Summary (from Goodreads):
“`Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn’t notice at first.’
“Your shirt is yellow.”
“Your eyes are blue.”
“You have to stop running away from your problems.”
“You’re too skinny.”
Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse’s past with her own secrets — which she’ll protect at any cost.”
I’m wasn’t going to discuss Diana’s problem because the book synopsis doesn’t but most of the blurbs on the back of the book do reveal it. Diana has an eating disorder (and I wouldn’t consider that a spoiler because very early on, the reader starts to get a hint that her relationship with food is complicated at best. But anorexia isn’t not her only problem. Her mom also has cancer, and Diana is doing everything she can think of to keep from dealing with that.
And while it would be easy to dismiss this as an “issues book,” that would be doing a huge disservice. Rita Arens tackles the subject matter with grace and sensitivity. It also shows just how subtle this problem can be. It’s not like Diana goes from “totally fine” to “75 pounds” in a chapter. Diana seems okay until she isn’t anymore. It’s a slippery slope that she’s on and this book does a fantastic job of showing that.
This isn’t what I’d consider to be a “fun” book, but it’s very compelling. And it’s worth the read. (Also, I would like to point out that given the fact that it’s about a teenager with anorexia and a mom with cancer, this is much lighter than it could be. There are lots of happy and funny parts, too. So don’t avoid this because you think it’s going to be depressing. It’s not Sophie’s Choice.)