given a year in the 1800s and a historical setting, the..."
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
"That ending!!! THE SILVERED SERPENTS is an engaging YA historical fantasy that picks up after the first book ended, and..."
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
"Ashley Poston has crafted a new fairy tale for the ages! Among the Beasts and Briars may very well be..."
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
"WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME is an intriguing conclusion to a YA fantasy duology about sisterhood. This book picks up..."
Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
 
3.7
"SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is an intriguing YA fantasy that focuses on the love between sisters. Zuhra has lived..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
"FORESHADOW is a fantastic collection of short stories with a focus on discussion and writing. Each story is undeniably well-composed..."
A Cloud of Outrageous Blue
 
4.3
"A CLOUD OF OUTRAGEOUS BLUE is a historical fiction read that takes the reader to 1348-1349. Edyth grew up with..."
Slingshot
 
4.7
"SLINGSHOT by Mercedes Helnwein is a firecracker of a debut. This YA contemporary is set inside a shoddy boarding school..."
Raybearer (Raybearer, #1)
 
5.0
"RAYBEARER is a lush and imaginative YA fantasy that had me captivated from the start. The book follows Tarisai, who..."
A Golden Fury
 
4.0
"When I started A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe, I’m not sure what I was expecting. A historical fantasy? A..."
Beyond the Ruby Veil (The Walls in the Ruby Sky, #1)
 
4.3
"BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL is a very dark YA fantasy that features a ruthless anti-heroine and a mysterious other world...."
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)
 
5.0
"LIGHTBRINGER is a truly epic finale to the Empirium trilogy. Rielle and Eliana are mother and daughter, separated by thousands..."
Dating Makes Perfect
 
4.3
" The story: Just like her sisters before her, Winnie isn’t allowed to date in high school. With..."
A Golden Fury
 
3.3
"A GOLDEN FURY is a YA historical fantasy that entrenches the reader in the life of Thea. Thea is a..."
Miss Meteor
 
5.0
"Meteor, New Mexico is the site where a meteor crashed years ago. It's also the site of the Miss Meteor..."
In the Study with the Wrench
 
3.0
"After the death of the headmaster and the storm in the first book, Blackbrook Academy is barely functioning. Half the..."
Five Total Strangers
 
5.0
"FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS is a thrilling ride that kept me guessing. Mira is on her way to her mother's house..."