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Eating Bull Paperback – October 15, 2015
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"A deftly crafted novel of suspense and a compelling read from beginning to end...Very highly recommended."--Midwest Book Review
"A solid thriller that manages to infuse one boy's coming-of-age with a whole lot of murder." --Kirkus Reviews
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One of the first things that caught my attention was the author herself. According to Ms. Robin’s bio, she’s both a physician and a public health advocate. “Eating Bull” was clearly a labor of great meaning for her and her career experience lent an incredible level of realism to her story. I always appreciate an author who knows what they’re talking about and can channel that knowledge into a riveting tale. Ms. Robin is truly an author at the peak of her craft in this regard.
Jeremy was an especially moving character. His struggles—with bullies both in his home and outside it, with his weight, and with his very identity—really touched me. I was an awkward, overweight teenager myself , so I could relate to a lot of what he was going through and I really, really felt my heart go out to him. It was a little too real at times and I had to put this book down to walk away and collect myself. I’d be surprised to meet someone who didn’t find something in “Eating Bull” that spoke to them and connected them to some pretty raw, deep places in themselves.
Bottom line: “Eating Bull” was such a layered story and took on such a relevant, serious issue that it ended up reading less like fiction than a riveting documentary. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy murder mysteries, medical thrillers, and stories that address societal issues. Five stars across the board!
In Eating Bull, the point of view switches often—told through the eyes of Sue (the badass nurse/activist), Jeremy (the obese teenager/unlikely hero) and Darwin (the damn creepy serial killer). I must admit that every time I turned the page and I had to face a Darwin chapter, I cringed, took a deep breath, and plowed through it. Of course, that just means Carrie did her job brilliantly.
Sue is taking a stand against the food industry, with Jeremy as the face of the movement. Guaranteed, you will enthusiastically root for both of them, while they battle the forces against them and inside of them.
Rubin's excellent pacing and character development make the read a breeze, except for those jaw-dropping scenes that will make you think twice about your decision to eat dinner moments before.
Overall, a fantastic read in a genre I typically do not explore.
What I'd love to see from Carrie next? A non-fiction book with a message. Everything Carrie said in her Author's Note at the end of Eating Bull really moved me. And, I can't remember ever feeling so jazzed up about one before. But when someone says...
"I do believe in engaging people in dialogue to improve not only our nation's health, but that of our children, since they must shoulder the consequences of our actions."
...you can't help yourself. You're inspired to do something too.
Which is why I know Carrie is destined to do many great things to help others...probably more than she realizes.
That said, this is a different kind of thriller. It’s a thriller with a social conscience.
Carrie Rubin has written a story that hits several hot topics -- teen obesity, fat shaming, bullying, health care, and mental illness -- and masterfully juggles them all toward a wild, unpredictable climax. In every sense of the word it is a thriller.
Well-paced, well-written, and shocking (much of the time), Eating Bull is as much an eye-opening portrait of our culture as it is a satisfying entertainment. Not only does Rubin nail the point of view of a teenage boy, she also gets into the twisted head of a serial killer obsessed with his obese victims. No wrong notes. It’s all beautifully believable, and great fun to read too.
I can see a whole range of topical thrillers coming from this writer. That she’s also a physician opens up a world of plot possibilities.