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July 07, 2012

Review: Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price - Juhina

Zoe Letting Go
Title: Zoe Letting Go
Author: Nora Price
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: June 26th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Debut, Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 272
While at a clinic receiving treatment for anorexia, Zoe is instructed to write letters. Through letters, she tells her mother and brother about the clinic; the doctors, the food, her struggle to get better. But she tells her best friend Elise about the strange goings on around her, the shady relationships, the dark mysteries. When the lights go out, the place turns into someplace else.

While her mother and brother write back, their letters filled with cheerful encouragement—Zoe’s letters to Elise remain unanswered. As Zoe struggles to understand why her best friend would cut her off, she must unravel the secrets that surround her in the clinic.
Zoe Letting Go is definitely in a genre I don't usual venture into and that is the realistic contemporary. Also, this novel centers around a girl with an eating disorder which is the type of novel Farah loves. Therefore I had some restraint when I picked this novel up. However this novel was such a different adventure. Also the main protagonist was so likable. However till the end you don't really understand exactly what is the real problem with Zoe. However that was what kept me flipping the pages; the curiosity and need to find out what Zoe exactly did and what happened to her to end up at an eating disorder treatment facility? 
Zoe gets woken up in the middle of my the night by her mom telling her to pack a bag because they're hitting the road now. A couple of hours later she finds herself in an eating disorder treatment facility. Now Zoe is confused on why she ended up here since she has no eating disorder. Now i'm sure all the readers, including me, thought this is typical of an eating disorder victim: denial. Zoe not once says she is anorexic, or has an eating disorder. Zoe is on a different weight level compared to all the boney girls (5 other) in the facility. Also while Zoe doesn't like being stuffed with food and force fed, she doesn't really think food is her #1 enemy hence my confusion. This left me perplexed and confused on why her mom dropped her in this facility. However towards the end of the book you finally understand what Zoe needs to let go. 
The novel is written in a form of a journal and letters. The journal obviously belongs to Zoe however in between every journal entry, Zoe writes a letter to her best friend Elise. The letters shed light on Zoe's past while the journal entries are of the present. I loved how Zoe made friends in the facility, and how funny they were at times and just normal teenaged girls that just want to be loved, accepted, and in control of their lives. Nora Price just knew exactly what to do to keep me reading, and while I felt frustrated at times because I was just confused on what Zoe's problem was, the ending shed some light on the problem. However I still felt that I needed more explanations on some aspect of Zoe's behavior, her mom's behavior, and just wished to see the closure Zoe felt back in her home, and not just what she thought in her head. However I really did enjoy Zoe Letting Go, especially with the present friendships and Zoe's personality. Nora Price did a great job linking Zoe's past and present. I would definitely recommend it to all fans of realistic fiction!
3.5 musical notes


  1. Great review.It sound like a good book.

  2. These kind of books are usually really interesting. Though I do find, that if the author doesn't completely flesh everything out, the reader can feel disconnected.

  3. I love to read realistic fiction! I've been searching for more journal kind of writings book since reading the Jessica Darling series(seriously, that series was TOTALLY awesome). So I'm looking forward towards this. Great review Juhina! :D

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books