The Art of Starving

Published in July 2017 by HarperTeen. One of NPR’s Best Books of the Year!!

Matt hasn’t eaten in days. His stomach stabs and twists inside, but Matt won’t give in. Because Matt has discovered something: the hungrier he gets, the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see & hear things he shouldn’t be able to. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space. Matt will use these powers to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay, worm his way into Tariq’s life, find out the truth. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger…and he isn’t in control of all of them. 

“Matt’s sarcastic, biting wit keeps readers rooting for him and hoping for his recovery. In his acknowledgments, Miller reveals the story’s roots in his own teen experiences. A dark and lovely tale of supernatural vengeance and self-destruction.” – Kirkus (starred review)

Read the first three chapters for free, by clicking here!  Oh and while you’re at it you can also listen to an excerpt of the fantastic audio book! And then you can buy the book!

 

** A Junior Library Guild Selection **

Amazon.com Editor’s Pick: Best YA Books of the Month

iBooks Best Books of July

Must-Read YA Books of Summer 2017 -Bookish

Best Bets for Fascinating Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror – Kirkus

Must-Read Science Fiction & Fantasy Arriving in July – io9

16 SF/F/H Books to Read this July – the Verge

14 Best YA Novels Coming in July – Bustle

Most-Anticipated LGBT Novels of 2017– Barnes & Noble Teen Blog

7 Essential Fantasy Novels for July – Inverse

New YA Novels from First-Time Authors You Need to Read in the 2nd Half of 2017 – Bustle

Best New Young Adult Books, July 2017 – The Children’s Book Review

Also it was trending on Twitter!

“Matt’s sarcastic, biting wit keeps readers rooting for him and hoping for his recovery. In his acknowledgments, Miller reveals the story’s roots in his own teen experiences. A dark and lovely tale of supernatural vengeance and self-destruction.” – Kirkus (starred review)

“Miller’s heartfelt debut novel tackles difficult subjects with a bold mix of magical realism, tender empathy and candor. Matt is delusional and anorexic, but he’s also an admirably strong character who is out and proud, brilliant, creative, and determined to survive. It’s not always easy to find novels with troubled gay male protagonists who aren’t doomed, and Miller’s creative portrait of a complex and sympathetic individual will provide a welcome mirror for kindred spirits.” – Booklist (starred review)

“There is nothing romantic about debut novelist Miller’s portrayal of anorexia; his descriptions are often graphic and disturbing, and discussion of Matt’s future is brutally honest.” – Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“Sam J. Miller’s debut novel, The Art of Starving, is, perhaps, one of the most important books of the year… a novel with the power to change the world… If you have teenagers, know teenagers, or ever were a teenager, you should read it. If you’ve ever been an outsider, or you’ve ever been lonely, you should read this book. If you’ve ever felt love and heartache, this book is for you. And if you want to teach someone about empathy, friendship, and self-acceptance, buy. Them. This. Book.” – Barnes & Noble Science Fiction Blog

“Damn near perfect… A deeply tragic, if also deeply magical and hopeful story that breaks with expectations to subvert and challenge… perhaps the highest praise that I can give to this novel is to say I wish desperately I had read it when I was young myself.” – Book Smugglers

“This book will tear your heart in two and then gently place the pieces back inside your chest – while reminding you to have a sandwich and love yourself.” – NPR (one of their Best Books of the Year)

“His narration is biting, sharply witty and possibly delusional; keeping readers in the moment with Matt and showing only his perspective is a brilliant choice by Sam J. Miller to allow readers full insight into Matt’s mind but keep the mysteries of Maya and Matt’s possible powers at bay. 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

“If this debut sounds suspiciously like it will wreak havoc on your feelings, there’s a good reason for that: it totally will. But it’s so worth it, especially with the dearth of eating disorder books in YA starring boys.” – Barnes & Noble Teen 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.” – RT Reviews

“Behind Matt is a vivid slice of struggling small-town family in a struggling small-town life, and it’s heartbreaking and credible to see how vulnerable on all sides this makes him and why any kind of power, even a self-destroying one, is something to be seized.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This blend of reality and magical realism is sure to be one of the most talked about books of the season.” – Bookish (“Must-Read YA Books of Summer 2017”)

