Review: The Stone Girl by Alyssa SheinmelRelease Date: August 28, 2012
Title: The Stone Girl
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel
Pages: 224
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: NetGalley
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: 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.

Sethie Weiss is hungry, a mean, angry kind of hunger that feels like a piece of glass in her belly. She’s managed to get down to 111 pounds and knows that with a little more hard work-a few more meals skipped, a few more snacks vomited away-she can force the number on the scale even lower. She will work on her body the same way she worked to get her perfect grades, to finish her college applications early, to get her first kiss from Shaw, the boy she loves, the boy who isn’t quite her boyfriend.

Sethie will not allow herself one slip, not one bad day, not one break in concentration. Her body is there for her to work on when everything and everyone else-her best friend, her schoolwork, and Shaw-are gone.

From critically acclaimed writer Alyssa B. Sheinmel comes an unflinching and unparalleled portrayal of one girl’s withdrawal, until she is sinking like a stone into her own illness, her own loneliness-her own self.
4 Stars

This was a difficult book to read; it’s even more difficult to write the review.

The Stone Girl is not the typical book about anorexia. Sethie’s story is about the journey- the downward spiral. It’s not about that spot at rock bottom that we so often read about. Instead, we fall with Sethie.

It was hard to read because so many of her thoughts are thoughts I’ve had myself. The thoughts she had about Shaw were heartbreaking, because I absolutely understood where she was coming from. the thoughts about her food were also familiar.

This story was not about food. It was not about Sethie’s control. It was about Sethie’s life. It was simple. We saw everything through her own eyes.  It was a bit shocking at the end when we saw the truth, rather than the reality she had built for herself- the reality she had sucked me into right alongside her.

Rating this book was difficult. It’s not the kind of story you want to like. But it is an important story. It was a really well-written story. It should be read. It needs to be read.

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The majority of the books I review are obtained as advanced copies via Net Galley or Edelweiss, through ARC tours, or they are finished books I have purchased myself.

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~Mandi Kaye Ottaway

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