Matt hasn’t eaten in days.
His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.
Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.
So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?
Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger… and he isn’t in control of all of them.
Trigger Warnings: eating disorders, animal cruelty (slaughterhouse)
THE ART OF STARVING is the debut novel from Sam J. Miller about a boy with an eating disorder that believes gives him special powers. Now before you all write this one off as glorifying eating disorders, let me tell you more about it.
We follow Matt who hasn’t eaten in days. His sister ran away from home without a single explanation. This begins Matt’s journey to take things into his own hands to bring justice against the boys he thinks caused harm to his sister. He vows to take down these boys no matter what the cost is, even if it involves his heart.
THE ART OF STARVING is told sort of like a rule book for mastering your own body including the most important rule of not eating, as narrated by Matt himself. He believes that by not eating he is gaining more control over his mind and body. This involves him thinking he is gaining these superpowers. His senses are getting more sensitive and he believes this is all caused from eating the bare minimum each day. Matt does not think he has an eating disorder. But he does.
This book is about the destruction of ones mind and body from this disorder, but it is ultimately about finding the help you need to overcome it. Matt was so negative and destructive to not only himself, but to the others around him. It was a beautifully written story that really resonated with me.
So before you write this one off as a glorification of eating disorders, know that it isn’t. This is an own voices story that brings awareness to not only male eating disorders, but to the destruction that they cause. I highly recommend it!
Jesse is a 20 something college student/server and dwells in Toronto, Canada. He enjoys reading about fantastical worlds, listening to KPOP, and being a couch potato.