Title: Sad Perfect
Author: Stephanie Elliot
Series Status: Standalone
# of pages: 310
My rating: 4/5 stars
The story of a teen girl’s struggle with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and how love helps her on the road to recovery.
Sixteen-year-old Pea looks normal, but she has a secret: she has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It is like having a monster inside of her, one that not only dictates what she can eat, but also causes anxiety, depression, and thoughts that she doesn’t want to have. When she falls crazy-mad in love with Ben, she hides her disorder from him, pretending that she’s fine. At first, everything really does feel like it’s getting better with him around, so she stops taking her anxiety and depression medication. And that’s when the monster really takes over her life. Just as everything seems lost and hopeless, Pea finds in her family, and in Ben, the support and strength she needs to learn that her eating disorder doesn’t have to control her.
So I want to start this review by stating a trigger warning for this book. This is also why I have excluded the book cover from this review. I have seen that multiple people said that the cover was triggering so in order to make this review safer for everyone I’m not going to include. Also this book surrounds a girl dealing with an eating disorder as well as anxiety, depression, and self harm. Some of these scenes are described in detail so I feel that I should warn about this.
Now on to my review, I personally really enjoyed this book and found that it was truly a diverse and incredible story about a disorder I had not heard of previously. It deals heavily and I think well with educating the reader on exactly what this disorder is as well as what it means for the person going through it. I do not have an eating disorder so I cannot speak to the legitimacy as to how it was portrayed but I can say that it definitely made me think about this disorder more.
The characters were super sweet and adorable and see the relationships that change and grow from the story was probably my favorite part. It was interesting to see how Pea, the main character, and her brother’s relationship takes a dramatic shift because of her disorder. The development and growth behind the story was what made this book.
Possibly the only thing that was lacking in this story was the writing style. I feel like it was stylized this was to serve a purpose but I couldn’t get past how almost every sentence began with “you”. This took away from the story for me and created a disconnect for me from the main character. It was understandable because it felt like the author wanted you to see what living with a disorder felt like but it felt like it was undermining the main character.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and thought it at least brought to light different disorders that aren’t often talked about.