Monday, August 3, 2009

Get Your Read On: Dancing With Ana by Nicole Barker

From the website

Beth is a lucky girl…

She comes from a loving family. She has three best friends. She loves to surf and lives five minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she’s grown up with has the most amazing green eyes…
Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed.

Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?

Sixteen year old Beth Baxter’s life merely resembles the one she’s always known. Her father has left. She is falling for Jeremy Duscana and the diet she started has somehow turned into an obsession. Yet her three best friends remain the same, always there for her.

But even their love can’t save her from herself.

Dancing With Ana. A story about the journey to acceptance of one’s own reality, the incredible bond that exists between friends and a love that truly endures all things.

In Dancing With Ana, Nicole Barker has written a fine, sensitive book that looks at the very real issues young girls face. The peer pressure to be perfect, and unrealistic views of body image begin young, and are enforced by the media daily.
If you're an adult reading this, you'll find yourself looking back and remembering that one "perfect girl" in high school-the one you both revered and hated because try as you might,
you could never be quite as popular, or pretty.

Or maybe you were that "perfect girl"...but you had a secret...

From the

...Ana is definitely a character in the book…a main character. She is a strong force, a reliable friend found in despair, a manipulative enemy. You want to please her, earn her acceptance and admiration. You want her to go away, forever...

...Ana will take you away from your family, friends, life.

This is the truth. This is anorexia...

Although the genre of this book is Young Adult, I believe this is a story that should be read and shared by both parent and child.
This story begins with four friends who decide to go on a diet, but for one of them, it quickly spirals out of control.

Fueled by not just the desire to be thinner, but by a deep need to have some kind of order in her life,
Beth Baxter's unhappiness due to her parent's recent divorce, and feelings of rejection by her father is played out by her obsession with the one thing she has found that she can control-her weight.

Also touched upon is another issue of self-injury or self-mutilation.
Beth's friend Rachel has chosen this sad, seldom talked about, and self-destructive mechanism of coping to deal with the pain and anger of a neglectful, abusive home life. (I found myself really wanting a happy ending for Rachel and I hope that perhaps this subject will be explored more fully by Mrs. Barker in another book.)

In summary I believe that this is an excellent book to be read,shared, and discussed by teens and their parents, and educators as well. I'd like to thank the author herself for sending me this review copy. To learn more about this book, please check out her website

About the author:

Nicole Barker grew up in Portland, Oregon and attended Southern Oregon State College in the town of Ashland.
Nestled in the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains, Nicole took to writing while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with a strong emphasis on early childhood development.
Shortly after graduation, she spent several months traveling around the United States and parts of Canada.
Nicole now lives in south Florida with her husband, two kids, two dogs, toads,
frogs, hermit crabs and fish. She is currently working on her second YA book.


Yvette Kelly said...

I hear such horror stories from my daughter about stuff that some kids are doing nowadays one of which is cutting which seems to be a in thing.Iwould love to read this book so I can have an insight into what is going through these youngsters minds.My childhood was such a long time ago I think I might have forgotten.I need to stay on top of things for my teenager's sake.

Dixie said...

It's true, although my kids are grown now with kids of their own, I want to stay on top of things too, especially for my granddaughters.
With the internet, they are aware of everything and I don't kid myself that they aren't.

Anonymous said...

This book will be coming my way soon and I can't wait to read and review it. It looks like a serious read, but it's an issue everyone has to face in their lives at least once.

Anonymous said...

I also received a review copy! I absolutely loved this book! I'm not much of a YA reader, but this one really is a great read. I personally loved the characters. I had some of the same feelings when I was 16 and trying to fit in. I also agree with you, this is a book that all young girls need to read and especially with their mothers (who have undoubtedly gone through some version of this story). Great review!

Anonymous said...

i absolutly love this book! It hits everything just how it is, and that one girl we all hate is betrayed perfectly. Finally a book that gets it right!!!!!!!!

Well done!