Nothing Tastes As Good by Claire Hennessy

Nothing Tastes As Good by Claire Hennessy

Release Date: July 14, 2016
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores!

Don't call her a guardian angel. Annabel is dead–but she hasn't completely gone away. Annabel immediately understands why her first assignment as a ghostly helper is to her old classmate: Julia is fat. And being fat makes you unhappy. Simple, right?

As Annabel shadows Julia's life in the pressured final year of school, Julia gradually lets Annabel's voice in, guiding her thoughts towards her body, food and control.

But nothing is as simple as it first seems. Spending time in Julia's head seems to be having its own effect on Annabel...and she knows that once the voices take hold, it's hard to ignore them.

When I first saw Nothing Tastes As Good, I was a bit confused. I thought this was a cookbook or a book on healthy living...until I saw the tagline. I thought the concept for this one sounded great, and it also reminded me of Anne Fine's book The Angel of Nitshill Road, so I decided to give it a go. I really didn't expect to love this one as much as I did. What I thought was a book about eating disorders turned into something much, much more.

The narrative was pretty interesting. We have one of our main characters, Annabel, who can't talk to our other main character Julia. The interactions Annabel has with Julia are limited, so it's kind of cool reading about one character observing another character, who also has the ability to read her mind and the minds of others around her. Annabel was a flawed character, but while we all expect Julia to grow over the course of the book (and she did!), we also find that Annabel has a lot to learn as well. Both were such real characters, and I truly appreciated that this story captured such well fleshed-out characters.

As I mentioned before, there's a lot more to the book than eating disorders. Something else is pushing Julia towards bingeing on food, and I really liked Annabel switching gears when she comes to learn of it. I also liked that the story delved into some of Annabel's memories and we get to learn more about her time when she was alive, as well as getting glimpses of the lives of those around her. The shift in perspective highlighted how Annabel and Julia are foils of one another when it comes to personalities, but they go through the same struggle, and it's up to Annabel to figure out why she's the one that needs to save Julia.

As someone who has had a problematic relationship with food, I really enjoyed Nothing Tastes As Good. Poignant and bittersweet, I came to love Julia and Annabel's story, and truly understand the importance behind a book such as this one. Claire Hennessy's latest novel is real–it captures the ups and downs of life perfectly, and promotes the idea of body positivity, which is unfortunately rare to find in young adult fiction. Don't miss out on this one!

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

If you like this, try...


  1. I haven't heard of this but it sounds like it's a book that can make an impact on you and discusses some pretty relevant topics. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  2. It's great when a book delivers more than what you're expecting. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I've heard so much about this book here in Ireland as Claire is Irish. I'm excited to read it at some stage.

  4. Sounds like a great read, and it's new to me!

  5. Food in literature, this combo never fails.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I'll try to visit your blog (if you have one) and comment back!