Running Lean: A Book Review

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Running Lean

Diana L Sharples



The teenage years have a bad rap.  Yes they are hard, compared to childhood, but that could be because parents are allowing their kids to get a taste of the real world outside of the boundaries of a safe home.  Or they are hard, because some are dealt harder cards to live through.  Either way, the teenage years have been given a bad name because of all the issues that seem to appear out of no where.

It seems that too many of the horrible events of teens come from scenarios where the teen does not have an adult in his or her life to communicate with.  An adult that has earned his or her confidence, someone to share with as adult issues seep into their lives.

If you have been here for any length of time, you know that I am an advocate for allowing literature to be a bridge that allows adults to relate to teens on a level playing field. Teens want to be seen as adults, and this option is a great tool to get the ball rolling when it comes to discussing issues that adults want to parent through, while teens desperately want to be treated like equals.

One such topic is eating disorders.

Might I suggest this next book for those parents who are looking for ways to connect with the teens in their lives that might be suffering from an eating disorder?



Running Lean by Diana L Sharples  A Book Review on Reading List





Story Overview 

Running Lean** follows Calvin Greenlee as he searches for closure following his brother's death, which happens before the book opens. Stacey, a passionate artist, steps in to Calvin's life just as he is looking for someone to help fill the space his brother Michael, left.  She quickly becomes his girlfriend, a girl he always wanted.  However, he soon discovers Stacey as a few issues of her own, and how she decides to deal with them quickly becomes unhealthy.

Calvin has to decide how he will support Stacey as she looks to him to be her everything, in a very unhealthy way.

Personal Likes

Diana L Sharples did an amazing job of creating a male character that seemed like the average teenager.  He had some personal issues that could have destroyed him and his family, but with a lot of love and prayer, his family was able to pull through.  He had a good group of friends to support him, a hobby to keep him busy and a girlfriend who loved him in the hard times.  And for that I wanted to love this book.  

This book always took an extremely difficult subject, eating disorders, specifically anorexia, and made it real.  So many teenagers, and young girls for that matter, feel ugly for one reason or another (Stacey's was horrific, at least the root) and often turn to crazy diets that spiral out of control.  This leaves family, friends and others lost and confused as they desperately try to help.  This book does an amazing job of showcasing this. 






Personal Dislikes

The overall speed of this book, for me, was slow.  I mean, like a soap opera that appears to be on repeat, expect for the outfits the characters are wearing.  Yes, I know the author was trying to show how the issues slowly creep in and that spiral can sneak in before you even realize how far down you are, but this was a little too much.

I wasn't able to finish this particular book because Stacey's character just didn't compel me to keep reading.  I got fed up with Calvin and his choices when it came to Stacey and how he needed to walk away from this girl.


Reasons to Read

While this book wasn't my cup of tea, I do see how this could be an incredible book for so many teenagers.  The characters were real, the setting extremely believable, and the message very timely. For teenagers, boys and girls, who are dealing with this horrific disease in one way or another, this is a must read.  For parents whose teens are struggling with eating disorders, this book could be a priceless tool, full of insight and perspective.


Reading List Rating

Two heart rating on Reading List


Personally, I can only give this book a two heart rating, because for me, it wasn't a good read.  But please do not allow this to sway you if this sounds like a book you'd be interested.  The quality of writing was good, and the development thought out.  







My Suggested Audience

I would suggest a mature audience for this book, as the subject matter is deep.  I don't want to put an age on this though (probably at least 13) because I know many girls that started down the anorexia spiral at a young age.  Just know that this book is full of serious subject matter, which can be hard to read and fully grasp without maturity.  For adults looking for some insight into teens who are dealing with this topic, this could be a great read.  




#RunningLean "A spiritual condition in which a believer relies on his own strengths" @BlinkYABooks @Reading_List1




For parents with young teens, would you read a book with your teen if it might open up the door to meaningful conversation? How would you go about discussing eating disorders and mental illness with your kids? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List






**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 



***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.




****Disclosure of Material Connection: #AD Sponsored by publisher, through BookLook Bloggers.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”


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