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The Art of Starving
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The Art of Starving
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Winner of the 2017 Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book!"Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless, and powerful, The Art of Starving is a classic in the...
Winner of the 2017 Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book!"Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless, and powerful, The Art of Starving is a classic in the...
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Description-

  • Winner of the 2017 Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book!

    "Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless, and powerful, The Art of Starving is a classic in the making."—Book Riot

    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.

    A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller's debut novel will resonate with any reader who's ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.

 

Awards-

  • Nebula Award
    Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

About the Author-

  • Sam J. Miller lives in New York City now, but grew up in a small town in upstate New York. He is the last in a long line of butchers. In no particular order, he has also been a film critic, a grocery bagger, a community organizer, a secretary, a painter's assistant and model, and the guitarist in a punk rock band. His fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Award, was long-listed for the Hugo Award, and has won the Shirley Jackson Award. He's a graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop. His husband of fifteen years is a nurse practitioner and is way smarter and handsomer than Sam. You can visit him online at www.samjmiller.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 15, 2017
    Matt, a gay high school junior, is bent on uncovering the reason his older sister, Maya, suddenly left town after meeting up with senior soccer star Tariq. Certain that something happened between Maya and Tariq, Matt works to earn Tariq’s trust, ignoring his own attraction to him while planning his revenge. Though Matt insists that he doesn’t have an eating disorder, he limits his food intake, believing the hunger sharpens his senses and allows him to see beyond the facade of everyday life. Each chapter opens with Matt’s rules detailing the “art of starving,” and readers will realize the depth of his dangerous downward spiral straightaway. Believing “if someone knows what you want, they can hurt you in all sorts of ways,” Matt is a master at suppressing his urges, but there is nothing romantic about debut novelist Miller’s portrayal of anorexia; his descriptions are often graphic and disturbing, and discussion of Matt’s future is brutally honest. As Matt’s body deteriorates and his “powers” reach new levels, readers must decide for themselves what is and isn’t real. Ages 13–up. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from May 1, 2017
    A bullied gay boy harnesses trippy, starvation-induced powers to avenge the disappearance of his beloved sister. Gay, Jewish, white, self-deprecating Matt hates his name but hasn't changed it because honesty is the best policy. And he is honest, quickly establishing that he has suicidal thoughts and homicidal reveries and his family is at the bottom of the financial food chain. That forthright tongue isn't fully reflective though, refusing to admit that his body dysmorphia and calorie counting = eating disorder. When he discovers that extreme starvation heightens his senses, the world around him begins to clarify (he can follow scents like a hound and read minds like a clairvoyant as his body slowly degenerates). Convinced that a triptych of king bullies, one of whom is dark and dreamy Middle Eastern Tariq, on whom he hates having a massive crush, is responsible for the disappearance of his older sister, Matt focuses his supernatural gift on them, hoping both to find his sister and to systematically destroy the high school ruling class--even if Tariq might secretly be into him. In first-person journal format, Matt schools readers on the art of starving as he toes the line between expiration and enlightenment, sparing no detail of his twisted, antagonistic relationship with his body. Matt's sarcastic, biting wit keeps readers rooting for him and hoping for his recovery. In his acknowledgments, Miller reveals the story's roots in his own teen experiences. A dark and lovely tale of supernatural vengeance and self-destruction. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2017
    Gr 10 Up-The less Matt eats, the more control he has over his body. The more control he has, the stronger his powers get. And he needs his powers strong if he's going to find out what the bullies did to make his sister run away. And punish them. This is a compellingly narrated magical realism exploration of eating disorders, isolation, and desire. The first half makes for compulsive reading as teens watch Matt's war with his own body and the mysterious unfurling of his abilities. There are some well-crafted dives into how eating disorders are experienced by young men, and young gay men in particular. Unfortunately, the book's denouement falls largely flat, with pat resolutions and didactic twists, although it avoids the simple recovery trajectory trope. VERDICT A serviceable title for readers seeking an unconventional look at eating disorders and complicated gay romance.-L. Lee Butler, Hart Middle School, Washington, DC

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Matt toes the line between expiration and enlightenment, sparing no detail of his twisted, antagonistic relationship with his body. [His] sarcastic, biting wit keeps readers rooting for him and hoping for his recovery. A dark and lovely tale of supernatural vengeance and self-destruction."
  • Booklist (starred review) "Matt is an admirably strong character who is out and proud, brilliant, creative, and determined to survive... Miller's creative portrait of a complex and sympathetic individual will provide a welcome mirror for kindred spirits."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Matt is a master at suppressing his urges, but there is nothing romantic about debut novelist Miller's portrayal of anorexia... discussion of Matt's future is brutally honest. As Matt's body deteriorates and his 'powers' reach new levels, readers must decide for themselves what is and isn't real."
  • B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog "One of the most important books of the year... How different, and how beautiful, our world would be if we could take its lesson of empathy to heart."
  • Romantic Times BOOKclub "An extraordinarily vital and necessary book that deals with underrepresented characters, discussions of toxic masculinity, and the effects of bullying in raw and effective ways . . . the overall message of devotion and self-acceptance is beautifully told."
  • Shelf Awareness "Miller's powerful, provocative and daring work forces readers to question reality and how much of our world is shaped by what we see."
  • Margaret Stohl, bestselling author of the Beautiful Creatures series "This book is an ache, a bruise, a slaughterhouse of a love story; every word is a blow, but every blow is an anthem. This is what truth feels and smells and tastes like, and it's one magnificent monster."
  • Coretta Scott-King Award and Newbery Honor winner Jacqueline Woodson "Beautifully rendered. This novel will break your heart and heal it again."
  • Maria Dahvana Headley, bestselling author of Magonia "As gritty with salted wounds as are all great fairytales, The Art of Starving is The Outsiders with superpowers. It should be shelved alongside the classic stories of unexpected salvation."
  • The Book Smugglers "...A deeply tragic, if also deeply magical and hopeful story that breaks with expectations to subvert and challenge... I wish desperately I had read it when I was young."
  • Alex London, author of Proxy "The Art of Starving is as mind-bending as it is heart-rending. Sam Miller has written a searing, daring, and unflinching story that I will not soon forget."
  • Alyssa Wong, winner of the World Fantasy and Nebula Awards "Brutal and brilliant, The Art of Starving seizes you and refuses to let you go. Matt is a complicated, compelling protagonist, and his raw emotional vulnerability is devastating. Hands down, The Art of Starving is the best book I've read this year."
  • Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nebula and Norton Award winning author of The Summer Prince "The Art of Starving is a humane, deeply felt, heartbreaking novel, observed with an edge as sharp as broken glass. A supervillain coming-of-age novel that made me cry—my god, I loved this book."

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