Title: The Obvious Game
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary novel
Author: Rita Arens
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Release Date: Feb 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9856562-7-0 (ebook)
ISBN: 978-0-9856562-8-7 (Paperback)
Paperback Price: $13.99
Source: ARC via Publisher
“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.
Praise for The Obvious Game :
“I couldn’t put down The Obvious Game. Arens perfectly captures the hunger, pain and uncertainty of adolescence.” — Ann Napolitano, author of A GOOD HARD LOOK and WITHIN ARM’S REACH
“THE OBVIOUS GAME is a fearless, honest, and intense look into the psychology of anorexia. The characters—especially Diana–are so natural and emotionally authentic that you’ll find yourself yelling at the page even as you’re compelled to turn it.” — Coert Voorhees, author of LUCKY FOOLS and THE BROTHERS TORRES
“Let’s be clear about one thing: there’s nothing obvious about The Obvious Game. Arens has written a moving, sometimes heart-breaking story about one girl’s attempt to control the uncontrollable. You can’t help but relate to Diana and her struggles as you delve into this gem of a novel.” — Risa Green, author of THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL
Diana has a lot on her mind. Her friend is acting weird. Her mom is sick. She is unhappy with the way she looks. She wants things to change for the better but she is frustrated that nothing seems to be under control. Deep down, Diana yearns to do something that makes her feel she can be in control and when she finally sets her goal and forces herself to attain what she wants, she thinks she is finally doing something right, but is she really making her life better with her relentless goal setting?
I like the message offered by the book. Self-loathing is a serious issue. We may have our own opinions about what we like or dislike but when a person loathes herself, it’s almost impossible for her to develop a healthy relationship with the body. It’s not an easy experience for me to watch Diana. She has a beautiful voice but she stops singing because of a remark that she overheard when she was twelve. And while she desperately wants to be somebody special, the way she goes about achieving it is torturous, unloving and unrealistic.
I’m just glad that Diana’s parents and grandparents are there for her when she is at her lowest. Although not every friend is as caring and supportive as I wish them to be, I think it’s a good thing that Diana learns to discern who her real friends are in the process.
Since the setting here is in the late 80s/ early 90s, there are scenes where cassette tapes are played and pay phones are used. I’ve never paid much attention to how many coins are required to make a phone call but reading about it helps me see how much our lives have improved in the last twenty years or so.
Because Arens has personally suffered and recovered from unhealthy eating patterns, the story of Diana feels very real and authentic here. The Obvious Games captures the pain, fear and inner struggle of an adolescent. It’s an honest account of how detrimental negative thoughts can be and how it’s never too late to admit what’s going on and seek help. I enjoyed reading this story and I hope you will too.
About the Author
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