“Sam J. Miller’s first novel, The Art of Starving, is a gut-wrenching and powerful read about a high school boy clamoring for acceptance… Matt’s journey will feel familiar and hopeful to any reader who’s experienced the precarious scramble for self-acceptance.” – Bookpages

“Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless and powerful, The Art of Starving is a classic in the making.” — Book Riot

“THE ART OF STARVING is a gorgeous and heartbreaking book that had me saying “what the…?” while flipping pages so fast I barely cared about the answer to my own question… This is a book that I’ll want to read and re-read in order to glean those beautiful and sometimes painful truths that the author has hidden in Matt’s story.” – YA Books Central

“Exactly as wounding as its synopsis implies, but twice as profound. Framed as a rule book for aspiring superhumans like Matt, the novel is too tongue-in-cheek and bizarre to veer into the realm of the Morality Tale… a bruising and incisive story about a boy at war with himself.” – Tor.com

“It may sound like this story romanticizes eating disorders, but Miller doesn’t shy away from showing the brutality and relentlessness of Matt’s illness. The result is a powerful, often beautiful, and believe it or not, sharply funny novel from Miller.” – Bustle

“The renowned story author’s first novel is a wrenching and ambitious YA… the novel’s most distinctive and appealing aspect is Matt’s own cynical, sarcastic, desperate, and thoroughly believable voice” – Locus

“With its aching honesty and elegant writing, The Art of Starving makes me wish this book had existed for former students and glad that it does for current and future ones.” – Guys Lit Wire

“In this touching, harrowing, and self-aware story, Sam J. Miller deftly subverts expectations and blends conventions: the coming-out narrative, the superhero origin tale, Stephen King–esque horror. The result is a moving, original novel for anyone fascinated by the limits of self-control.” – iBooks

“This unique and well-written book is a dark, upsetting, and moving look at one boy’s experience with an eating disorder that will leave readers hopeful that he’s on the path to recovery, but maybe still doubting what has happened to Matt and what his future will hold.” – Teen Librarian Toolbox

“Miller’s novel is a stylistic tour-de-force in the way it creates a completely naturalistic, quirky, unique voice for Matt, never pandering or distractingly meta. Matt himself is made wholly believable by dint of what he chooses to share and what he chooses to gloss over. The Art of Starving is a deeply intelligent and sensitive novel peopled by unforgettable characters. Despite its title, it’s an embarrassment of riches.” – Intergalactic Medicine Show

“Beautifully rendered. This novel will break your heart and heal it again.” — Coretta Scott-King Award/ Newbery Honor/ National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson

“Completely mesmerized by this gorgeous gut punch of a novel… my fav book in recent memory.” – Mackenzi Lee, NYT-bestselling author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue

“A gritty look at a young man struggling with a host of demons, ordinary and extraordinary, internal and external. Matt’s journey towards self-acceptance is terrifying and revealing all at once. Miller’s skill with language illuminates the human darkness he is so adept at depicting.” – Cassandra Clare

“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

“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

“This is a great addition to the growing world of gay YA lit, and I can’t wait to see what Sam J. Miller writes next.” – Shaun David Hutchinson

“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

“Sam J. Miller’s voice rings through his fiction, both short and long form, bearing important witness to pain and beauty in equal measure. (I refuse, in point of fact, to imagine a world without his voice.) With The Art of Starving — a wrenching look at a young man’s world turned inside out — Miller has given superpowers to a modern-day Holden Caufield and set the result loose upon the world. Haunting.” ~ Fran Wilde, Award-winning author of Updraft, Cloudbound, and Horizon

“As gritty with salted wounds as are all great fairytales, The Art of Starving is The Outsiders with superpowers. A quest to avenge his missing sister turns Matt into a self-perceived starvation saint. His journey from from addicted boy to recovering man should be shelved alongside the classic stories of unexpected salvation.” – Maria Dahvana Headley

“A biting debut, full of whiplash dark humor and heart.” – Roshani Chokshi, author of the Norton-Award-nominated THE STAR-CROSSED QUEEN.

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