Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 3rd 2010
by Deseret Book Company
Juliet Kendall has been looking forward to her sixteenth birthday for what feels like forever. At first, it seems like being sixteen will be as perfect as she dreamed—she has great friends, a cute almost-boyfriend, a spot on the varsity girls’ basketball team, and even a car of her own. But, as the year goes on, she discovers that her sister Carly is hiding a secret, and realizes that, in fact, being sixteen may be her hardest year yet.
Being Sixteen is a coming-of-age story about two sisters and their different struggles. It addresses what it means to have a testimony, what it meant to be a friend and a sister, and what’s involved in the dealing with and overcoming an eating disorder.
The first time I saw this book on the shelf at Deseret Book I have to admit I put it back. I just wasn’t sure I was ready to read another book dealing with eating disorders. Then after reading Matched I decided I wanted to delve into more of Ally Condie’s past titles. Being Sixteen resonated with me on so many levels. It hit deep within my core and is now one of my top three favorite books of the year. I found myself in tears several times while reading. The overall message breathes truth and hope. Allyson Condie takes on eating disorders with grace and style. Her voice is poetic, and real. Here’s one of my favorite passages from Juliet, who struggles with isolation and disappointment in the wake of her sister’s disorder.
“On one level I was ashamed of how weak I was, of how I’d do anything to avoid feeling hurt. But on another level I felt almost strong, a little proud of the way I’d cut off the parts of my life that made me feel too much sadness.” p. 124
This is a book I would wholeheartedly recommend to every Young Woman I know as well as her parents. Many crucial facets of diagnosis, treatment and the long road to recovery from anorexia and bulimia are addressed. Two sister’s struggles and growing pains are woven beautifully into the pages showing that even those from strong functional families have life altering problems.
Being Sixteen explores the effects of an eating disorder on loved ones and family as well as how easily faith in Heavenly Father can dim, to later be rekindled. Thank you so much to Deseret Book for sending me this book for review. It is one that I will forever remember. Five stars plus.