Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin

by Carrie Rubin
Genres: General

Title: Eating Bull

Author: Carrie Rubin

Publisher: Science Thrillers Media

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: October 15, 2015

Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

Source: I received this book free of charge from Claire McKinney PR, LLC in exchange for an honest review

Jeremy, a lonely and obese teenager, shoots into the limelight when a headstrong public health nurse persuades him to sue the food industry. Tossed into a storm of media buzz and bullying, the teen draws the attention of a serial killer who’s targeting the obese. Soon the boy, the nurse, and their loved ones take center stage in a delusional man’s drama.

In this novel of suspense, Eating Bull explores the real-life issues of bullying, fat-shaming, and the food industry’s role in obesity.

**Content Advisory: This book contains some profanity and brief scenes of graphic violence.** 


~~ Two-copy giveaway coming up soon! ~~

Fat-shaming is no joke; it’s something that we do on a daily basis, even if we don’t vocalize it. Every time we look at someone in an outfit and tell ourselves that we’d never be able to wear an outfit like that because of our thighs/belly/breasts/arms/whatever, we fat shame ourselves. People in our society habitually put themselves down, constantly comparing themselves to the people around them. In Eating Bull, we see Jeremy do the same thing, and it’s heartbreaking to recognize the negative self-talk that we berate ourselves with constantly circling around in the mind of a teenage boy as he struggles with his own self-image. America’s unhealthy eating habits take center-stage in this thriller, as two opposite views and lifestyles clash, not only in the mental processing that the characters display, but in horrifically physical destructiveness.

I began reading this book on the first day of my elimination diet (no corn, soy, gluten, sugar, or dairy), and reading the chapters written from Jeremy’s point of view ended up being pure torture. Descriptions of fatty and sugary foods filled the pages, and saliva filled my mouth. I could easily see (and feel) Jeremy’s struggle to avoid the fatty and sugary foods that he relied on to cope with his negative feelings. Sue’s and Darwin’s chapters were harder for me to get into, and I started to get annoyed every time one of Sue’s chapters came up, and bored with Darwin’s chapters. The character voice development could have used more differentiation, as the voices all seemed to blur together. The character is clearly different, but the writing style and word choice doesn’t change noticeably. I would have expected some pretty drastic changes between the three characters, since they are in such completely different headspaces throughout the novel, as well as different age ranges and genders (and mental health levels).

I was also disappointed about the lack of thrills in this thriller. Without giving away any spoilers, I felt like the identity of the serial killer was pretty clear as soon as the clues started coming in. There were a couple twists and feints in the story, but only enough to momentarily distract from what seemed (and was) obvious throughout the book. While I don’t like to be Scooby Doo’ed (find out the mystery person is someone there were never any clues for throughout the book), I also like the intellectual challenge to track minute details and (maybe) piece together what the mystery is, without glaring clues (or lack of clues) that give away the secret. [I hit a new record of three sets of parenthesis in that sentence…] Don’t get me wrong: I still enjoyed this book and I think that the message that it contains is worth reading and taking to heart. If anything, I hope this book inspires people to take their health into their own hands and stop letting themselves get suckered in by convenience foods and lazy lifestyles, and that it encourages the readers to take a hard look at the fat-shaming and bullying that pervades our society. I ask you, noble readers, to take a stand in your own life and social circles: take a stand against bullying and fat-shaming, whether you see it directed toward someone else, or whether you habitually direct it toward yourself.


**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**

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“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.” ~ Neil Gaiman