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For fans of “The Boys Next Door” by Jennifer Echols and “Holding Up the Universe” by Jennifer Niven.
When an amateur chef attempts to use food as his love language, Landra, who struggles with anorexia, finds his approach off-putting. In fact, she finds Brian to be rather annoying.
Undeterred, Brian snags Landra in a friendship that eventually grows into something else, as she finally trusts him enough to sample some of his homemade gourmet treats.
But things have not evolved to the level Brian would like, and soon he realizes Landra issue isn’t only with the food he makes. She into the football team’s hottest player. But Brian isn't about to get one-upped by a jock. He decides to ask Landra out at the same time that Landra manages to snag a date with the football star.
As if dating isn’t hard enough, Landra must battle her anorexic impulses and self-esteem issues if she is to find the boy of her heart. When the voices of self-doubt and shame drown everything else out, Landra will need to give herself permission to be happy. And Brian? Well, he will have to find a way to Landra's heart, even if it isn't through her stomach.
A Letter from the Author
Dear Reader, I lived Landra’s story myself, alone in my room, all by myself in my own head, walking the world in a state of forced hunger, searching for perfection that not only did not exist, but didn’t matter. I wrote this book not to condone what I did but to expose a very personal dark secret to the light in the hopes that it may help other young girls who are struggling as I did. Yes, this novel is a work of fiction, but in many ways Landra’s thoughts and actions reflect my own deep struggles with anorexia as a young teen. Like Landra, I hid my anorexia. Some people were suspicious of how little I seemed to eat and would ask me questions, but I was very good at hiding it. I did the whole excessive exercising alone in my room, the not eating, the skipping meals, the worrying I was overweight when in actuality I was a size one. I literally saw a bigger person in the mirror when I looked, like a mirage. The spread of my thighs as I sat bothered me. The flesh on my hips as I was growing the telltale curves of a woman bothered me. They weren’t supposed to be there. With time, I learned those curves of the human female body are beyond beautiful; they are a healthy gift of maturation, a step into the amazing world of being a woman. I wrote this story for those who are hiding their anorexia as I did. I made it out of that storm alive, but it could have easily gone the other way. I am not proud that I made it out alone, but I’m happy I did without severely damaging my body. I’m very lucky I didn’t permanently harm myself or my organs. Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder. Should I have gotten help? Yes. Without a doubt I should have gotten help, but I didn’t realize this until I grew older. Hindsight is even less blind when the storm is over. I did survive without assistance, without intervention, but I would not recommend this path for anyone because it’s dangerous and too risky. If you have some of these thoughts or do some of the same things Landra did in this story, please talk to someone. I’m not a psychiatrist, but I have worked as a pediatric nurse so I know about this condition from a medical sense too, and with anything, I believe there are levels of severity and all shades of anorexia should be addressed with a professional. Bottom line is it doesn’t hurt to talk to someone. Find out if what you are feeling is something to be concerned about. Please don’t do what I did. Don’t do what Landra did, be smart and get yourself some help. All my best to you with warm squishy hugs, Julie
5* Amazon review:
This debut novel explores a young teenage girl's struggles by following her daily thoughts and experiences. The protagonist, Landra, needs to conquer issues with body Image that plague her. Her story takes her on a journey of self discovery through trusting her friends and family. She begins a path to healthier choices in relationships and self. This story creates a view into the mind of a young girl, agonizing over loss. Her daily struggles are difficult to bear, but the loyalty of her friends and family are pivotal in Landra finding strength and direction. So many teens will relate to this struggle with self identity and the negative influence of social media. On a lighter note, the story also highlights the typical teenage angst Landra encounters while choosing between two hot boys! Will she choose lust or love? Can she have both? Read Hungry Hearts to find out!