Friday, April 17, 2009

(Review + Song) Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns

Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns

Review by: Lauren
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Amazon Summary: Purge is a beautifully crafted memoir that has a Girl, Interrupted feel. In this raw and engaging account of her months in rehab, Nicole Johns documents her stay in a residential treatment facility for eating disorders. Her prose is lucid and vivid, as she seamlessly switches verb tenses and moves through time. She unearths several important themes: body image and sexuality, sexual assault and relationships, and the struggle to piece together one's path in life.

While other books about eating disorders and treatment may sugarcoat the harsh realities of living with and recovering from an eating disorder, Purge does not hold back. The author presents an honest, detailed account of her experience with treatment, avoiding the clichéd happily-ever-after ending while still offering hope to those who struggle with eating disorders, as well as anyone who has watched a loved one fight to recover from an eating disorder. Purge sends a message: though the road may be rough, ultimately there is hope.

My Review: Johns writes clearly about her stay in an eating disorder treatment center. She's diagnosed with EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) which, for her, means she has symptoms for anorexia and bulimia (purging, fasting, drinking caffeine to stem hunger). The book reads exactly like a diary would, which is something that Johns did keep during her stay. She talks about various moments that meant something to her and showed the journey she was going on during that summer. Included with her entries were documents that detail her health and even the food plan she was on at the center.


Purge is the perfect title for this novel, as Nicole Johns is clearly "purging" or relieving herself of the pain, the joy, the memories, everything she experienced. I believe this is a great look into the mind of someone with a eating disorder and it clearly shows that not everything will be okay after you get treatment. Johns lets the reader know that people do relapse and they must keep an open communication with the people around them and realize that relapsing doesn't have to be the can still get help and recover once again.


I loved reading the author's bio in the novel because it showed me, as the reader, what she is doing now and that things have changed. That's the most important message of this book: there can be change.

Author's Bio for you to see:

Nicole Johns received her MFA from the University of Minnesota and a BA in English from Penn State University-Erie. Her eating disorder developed in high school and worsened in college. The summer after starting the MFA program, Nicole spent three months in treatment for her eating disorder. Nicole currently lives in Minneapolis with her fiancé, Brady Johnson. She has been in recovery from her eating disorder since 2005.

My song for this book. Dedicated to anyone who is dealing with something difficult, specifically an eating disorder:

"Dear Friend"-Staci Orrico


Shelley said...

Hi, it's Book Fanatic from Myspace. I finally got my blog up and running. I've added your page andlook forward to reading your reviews!

cupcakewitch said...

Sounds like a great read! I'll check it out!

Mitzy said...

I cannot wait to read this book - it seems very inspriring

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Mitzy: It really is, so I hope you enjoy it whenever you get a shot to read it.

Cupecakewitch: Awesome, I'm really glad! I did enjoy reading about Nicole's experience.

Shelley: Aw, thanks, and I'll check our your blog as well. :) Welcome!

harmonybookreviews said...

I just recieved this to review. I think it just got bumped up in my pile :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Harmony: Yay! I hope you enjoy it. I look forward to seeing what you think.

Anonymous said...

as someone who was there with nicloe in treatment, I am suprised that she spent so much time talking about others experieces, and if I were Holly, I would be pissed because there is some stuff in the book that i would not want written about me. I am just greatful that I play a very small role in this book.

Shalonda said...

Definitely gonna be on the look out for this one.

And I LOVE Stacie Orrico! Perfect song choice for this book's theme.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Shalonda: Thanks. I really love the song too, though I don't know much from Stacie in general.

I hope you get to read it at some point.

Pearly Craig said...

I am interested with the book. And the fact that is written by an author who evenhandedly suffers too what it like to bulimic makes the book more interesting. Did the author admitted to a bulimia rehab?