Title: The Pain Eater
Author: Beth Goobie
Published: Second Story Press
Pub. Date: 13 September 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, YA
Maddie Malone has been a train wreck since that terrible day last March. She tries to control her nightmare pain so it does not consume her, but the only method she has found to make it bearable may consume her first. No one knows why she changed, or just how deeply– not even herself– but as her English class progresses on an assignment to write a collective novel, she begins to discover the missing pieces of her own story.
This was a difficult story to read, not because it was bad, but because it forces the reader not only to witness a young girl’s agony in as raw and terrible a state as it can get, but also face down aspects of victimization that are unusual to have in the forefront such as self-blame, self-destruction, and remorse. This is not just the story of Maddy’s pain, but the lingering effects and the coalescence and evolution of the many unintended individual pains surrounding her and the awful event.
Beth Goobie did a great job on this book. It is complex and tightly woven. The characters are deep and I felt I could understand them, even when they were not being nice people. The story was fresh and revealed itself over time to be full of surprising layers of meaning. The ending was perfect for the story. Overall, I really felt this was a stellar offering from Second Story Press and Beth Goobie.
A hard 4.3 stars.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy through Netgalley in return for this honest review.