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Kessa [Paperback]

Steven Levenkron
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Popular Library (Jan 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0445201754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0445201750
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,149,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK book, but not worth the price 17 Nov 2003
To buy this book, you have to (a) be Levenkron's biggest fan and (b) have money to burn. I must say that if these conditions are right, Kessa is a good book. This sequel to The Best Little Girl In The World charts Kessa's recovery from anorexia. And boy, does she recover, there isn't even a relapse or anything. However, there are some parts of the book which I did enjoy reading, such as bits about her new friend Andrea, and about her boyfriend. Kessa has its fair share of spelling mistakes and has an extremely frustrating ending which leaves the reader waiting for the next volume, which doesn't actually exist.
Basically, do not buy this unless you can find a cheap copy, and definitely don't read it before you've read its prequel, The Best Little Girl In The World.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end :) 12 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A brilliant conclusion and a very enjoyable read. It's nice to see the Character of Kessa have a happy ending :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 17 Feb 2013
By becca
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was such a good read after reading 'the best little girl in the world.'
It captures life as as an outpatient dealing with anorexia nervosa and the complications found in family life after discharge from hospital. Written very well and very informative. Would recommend to all to read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthy sucsessor to "The Best Little Girl in the World" 7 July 2002
By 18 year old reader - Published on
Yes, "Kessa" DOES exist, and it IS out there! It just takes some looking for. I was lucky enough to find a copy through my local library's Inter-Library Loan System. If your library has something similar, I suggest trying to find it through that.
As you probably know, "Kessa" is the sequel to "The Best Little Girl in the World", Stephen Leverkron's (in)famous story about Francesca Louise Dietrich (aka Kessa), a girl who is hospitalized for severe anorexia. BLGITW ends with Kessa's impending release from the hospital. As anyone with an eating disorders knows, this is often the first step down the long and difficult road to recovery. "Kessa" acknowledges this, as it depicts the troubled girl's struggle to get her life back.
The best thing this book has going for it is the development of the Kessa's character. Unlike BLGITW, where Kessa is little more than anorexia incarnate, we get to see aspects of her personality other than the eating disorder. We see all her hopes, her passions, her fears, and her opinions that DONT revolve around food as well as some of her interactions with others; in short, she has depth. I found myself relating very easily to her on a very intimate & human level.
Granted, the book has it's flaws. For example, the storyline will often randomly flash back to recount past events, with awkard and often confusing results. There are lots of other characters, very few of which are well-developed, if at all. Levenkron makes a few feeble attempts to inject some social commentary outside his area of expertise (namely racism & segregation) that fail to do justice & perhaps even minimize these important subjects. There is also too much dialouge between Kessa & her therapist. While some of this is interesting, it goes a bit too far; waxes a bit too theoretical to hold my interest. Perhaps worst of all, there is a tragic event injected into the plot that I don't think was dealt with well at all. (I won't say any more to avoid spoiling the story, though). Also, let's face it: this is not noble-prize winning literature; hence it is no longer in publication. Still, the book is an engaging, even adicting read -- I literally couldn't put it down, and finished all 247 pages in a couple hours.
Well, good luck finding this book -- I think you'll find it's well worth the time & effort it takes to find it*
*but not worth the 90 bucks or whatever they're asking for it here -- keep looking; go to a rare or used book store, I promise you, you WILL find it!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Written! 7 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Well. I read the first book and I noticed that this one was really really hard to find for some people. And since I do live in such a tiny town I thought it was going to be impossible. But...lucky me I found it and read it in like a week. I love Kessa...the character and the books. I can totally relate to everything she's feeling and I love how Steven Levenkron writes... If you haven't read it yet...please do these two books are the best ever...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spring release 11 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on
ok, for those of you who are looking for this book and don't want to pay a bazillion dollars for it here's some news. it is being re-released this spring. go to to get ore info next month (may 2003)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kessa's story continues 15 April 2010
By L. Lukaszewicz - Published on
Verified Purchase
So many girls read The Best Little Girl in the World and asked, "What happens next?" This is author Steven Levenkron's answer. Best Little Girl ends on an up-note, with Kessa getting ready to leave the hospital and achieving some success in therapy. With this engaging sequel, Mr. Levenkron once again goes into the thought process of the anorexic mind. Here, he focuses mainly on Kessa's therapy sessions, and explores the isolation and disconnectedness of the disorder, as well as offering hope for recovery.

As Kessa starts to heal, she begins to make an effort to fit in and end her isolation. Her thought process begins to change, and she succeeds in making new friends, a turning point for her. In therapy she investigates the jealousy that engulfs her when she encounters other eating-disordered girls, and her own sense of feeling fat when stress occurs. Her control issues, fear of intimacy, and detachment from family come to light. With his engaging prose, Mr. Levenkron draws the reader into Kessa's world and makes her real.

As with Best Little Girl, "Kessa" ends on a positive note, with Kessa beginning a new chapter in her life - a boyfriend. For those considering giving "Kessa" to an eating disordered girl, I would not consider this part of the story to be triggering in any way. "Kessa" ultimately offers hope and affirmation that recovery from an eating disorder is possible.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was an awesome book. 3 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This book was a book that many young teeange girls could relate to. I read it and could relate to it because one of my best friends was srtuggling with the same problem.
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