Sad Perfect - Stephanie Elliot | Author
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sad perfect

Not all picky eating is harmless. Not all eating disorders look the same.

Told in second person, Sad Perfect is the story of a 16-year-old girl with ARFID, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, a unique eating disorder. This is a heartbreaking, visceral perspective on disease, love, and recovery.


Sixteen-year-old Pea knows there has always been something wrong with the way she eats–textures, smells, and even the sight of some foods are frightening. When she’s finally diagnosed with a little-known eating disorder called Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), her “picky eating” starts to make sense. Pea has always felt alienated, anxious, and depressed, and with her diagnosis, she is hopeful that she’ll get the treatment she needs to get better.


Thanks to therapy, her loving yet dysfunctional family, and the support of her sweet and caring new boyfriend, Ben, Pea finally feels like she’s in control for the first time in her life. But when she decides to go off her antidepressants, things start to spiral out of control. It will take inner strength and the support from her loved ones to get the help she needs to begin to challenge her eating disorder.



“In this heartbreaking and deeply personal novel, Stephanie Elliot elevates the specific to the universal, and chronicles all of our struggles with the demons within. Sad Perfect is a book I couldn’t put down and one that will long stay with me. I loved it.” ―Julie Buxbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things


“Written in the second-person, Sad Perfect is the spare, hauntingly told story of a teenage girl and the eating disorder that threatens to consume her. You’ll be riveted by her story, and by Elliot’s careful observations of social media, the health care system, and parental neglect. Girls, and boys, will be reading this elegant and sad book for years to come.” ―Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

Sad Perfect is a brilliant and beautiful debut. Pea’s story of her struggles with the eating disorder ARFID demands to be heard and understood through the powerful second-person narrative. This book is raw and visceral, yet ringed with the sweet hope of first love and the support of family. I could not put it down.” ―Marisa Reichardt, Underwater 


“A raw and visceral exploration of a unique eating disorder. Told in the second person, Sad Perfect is a masterfully crafted novel about the struggle for self-love and the healing power of self-acceptance.” ―Shannon M. Parker, The Girl Who Fell