Friday, February 8, 2013

The Obvious Game by Rita Arens (Review)

The Obvious Game
Synopsis:
“Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn’t notice at first.”

"Your shirt is yellow."
"Your eyes are blue."
"You have to stop running away from your problems."
"You're too skinny."

Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse's past with her own secrets -- which she'll protect at any cost.


My thoughts:
Wow. This is such a powerful story. Diana is fifteen, and she hates herself. She thinks she's fat and unworthy of love, unworthy of happiness. Then she meets Jesse. She falls for him hard and while he trains for wrestling, she starts a diet that turns her into a skeleton. She's sick. But she doesn't want to stop because her weight is the only thing she feels she can control in her life. Her mother has cancer and her treatments are sending her on a roller coaster ride that Diana is afraid will lead to her death. 

Diana's thoughts about herself are scary. They ripped at my heart. I cried for her. I cried for her mother. The pain Diana feels comes right through the pages, and I wanted nothing more than to get her help. She became that real to me. I've known people with eating disorders. I've known people who've watched loved ones suffer from cancer. The two are so powerfully woven together in this story.

This is one of those stories that every teen girl should read. It's a warning because it's so real. 

Just for fun:
It seems odd to have a "Just for fun" section for a book like this, but the story is called The Obvious Game because Diana loves to play a game where all you do is state the obvious. I'm going to start.  

Books are powerful.

Now it's your turn.

44 comments:

  1. Your posts are wonderful. Have a nice weekend. Oh and The Obvious Game sounds like a heart-wrenching story.

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    1. It is a very emotional read. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Have a great weekend.

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  2. The Obvious game sounds like a tear jerker. It's on my TBR list.

    My just for fun answer: My greatest blessings call me mom.

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  3. Sounds like a tear jerker. And also one with an important message. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, it is. I'm glad I read it, even though it made me cry.

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  4. That's really sad and heartbreaking, to have eating disorders and a loved one with cancer must be a lot of pressure, I really wish Diana survives them! I saw the cover for The Obvious Game but I never got to know what it was about, love your review, it makes me want to pick it right up and acquaint myself with this realistic teen story :)

    Hmmm... Stating the obvious? Then it's definitely how I'll never have eating disorders because food makes up my life heh.

    Alicia @ Book a World

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    1. It is heartbreaking. The book is well worth the read.

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  5. I had a brief encounter with Anorexia when I was 14, so this story would probably hit home for me. It sounds like the author has put her knowledge on the table here. Control is a big issue and probably what contributes to my OCD as well.

    I think all YA women and even older women can benefit from this kind of story. Understanding what is involved with eating disorders can even help families help the victims.

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    1. Yes, so many young women can benefit from learning more about eating disorders. Unfortunately, they affect so many.

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  6. I hadn't heard of this book. Thanks for sharing it.
    Obvious statement: you have a great blog

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    1. Aw, thank you, Jessie! That's so sweet of you to say. :)

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  7. It kind of reminds me of Thirteen Reasons Why, with that "darkness" in the book. Sounds like it's a sad one.

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  8. Wow! This sounds like a very powerful book and your review made me curious to read it. I have a good friend who struggled with an eating disorder for a long time. I will have to read The Obvious Game.

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    1. Unfortunately, I think quite a few people will be able to relate to this book.

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  9. Ah, Diana looks so sad on the cover. Kelly, thanks for shedding some light through your review.

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  10. I hadn't heard of this one before. It's hard to read stories like this, but it sounds like it's been done well.

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  11. I loved your review; it was so enthusiastic and hit all the right points to encourage someone to pick up the book. Great post! :-)

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  12. Third time trying to post a comment. :( Not a book I would think of picking up, but your review makes me want to put it on the TBL. Great post :)

    Obvious game: Friends sweeten a rough day.

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    1. Yes, Friends do sweeten a rough day. Sorry you had trouble commenting.

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  13. Obvious Game: realistic fiction is having a comeback.
    This one sounds like it'd be a real help for some teens to read.

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    1. Yes, it will definitely help quite a few.

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  14. Whoa, intense. I have a hard time reading books like this. Did you ever read CRANK, by Ellen Hopkins? It's one of those stories like this where you see the hero moving unstoppably down a path towards destruction. I found that I couldn't finish CRANK because I couldn't reach into the book and stop her and that was really depressing for me. (This is probably why I don't read contemporary very often! Too fragile!)

    The Obvious Game: You can press PAUSE on a book at any time.

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    1. I pressed pause on this book to collect my emotions, but it was worth pushing through to the end.

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  15. Great review! Books or even movies like this one are a tough one for me. I haven't seen For Colored Girls because everyone who's seen it says it's a tear jerker.

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    1. I don't usually go for tear jerkers but something about this one demanded I read it.

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  16. Your review is intense and makes me add it to my list. I want to read this now.

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    1. My review had to be intense because the book is. I hope you enjoy it. Get the tissues ready though.

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  17. I added this to my wish list. I enjoy powerful, contemporary reads.

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  18. Wow, great review Kelly. I am taking part in the blog tour sometime this month. I look forward to read this.

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  19. You are awesome to review my book. <---obviously

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Indie authors need reviewers so much, and I can't say thank you enough for taking the time to read and review my book. I hope the commenters enjoy it! (And by "enjoy," I mean "are touched despite the sad parts.")

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    1. You are very welcome, Rita. I was really touch by the story and I think many others will be, too.

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  20. Definitely sounds like a book I'll want to read, then pass along to a teenage student of mine. Thanks for sharing it here. As to my obvious quip: Imagination takes us everywhere.

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  21. Interesting book. I wonder how many young people feel this way. Creativity is the corner stone of adventures that never could have otherwise developed.

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  22. Excellent review, Kelly.

    It sounds heartwrenching...

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