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MEDIA MIX

"The Luckiest Girl in the World"

By Steven Levenkron, Penguin, $9.95, 189 pages

March 30, 1998|SHARI ROAN

This paperback novel is from the author of the novel and subsequent film "The Best Little Girl in the World" and is similar in its fictionalized treatment of a psychiatric disorder found primarily among teenage girls and young women. "The Best Little Girl" was about anorexia nervosa. Steven Levenkron's new book is centered on self-mutilation. The central character is a teenage figure-skating champion with an abusive mother. To deal with the pressures of her life, she begins cutting herself. The story is simple and predictable. And yet Levenkron, a psychotherapist, does a good job explaining the phenomenon of self-mutilation, from which an estimated 2 million people suffer. The book is written for adults, but would also be an excellent young adult selection and a thoughtful addition to mother-daughter book club reading lists.

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