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Perfect is only on the surface in this gripping novel about a teen girl who looks normal but struggles with a little known eating disorder.
Sixteen-year-old Pea has a secret: she has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, which means she can’t eat very much because nutritious foods frighten her. Having ARFID is like having a monster inside of her, one that dictates what she can eat, what she does and who she socializes with. This monster is growing and controlling more than just her food issues?it’s causing anxiety, depression, and giving her thoughts that she doesn’t want to have.
When she falls crazy-mad in love with Ben, she hides her disorder from him, pretending that she’s fine. At first, everything really does feel like it’s getting better with him around, so she stops taking her anxiety and depression medication. And that's when the monster really takes over her life. Just as everything seems lost and hopeless, Pea finds in her family, best friend, and Ben the support and strength that she needs to learn that her eating disorder doesn’t have to control her.
Sad Perfect is the haunting debut novel from Stephanie Elliot.
A Margaret Ferguson
Book Praise for Sad Perfect:
"Elliot's novel helps to fill a gap within teen narratives about disordered eating." —Kirkus Review
"A well-written page-turner whose sensitive topic is covered with finesse and grace. This novel would be a worthy addition to a high school library collection." —School Library Journal
"Diversity in young adult books is finally on the rise, and Sad Perfect fits the bill. It takes an honest look at an eating disorder and mental health issues faced by some teens. Sad Perfect is recommended for libraries serving middle school age and up, where it will appeal to fans of realistic fiction about difficult topics." —VOYA
"Written in the second-person, Sad Perfect is the spare, hauntingly told story of a teenage girl and the eating disorder that threatens to consume her. You'll be riveted by her story, and by Elliot's careful observations of social media, the healthcare system, and parental neglect. Girls, and boys, will be reading this elegant and sad book for years to come." —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times-bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
"A raw and visceral exploration of a unique eating disorder. Told in the second person, Sad Perfect is a masterfully crafted novel about the struggle for self-love and the healing power of self-acceptance." —Shannon M. Parker, author of The Girl Who Fell
“In this heartbreaking and deeply personal novel, Stephanie Elliot elevates the specific to the universal, and chronicles all of our struggles with the demons within.” —Julie Buxbaum, New York Times-bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things
“Sad Perfect is the spare, hauntingly told story of a teenage girl and the eating disorder that threatens to consume her. . . . Girls, and boys, will be reading this elegant and sad book for years to come.” —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times-bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
“Sad Perfect is a brilliant and beautiful debut. Pea's story of her struggles with the eating disorder ARFID demands to be heard and understood through the powerful second-person narrative. This book is raw and visceral, yet ringed with the sweet hope of first love and the support of family. I could not put it down." —Marisa Reichardt, author of Underwater
“A raw and visceral exploration of a unique eating disorder. Told in the second person, Sad Perfect is a masterfully crafted novel about the struggle for self-love and the healing power of self-acceptance." —Shannon M. Parker, author of The Girl Who Fell