AUTHOR =Laurie Halse Anderson
GENRE =Identity, Growing up, Mental Health
INTEREST LEVEL = Years 11, 12
This is a brilliantly conceived book but it is not easy to read, as the narrator, Lia quite literally struggles to stay alive. Laurie Halse Anderson certainly captures the mental games (and therefore the mental anguish) that can become a part of life for any teen who is suffering from an eating disorder, as Lia is. The frustration and concern of her family is also all too evident, as they fail to read the signs correctly or simply fail to understand how she deceives them at every turn, despite their best efforts to support her. The fact that Lia’s best friend, Cassie has recently failed in a similar struggle with anorexia and made a belated attempt to gain Lia’s support, only adds fuel to the fire of Lia’s guilt and exra dread and horror for the reader – as we hope that the same fate does not await Lia. The ending is all too believable.
All in all, a powerful novel but not for the faint hearted. Deserving nominee for several awards. More appropriate for older students due to the challenging content.
Recommended (with caution) ***** (dma)