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The Best Little Girl in the World (Puffin Teenage Fiction) Paperback – 30 May 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; New edition edition (30 May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140373209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140373202
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.5 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As an experienced (15 years ill), well-recovered anorexic and student of the mind, I have read virtually all books written on eating disorders, especially anorexia. I read this book many years ago, and its negative impression has remained with me. There are elements of truth in this book - ones that actually made it "easier" for me to be anorexic when I first became ill. (I recovered several years ago). Triggering would be the correct terminology - so beware.

Behaviours are described with very little (if any) insight into the actual disease and its horrors. It is insulting to have such deep-rooted, painful issues dismissed by creating someone suddenly recovering by just deciding to. It is not that simple. Such writing may lead people to greater self-execration (if that is possible in eating disorder sufferers) by making them feel utterly blameworthy. It did for me.

Certainly, determination helps, but conscious efforts are not usually enough on their own - how ever strong you may be. Recovery needs buckets of support and time.

I cannot help but feel angry that the author seems to love himself a little too much and really believes his heroic, perceptive treatment "saved the day." Well meaning but with no insight. If you want a superficial book, read this. If not, don't bother. There are many better books to choose from.

I didn't bother to read the sequel.

Katy Sara Culling.
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By A Customer on 20 May 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read this book at the age of about 11 or something, and I remember how it made me feel. I had known people with anorexia, and was later to realise that my best friend was bulimic and that i too was going to struggle with self-hatred and eating problems. Francesca's story moved me then, and recently, having been recommended this book by the computer, I read it again. It loses nothing. I couldn't remember the name of the book that touched me over nine years ago, then as soon as I saw it on the page it brought it back. This may seem irrelevant to a review, but is necessary to point out just how touching, poignant, saddening and honest this book really is.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this shortly after my own anorexia had begun. I measured myself against Francesca (the girl in the book) and felt I wasn't thin enough, disciplined enough, etc. There are behaviours and weights in here that I began aspiring to. If you are already vulnerable to eating disorders, such things are very dangerous.

I can see that the author had good intentions, such as teaching the public about a (then) little known problem, but the fact remains that for anyone vulnerable to an eating disorder, this book is likely to do more harm than good. If you are trying to recover, read something else. This book is likely to make you feel bad about yourself.

It gives the very dangerous impression that an eating disorder can be picked up and put down as simply as the flu. In reality, you will suffer horrible physical effects - worse, the longer you stay ill. The irony is that you do it to try to feel LESS disgusting, but in the end, when the physical side catches up to you - and it will - you feel even more revolting.

I would recommend the DVD Dying to be thin, and a series of video blogs on youtube by a recovering sufferer called Kat (user name eniwekwe) because these talk about the reality of the illness. Most sufferers think they are "getting away with it" because they don't feel so bad, but the physical damage will not make you feel ill until it has gone too far to be undone. Your insides will pack up and you can lose control of your bowels, you can lose your teeth, your hair, the use of your legs, you can get heart attacks... This lady on one of the documentaries was a ballet dancer and now has to use a zimmer at the age of 45. A friend of mine has a colostomy (a bag attached to her bowel).
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Format: Paperback
I wrote a review of this book 4 years ago now. I liked it at the time, but now I'm older, I can appreciate that this is a rather dangerous book. I remember reading it and thinking "I could do that..." NOT a good thought for a 16 year old girl. This book should not be aimed at teenagers. It teaches "methods" of starving oneself and manipulating others. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The only reason I have given it 2 stars is because it is well written, that doesn't mean I think it is a "good" book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book does rather rush through and condense the descent into severe anorexia and its treatment (many people who have experienced it will have taken a slower and more frustratingly drawn-out route down into the most hellish stages, and perhaps the hellish stages lasted years and years). However the responses of the parents and psychologist are well described, and its good to see this included, as these are so often left out of other anorexia stories. Other people's emotions are very important; both to those reading to understand the condition better, perhaps to help a loved one who is suffering with an ED, and even more those who are suffering, as invariably when you are deep in it and very self-absorbed, it is hard to see the huge psychological toll it has on those around you.
Having said all that, I admit my reasons for liking this at 4 star level are somewhat suspect, as I have a lot of personal experience of EDs and do get a kick out of reading about them... I am sure I am not alone in this.
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