A VERY HUNGRY GIRL: How I Filled Up on Life... and How You Can, Too!

Jessica Weiner, Author . Hay House $14.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4019-0223-0

Twenty-eight can be a bit young to write a successful memoir, and, in this case, the author, a performer and motivational speaker, would have done well to get more life experience before attempting it. Although her parents were very supportive of her, she was picked on by classmates who disrupted her elementary school years and eroded her self-esteem. By the time she was 12, Weiner had become dissatisfied with her body and quickly developed an eating disorder that led to a seesaw of starving, bingeing and getting sick. She attended a performing arts high school where she enjoyed acting, but spent her free time with girlfriends who binged together in order to maintain the ideal body Weiner felt society demanded of females. She describes her relationships with boyfriends in college, including one that turned briefly abusive. Therapy helped with the eating disorder, and Weiner began performing theatrical pieces that dealt with body image and violence toward women. In 1995, Weiner created the ACT Out national theater company, performing these pieces for several years at colleges across the country, and she details the feedback sessions held with troubled students after the show. Weiner's personal story comes from the heart and may help others with eating and self-esteem problems. Her writing, however, is often unfocused, and the many testimonials from students included throughout the narrative smack of self-promotion. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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