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The Art of Starving Hardcover – July 11, 2017

4.7 out of 5 stars 215 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up—The less Matt eats, the more control he has over his body. The more control he has, the stronger his powers get. And he needs his powers strong if he's going to find out what the bullies did to make his sister run away. And punish them. This is a compellingly narrated magical realism exploration of eating disorders, isolation, and desire. The first half makes for compulsive reading as teens watch Matt's war with his own body and the mysterious unfurling of his abilities. There are some well-crafted dives into how eating disorders are experienced by young men, and young gay men in particular. Unfortunately, the book's denouement falls largely flat, with pat resolutions and didactic twists, although it avoids the simple recovery trajectory trope. VERDICT A serviceable title for readers seeking an unconventional look at eating disorders and complicated gay romance.—L. Lee Butler, Hart Middle School, Washington, DC

Review

“Matt toes the line between expiration and enlightenment, sparing no detail of his twisted, antagonistic relationship with his body. [His] sarcastic, biting wit keeps readers rooting for him and hoping for his recovery. A dark and lovely tale of supernatural vengeance and self-destruction.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Matt is an admirably strong character who is out and proud, brilliant, creative, and determined to survive... Miller’s creative portrait of a complex and sympathetic individual will provide a welcome mirror for kindred spirits.” -- Booklist (starred review)

“Matt is a master at suppressing his urges, but there is nothing romantic about debut novelist Miller’s portrayal of anorexia... discussion of Matt’s future is brutally honest. As Matt’s body deteriorates and his ‘powers’ reach new levels, readers must decide for themselves what is and isn’t real.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“One of the most important books of the year… How different, and how beautiful, our world would be if we could take its lesson of empathy to heart.” -- B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog

“An extraordinarily vital and necessary book that deals with underrepresented characters, discussions of toxic masculinity, and the effects of bullying in raw and effective ways . . . the overall message of devotion and self-acceptance is beautifully told.”   -- Romantic Times BOOKclub

“Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless and powerful, The Art of Starving is a classic in the making.” -- Book Riot

“Miller’s powerful, provocative and daring work forces readers to question reality and how much of our world is shaped by what we see.” -- Shelf Awareness

“This book is an ache, a bruise, a slaughterhouse of a love story; every word is a blow, but every blow is an anthem. This is what truth feels and smells and tastes like, and it’s one magnificent monster.” -- Margaret Stohl, bestselling author of the Beautiful Creatures series

“Beautifully rendered. This novel will break your heart and heal it again.” -- Coretta Scott-King Award and Newbery Honor winner Jacqueline Woodson

“As gritty with salted wounds as are all great fairytales, The Art of Starving is The Outsiders with superpowers. It should be shelved alongside the classic stories of unexpected salvation.” -- Maria Dahvana Headley, bestselling author of Magonia

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperTeen (July 11, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062456717
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062456717
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 13 years and up
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL730L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 8 - 12
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.21 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 215 ratings

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About the author

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Sam J. Miller is the Nebula-Award-winning author of The Art of Starving (an NPR best of the year) and Blackfish City (a “Must Read” in Entertainment Weekly and O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine). Sam’s short stories have been nominated for the World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, and Locus Awards, and reprinted in dozens of anthologies. He is the last in a long line of butchers, and he has also been a film critic, a grocery bagger, a community organizer, a secretary, a painter's assistant and model, and the guitarist in a punk rock band. He lives in New York City, and at samjmiller.com.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
215 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on August 8, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2017
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Shin Purple
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and enchanting
Reviewed in Germany on September 30, 2020
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Froschkönigin
2.0 out of 5 stars Zuviel, zuviel
Reviewed in Germany on December 18, 2018
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