Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Sethie (her preferred abbreviation for Sarah Beth) has everything under control. She knows exactly what she needs to do to keep her grades up. She knows exactly what she needs to do to get into a good school. She knows exactly what she needs to do to be with the boy she likes. She also knows exactly what she needs to do to keep her weight going in the right direction: down. But despite all of her efforts, is Sethie close to losing it all?

The book begins with a letter from the author that details why she wrote this book. She talks about her own body issues and how they have shaped her life. The book is at times to hard to read because it goes into some very dark places; Sethie spends a lot of time in darkness. I was glad that the book was written in third person; this put a bit of space between me and Sethie's mind but not enough to distance me from the story. I particularly liked the parts of this book that explored Sethie's relationships with the people around her: her mom, her friends, her boyfriend. How does her illness shape how she sees people? Are her interpretations of situations reliable? If they were describing the same situation, what would they say about it? As Alyssa B. Sheinmel notes in her introduction, there is no shortage of books that look at teen girls struggling with anorexia, bulimia, and body image, but for those who are looking for an issue-based novel The Stone Girl paints a dark and complex portrait of a girl who is struggling to keep everything together.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Clean by Amy Lynn Reed
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

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