Friday, July 6, 2012

THE STONE GIRL by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

ARC eBook courtesy of
Release date: 8-28-12

In an author note at the beginning, Alyssa B. Sheinmel highlights her own struggle with an eating disorder as inspiration for THE STONE GIRL.  Although not exactly the same experience as her character Sethie, Sheinmel explains that her own struggle is reflected in Sethie, and she hopes it will help other girls battling with the same body image issues.

Sarah Beth "Sethie" hates having to explain her name to new acquaintances, but what she struggles with most is her body.  At her heaviest she weighed in at 132 lbs. and is now determined to maintain her semi-satisfying 111 lbs., but less would be even better.

Sethie is in love with Shaw.  Not exactly sure about his true feelings for her, she constantly evaluates their time together.  She would love to hold hands as they walk together, but she is pretty sure Shaw wouldn't approve.  She revels in his every touch but wishes he would touch her more.  Is he happy with her body?  Does he think she is too fat?  Sethie can't ask him these questions to learn the real answers; she just obsesses on the possibilities that the answers would be negative.

When Sethie meets Janey, she begins to gain confidence.  They shop together, and Janey encourages Sethie to buy clothes she never would have considered purchasing.  Janey also gives Sethie the confidence to wear them in public.  Janey's positive reinforcement offsets the negativity Sethie has always felt from her mother, and more importantly from looking at her own reflection.

THE STONE GIRL takes readers into the mind of a young girl struggling with a negative body image.  Her obsession with her weight and food consumption fill almost every waking moment and dictate every action or reaction she experiences.  Although, many anorexia cases are more extreme, Sethie's situation reveals the emotional unraveling caused by this devastating condition.

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