Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 90% or A-
Buy It: Amazon
My Thoughts::She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale; a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that her skin is really as thin as glass, that her hair is brittle as straw, that her tears have dried up so that she cries only salt. Maybe that's why it doesn't hurt when she presses hard enough to begin bleeding: it doesn't hurt, because she's not real anymore.
High school senior Sarah Beth (Sethie) Weiss is disciplined. She has never cut a class in her life, has never had a grade below a B+, and has always been a favorite among her teachers. Her college applications are finished and she only ate six Ritz crackers today. But even on days when Sethie needs to eat more, there's always the toilet to make up for her mistakes. Sethie manages to get down to 104, and maybe if she works just a little bit harder, becomes a little more disciplined, she can get below 100. Truth be told, Sethie has more to worry about than her relationship with her body; but the deeper she descends into her disorder, the smaller her world gets and the harder it is to see her way out.
Books that dealt with serious issues like this used to be my favorite kind of thing to read. I couldn't really relate to the problems, but I liked being aware of what some people my age are going through. So even now when these books take a back seat to end of the world stories, I still have an interest in them. When I saw this book on netgalley I clicked request right away and was very happy when I was approved.
Stories like this always impress me. Not the fact that the author was brave enough to talk about these issues, even though that IS impressive. But I just love when books can hold my interest just by having interesting characters. Sure, I am the first to admit how much I love action, suspense, and crazy dystopian worlds, I just also love books that can capture your mind just as strongly by having a fleshed out main character that you want to be on this journey with. Who you root for and feel for.
And there WAS action. Just not...running from the corrupt government sort of action. It was emotional action. Sethie felt like she could have been my best friend. We often thought the same way and I could identify with her a lot. The whole book the eating disorder was there, but we were able to almost forget about it during the first half. This gave us time to feel like we were in her shoes, so when things started to spiral, well...they spiraled for us too.
My favorite part of the book would have to be the ending. When Sethie is finally talking to her mom and finally realizes that she hasn't been eating nearly as much as she thought. It was strange to learn this because I thought Sethie was a reliable narrator so when we find out that we were also kind of living in her mind (feeling like she ate a lot, when she barely ate anything) was fascinating and surprising.