Published by The Echo News
Friend looks into many difficult topics in a gentle but jarring way. She discusses ideas that cannot be approached easily, but explains them well. As an adult reader, I found this book lacking in depth at times, but I believe it would approach tween girls right where they are and give them an introduction to the concept of eating disorders. Isabella has a strong, witty tween voice that captures the reader’s attention and connection.
My biggest concern with this book was its lack of resolution. The story ends with Isabelle starting on her path to recovery in light of both her eating disorder and grief. But the story needed to include more of Isabelle’s steps toward health. Recovering from an eating disorder is not a fast or easy process, and this would have been a valuable aspect of her journey to read about. Perfect doesn’t exactly tell the reader what harm an eating disorder can cause, it only shows the actual illness. I worry that this approach gives readers ideas rather than solutions- shows them methods to try rather than inform them of the dangers these methods pose.
Overall, this was a quick read and worth the time investment. But if you give this book to a tween, I would recommend initiating a follow-up conversation to make sure the points came across correctly.