Monday, July 2, 2012

Dull As Stone...

Expected Publication:  August 28th, 2012
The Stone Girl
By: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Random House Children's Books
ISBN-13: 9780375870804

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.


   Sethie Weiss is in control of her body and the way it makes her feel.  She is in control of her grades, her friendships and the relationship she has with Shaw, even if he isn't exactly her boyfriend yet.  All she has to do is keep pleasing him, taking drugs with him and making sure to keep it low pressure.  Than he'll finally want her for more than just sex.  But when everything starts to disappear, leaving Sethie alone with her body the last thing she can control, will it be enough for her?  I could not STAND the format this book was written in.  It was third person, which normally speeds things along really well because it allows for great description and gives access to thoughts and actions both, of multiple characters (usually).  This time it was very clunky.  Every sentence was 'Sethie sees this' or 'Sethie does that.'  It was extremely boring and doesn't allow for any real character development to occur.  Everything was TOLD instead of being shown and I couldn't stand it.  Also, Sethie has pretty much no parental supervision, which is somewhat of an old-school YA standard (parents that are strict, not there, or try to hard to be cool).  But the fact that she was supposed to be a smart, straight-A student while doing marijuana and cocaine on a regular basis is just so totally unrealistic and laughable that I feel crazy even describing it.  Sethie is also hanging around with a guy who uses her for sex, probably deals drugs and will never value her in the slightest bit.  Even though she suffers from anorexia, that doesn't go hand-in-hand with such a lack of self-respect.  If anything due to the complex thought process of the disease, it's usually the opposite.  The way that Sethie comes to terms with her disorder and vows to end it so she can go to college (on the urging of her best friend Janey) was so highly insulting to me as a reader that if hadn't been an e-book it would have been tossed at the wall several dozen times.  This book had a good premise, that has worked well in the past.  Unfortunately, the author's research was shoddy and misinterpretive; it shows big time in the overall plot and resolution of the book.  If you want good books about eating disorders, you should read:

 VERDICT:  1/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication is August 28th, 2012.*

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