The Art of Starving (Paperback)
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 is the Nebula Award–winning author of The Art of Starving (NPR best of the year) and Blackfish City (Nebula finalist, John J. Campbell Award winner). A recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award and a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, Sam’s short stories have been nominated for the World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, and Locus awards, and reprinted in dozens of anthologies. He lives in New York City.
“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.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“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.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“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.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“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.”
— B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog
“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.”
— Romantic Times BOOKclub
“Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless and powerful, The Art of Starving is a classic in the making.”
— Book Riot
“Miller’s powerful, provocative and daring work forces readers to question reality and how much of our world is shaped by what we see.”
— Shelf Awareness
“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.”
— Margaret Stohl, bestselling author of the Beautiful Creatures series
“Beautifully rendered. This novel will break your heart and heal it again.”
— Coretta Scott-King Award and Newbery Honor winner Jacqueline Woodson
“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.”
— Maria Dahvana Headley, bestselling author of Magonia
“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 Book Smugglers
“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.”
— Alex London, author of Proxy
“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.”
— Alyssa Wong, winner of the World Fantasy and Nebula Awards
“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.”
— Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nebula and Norton Award winning author of The Summer Prince