cover image Zoe Letting Go

Zoe Letting Go

Nora Price. Razorbill, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59514-466-9

Sixteen-year-old Zoe Propp can't fathom why her mother dropped her at the Twin Birch hospital, an eerie mansion in the woods. Not long before, Zoe was free to roam the streets of Brooklyn with her gorgeous friend Elise. Now she's surrounded by six sickly girls and immersed in a strict, highly supervised program, which includes "Therapy" (meetings with a psychologist), "Activity" (cooking and gardening), "Intake" (mandatory meals), and "Group Downtime" (socializing with the other patients). Zoe compulsively logs day-to-day events: everything from meals and recipes to her body's changes and the girls' mini-dramas. Although Zoe's mysterious roommate, Caroline (who expresses suspicion about Zoe's presence), is persuasively developed, the other girls are portrayed comparatively thinly. Most moving are Zoe's letters to Elise, which slowly reveal the nature of their codependent friendship and why Zoe is at Twin Birch. While Price's debut skillfully depicts obsession and the mentality behind eating disorders, not all readers will have the patience for Zoe's repetitive and detailed writing or her unreliable narration, as her moments of clarity add up to a troubling truth. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. Agent: Seth Fishman, the Gernert Company. (June)