2016 Book Reviews Claire Hennessy Hot Key Books
Book Review: Nothings Taste As Good by Claire Hennessy
"Two things hit me in the gut, or would if I still had one. One: I know this girl. Two: She's fat. If I'm supposed to save her from obesity, this is really not funny." Not a bad start for a book, right? Nothing Tastes as Good is not at all what you might expect, read my thoughts about it here:
Title: Nothing Tastes As Good
Author: Claire Hennessy
Published: July 14th 2016 by Hot Key Books
Blurb: Don’t call her a guardian angel. Annabel is dead – but she hasn’t completely gone away. Annabel immediately understands why her first assignment as a ghostly helper is to her old classmate: Julia is fat. And being fat makes you unhappy. Simple, right?
As Annabel shadows Julia’s life in the pressured final year of school, Julia gradually lets Annabel’s voice in, guiding her thoughts towards her body, food and control.
But nothing is as simple as it first seems. Spending time in Julia’s head seems to be having its own effect on Annabel . . . And she knows that once the voices take hold, it’s hard to ignore them.
Review: Nothing Tastes as Good is a really smart and thought-provoking story that focuses on very sensitive and current topics, especially eating disorders and self image. The way these topics are handled in the story is very original and refreshing. Basically, we have two teenagers, Annabel and Julia. Annabel was anorexic and Julia is overweight. I used past tense for Annabel because she died and has now become a "guardian angel/esprit" for Julia. She soon realises that Julia needs "fixing", which means she needs to start eating less and less and as she is an expert in not eating, she is quite sure she'll solve Julia's problem in no time.
But as we get to know these two teenagers we soon realise that their problems are not that easy to fix but also that their troubles and insecurities are not far-fetched and uncommon. I'm sure every teenager has wondered at some point if they were thin enough, I sure did, and more than one has actually taken drastic measures to lose some (or a lot of) weight. However, you don't find many books that talk about it. And it's important to talk about it. Very important.
What is so good about this book is how clearly Claire Hennessy delivers her message. This story is full of humour but also full of heart and it has two complex and really interesting characters that will really get to you. It's difficult to like Annabel though, she is bossy, stubborn and harsh, especially with Julia. But as the the story progresses, her view of the world starts shifting a bit and you see what a bright girl she could have been in other circumstances. It's heart-breaking to realise how damaging and self-destructive eating disorders can be.
All in all, Nothing Taste as Good is really worth a read, I'm sure it will leave no one indifferent.
Rating: 4 stars
I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*