Winner of the 2017 Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book!
“Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless, and powerful, The Art of Starving is a classic in the making.”—Book Riot
Matt hasn’t eaten in days. His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal, but Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.
Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.
So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?
Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger…and he isn’t in control of all of them.
A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller’s debut novel will resonate with any reader who’s ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.
About the Author
Sam J. Miller lives in New York City now, but grew up in a small town in upstate New York. He is the last in a long line of butchers. In no particular order, he has also been a film critic, a grocery bagger, a community organizer, a secretary, a painter’s assistant and model, and the guitarist in a punk rock band. His fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Award, was long-listed for the Hugo Award, and has won the Shirley Jackson Award. He’s a graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop. His husband of fifteen years is a nurse practitioner and is way smarter and handsomer than Sam. You can visit him online at www.samjmiller.com.
“Matt toes the line between expiration and enlightenment, sparing no detail of his twisted, antagonistic relationship with his body. [His] sarcastic, biting wit keeps readers rooting for him and hoping for his recovery. A dark and lovely tale of supernatural vengeance and self-destruction.”
“Matt is an admirably strong character who is out and proud, brilliant, creative, and determined to survive... Miller’s creative portrait of a complex and sympathetic individual will provide a welcome mirror for kindred spirits.”
“Matt is a master at suppressing his urges, but there is nothing romantic about debut novelist Miller’s portrayal of anorexia... discussion of Matt’s future is brutally honest. As Matt’s body deteriorates and his ‘powers’ reach new levels, readers must decide for themselves what is and isn’t real.”
“One of the most important books of the year… How different, and how beautiful, our world would be if we could take its lesson of empathy to heart.”
“An extraordinarily vital and necessary book that deals with underrepresented characters, discussions of toxic masculinity, and the effects of bullying in raw and effective ways . . . the overall message of devotion and self-acceptance is beautifully told.”
“Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless and powerful, The Art of Starving is a classic in the making.”
“Miller’s powerful, provocative and daring work forces readers to question reality and how much of our world is shaped by what we see.”
“This book is an ache, a bruise, a slaughterhouse of a love story; every word is a blow, but every blow is an anthem. This is what truth feels and smells and tastes like, and it’s one magnificent monster.”
“Beautifully rendered. This novel will break your heart and heal it again.”
“As gritty with salted wounds as are all great fairytales, The Art of Starving is The Outsiders with superpowers. It should be shelved alongside the classic stories of unexpected salvation.”
“Gut wrenching and powerful.”
“...A deeply tragic, if also deeply magical and hopeful story that breaks with expectations to subvert and challenge... I wish desperately I had read it when I was young.”
“The Art of Starving is as mind-bending as it is heart-rending. Sam Miller has written a searing, daring, and unflinching story that I will not soon forget.”
“Brutal and brilliant, The Art of Starving seizes you and refuses to let you go. Matt is a complicated, compelling protagonist, and his raw emotional vulnerability is devastating. Hands down, The Art of Starving is the best book I’ve read this year.”
“The Art of Starving is a humane, deeply felt, heartbreaking novel, observed with an edge as sharp as broken glass. A supervillain coming-of-age novel that made me cry—my god, I loved this book.”