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The Obvious Game Paperback – January 17, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Lovely, evocative, painful and joyful all  in one ... much like high school." -- Jenny Lawson, author of LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED 

"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 

From the Author

If you'd like me to Skype into your book club to discuss THE OBVIOUS GAME, please contact me at ritajarens@gmail.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Inkspell Publishing (January 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098565628X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985656287
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,059,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First of all, I was given the chance to read an advance copy of this book for review purposes. I have not been compensated in any way (other than being given a PDF copy of this book) and my opinion on the book are entirely my own.

Second, this book contains depictions and discussion of disordered eating/anorexia and cancer and may be triggering for some people.

15 year old Diana Keller is having a really hard time. Her mom is sick, incredibly sick, with cancer and that's a lot to deal with. Her friends are maturing and changing and she's feeling left behind and left out. And she's tired of being Fat Diana. She meets Jesse, a new arrival in their tiny rural town, and they start dating, and she wants to be perfect for him. So she starts doing something... she starts exercising, a lot. And she stops eating.

It... doesn't really help.

This is a pretty unflinching look at ED and the way it impacts people. Arens really digs into the mindset of ED, the obsession, the logic and illogical. It's beautifully written, but sometimes hard to read because it's so meaty. Despite the meatiness, however, there's a lot of humor in the book, and a lot of hope. Diana is, ultimately, lucky: she has some very good friends, and a very close and supportive family. A lot of people notice that Something Is Wrong and do their best to help her. Arens also draws parallels between acceptable ED (young men trying to drop weight to get into a lower weight class for sports) and unacceptable ED (young women trying to drop weight because women are supposed to take up as little space as possible).
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition
This review first appeared on Books i View.

The Obvious Game is the story of a young girl living whose world is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. Even though she has a great support system through family and friends the pressure of life gets to her and she starts to develop an eating disorder.

I liked how the author decided to approach this delicate subject. You could tell that she knew what she was talking about especially through the teenage viewpoint of things. Diana's eating disorder didn't happen in an instant or overnight. It started slow at first, I'm sure Diana wasn't even aware of what was beginning.

Another thing I have to praise Arens on is how she developed the relationships Diana has. I absolutely love the fact that for once in YA fiction that the main protagonist who is girl has best friend who is a boy with no type of attraction other than friendship. That's a rare gem in YA fiction.

I know we all wish that we could have/had a Jesse and Lin. They are great supportive characters which I'm sure you all will fall in love with! One character you won't like so much is Amanda. She's supposedly Diana's "best friend" while she's actually a mean girl in disguise. Let's hope none you guys have one of those!

I liked reading The Obvious Game, it's such an eye opener on eating disorders. By reading this you might learn a thing or two about how people who suffer with this see things, how they hide it and how you can help. This is a great reading choice if you're a tween or teenaged girl or is the mother of one. I definitely recommend reading The Obvious Game!
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Format: Paperback
I was very excited to read this book and I was not disappointed. THE OBVIOUS GAME is the story of a teenage girl living in a small-town in Iowa. Diana's world is falling apart as her mother battles cancer and just as Diana takes part in that delicate social dance known as "high school". Her best friend (who is not always the nicest person in the first place) is losing her own footing and her other friend is too wrapped up in her new boyfriend to take notice of the downward spiral that Diana is in. And soon, Diana has a new boyfriend of her, which makes things even more interesting. As Diana navigates all the challenges that life is throwing at her, she finds herself on the path to an eating disorder.

I really appreciated how Rita eloquently and respectfully approached the dissonance of living in a small town. Yes, there can be a safe, cozy embrace of being surrounded by people and traditions that never, ever change. But the environment can become stifling, particularly if you are a teenage girl trying to find yourself but are limited by the constraints of a small town mentality that expect you to never change or God forbid, to be different (Not that I am bitter about my own small-town experiences. Never.) Generally, I thought Rita's observations of living in a small-town were spot-on.

As a mother, this was interesting for me to read. I probably had far more sympathy for Diana's mother than I did Diana (Obviously, I will need to become more sympathetic for the Plight and Angst of the American Teenager in about 6 years. Ahem.) Still, I felt it was important for me to read this book as a mother of a daughter. I thought Rita was compelling in the way she depicted Diana's gradual march into her eating disorder. It did not happen over night. And as a mother, I am glad that I read about some of the methods girls use to hide their eating disorders. I had no idea.
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