The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Page Count: 224
Summary from Amazon
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.
The Stone Girl chronicles Selphie—an anorexic senior—as she goes through her last year of high school. Sheinmel gives an accurate portrayal of a young anorexic girl. Her writing is often graphic and this adds to the realism of the story. Selphie’s strange thoughts and even more bizarre rituals, including cutting herself, help the reader to sympathize with her plight. Selphie is a very believable character. Her decisions—often fueled by her lack of self-esteem—help the reader to connect with her. I found the novel very interesting and gripping. The book gave the reader more than just a peak into the life of someone with an eating disorder. The only criticism that I would make is that the end of the story was wrapped up a bit too quickly and simplistically.