Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending The Book Club a copy so we could have it for our August Book Of The Month!
If you get the chance to pick this book up, I strongly advise you do. I like my YA to have a “message” something important to say and Hennessy does not disappoint. Anyone from the current YA age group and beyond will remember Kate Moss famously saying “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and as you see from the title, this is exactly what Hennessy is trying to challenge.
We see Annabel who, in the afterlife has been given the mission to try and help her old classmate, Julia who is going through a tough time. Julia has little to no look with boys, she’s struggling at school..and her weight is ballooning. After all as Annabel says “denial is a powerful thing.”
You will be quickly drawn into the short chapters as you jump between Annabel and Julia’s perspectives on the world, one dead and one very much alive as we look at the key themes of food, friends and feminism.As we watch Annabel see her best friend and sister struggle with the very issues that kill her, she originally is detrimental to Julia. Julia’s obsessions with food and how she looks as well as the school newspaper quickly take over her life as she tries to write highlighting those the school lost, including her unknown spirit guide.
The book is written so well in the way that you get a jolt in the heart (literally, feels, ouch) when you realise just how quickly and suddenly the hold of an eating disorder can take over. This happens in day to day life, in thoughts, internet searches until it eventually just becomes a compulsion.
At the heart of this book lies a story that everyone can relate too. It allows us to look at not just the current victims of anorexia but also the ones the victims leave behind, parents, friends, siblings. It’s a truly touching book that is written in a truly beautiful way. A wonderful standalone contemporary. It has everything you’re looking for and more.
Let me tempt you even further with 10 Reasons Why You Should Read NTAG:
- It’s different. Not your typical YA contemp as it has that supernatural twist. It makes for a very interesting perspective. Everyone loves an unreliable narrator, right?
- Claire created a new saying. Julia is determined not to be a “sorbet girl” a rebound or a pallet cleanser. I will be telling all my girlfriends and younger girls I know, not to be a sorbet girl.
- It’s such a quick read, I and nearly all the girls in the bookclub zoomed through it in two/three days.
- It’s the first book from an Irish author I’ve read, it could be yours too.
- It’s so relatable – I haven’t connected with a character this much in a long time.
- It has a bit of romance in there for those who love a bit of that (guilty) but also drama too. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, especially in Julia’s head.
- It’s packed with girl power.
- It has a cover that will look amazing on your shelf (yes, that’s a factor).
- It focuses on a topic that so many shy away from.
- Claire is such a wonderful woman and its her beliefs that make the book come alive. Pardon the pun, you know, ‘cos Annabel’s dead.
So I hope I’ve somewhat convinced you to pick the book up. I’ve seen nothing but glowing reviews and it doesn’t surprise me.
Body positivity is the key here, #NothingTastesAsGoodAsHealthy
A resounding 5/5 for me.
So go get yourself a copy!
Thank you lovelies and happy reading! xo