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The Stone Girl Hardcover – August 28, 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Sethie, a driven, type-A personality who desperately cares what people think about her and is never satisfied with her rapidly shrinking body, is spiraling into a catacomb of eating disorders and cutting. When she finds out that the guy she thought was her boyfriend is only using her for sex and drugs, she goes into further decline. The author's constant referral to her in the third person is rather jarring at times. Sheinmel depicts the common control and textural issues prevalent among many anorexics in a stark and chilling manner; Sethie relishes the feeling of the hard floor underneath her butt and has an exacting ritual of chugging cold water before bedtime. Although Sheinmel indicts the health-care industry and memoirs by anorexics for inadvertently providing tips for anorexics, she explains Sethie's starvation rituals in meticulous detail. However, in an age of "thinspiration" websites, this is probably a moot point, and the details show the ugliness and heartbreaking aspects of anorexia/bulimia. Sethie receives little intervention from her mother or school officials until the end of the novel, for which there is no explanation. The novel is a bit disjointed at times, but it is still a compelling take on a common theme in young adult literature.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

New York Times Book Review, August 23, 2012:
"Sheinmel proves there’s a lot more to an eating disorder than food, or the lack thereof."

Publishers Weekly, August 20, 2012:
"This drama about a girl on the road to anorexia offers candid insights into the psychological factors underlying the condition. ...Sheinmel's depiction of her self-defeating behavior comes across as vivid and painfully truthful."

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2012:
"Vividly depicted."

School Library Journal (online), January 8, 2013:
"Sethie’s plight will resonate not only with teens who have dealt with eating disorders but with any reader who has felt the unyielding pressure to conform to a just out-of-reach ideal."
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375870806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375870804
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sethie is obsessed about her weight and her body, and it comes across in this powerful novel about body image, eating disorders and friendship.
This hit home on a personal level because I dealt with eating disorders in high school and to this day I still struggle with body image. I think that Sethie's attitudes towards food and how she saw herself was very realistic.
I really liked Ben in this book, and I respected his mannerisms towards Sethie. I think that he was all that she needed even when she didn't get what she wanted. On the other hand, Shaw irritated me so badly, I just wanted to smack some sense into him. That said, I think that he is like so many guys out there, and I don't at all blame Sethie for seeing what she wanted to in their relationship.
The friendship element of this story also kept me glued to the pages. Jane is the type of friend that someone struggling needs. I admit, she did help along the eating disorder without really realizing how deep Sethie was, and later admits that she was only trying to impress her. How she kept calling and kept making the effort with Sethie really impressed me and I wish that I had someone like that in my corner when I was dealing with eds. It wasn't perfect, we also saw them hurting one another, mistrust, and other issues, but ultimately it came down to a nice friendship.
The only thing that I wished was that it was written in first person, because I didn't feel quite as connected to Sethie as I wanted to, and I think that if it weren't in third person, that would have been achieved. Don't get me wrong, I still felt for her and I think the emotion and the obsession definitely came through, I just think it could've been a bit stronger.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It was different than I thought it would be. It was more graphic, in terms of the main character's e.d. description, yet refreshing, to have the truth of the situation out there. It was a hard book to put down, because the writing style was so addictive. I would recommend this one, but not if you have ever struggled with the issues presented in this book, as it could be triggering.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an easy read. I probably would have gotten through it in one sitting if I hadn't been so busy after the holidays.

The main character Sethie is relatable to just about every girl in High School, and anyone that's ever been through that. Even if you weren't anorexic, you can still relate to what she is going through in her life, and how she is feeling.

I feel like her downward spiral wouldn't have been so dramatic if she had a better support network. The other characters in the book, her friends and family, don't seem to take any notice to her condition until the end of the book, and even then it doesn't feel genuine.

The ending felt like it could have been much more. Everything was "wrapped up" quickly, and not everything was "wrapped up" completely. I would be happy to read a sequel of this, to see Sethie getting help, and how she overcomes this disease. I think it would add greatly to her story, and give Sethie the ending she deserves.
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Format: Paperback
Alyssa Sheinmel gives us an extremely realistic story of a girl already in the midst of struggling with her body image and is progressing further into the realm of eating disorders. In a lot of ways, I really connected with the book in the fact that this was an extremely relevant issue in my teen years and I saw so many parallels between people in my life in high school and Sethie in Sheinmel's story. Unfortunately it really is a big issue - one I personally think is only getting worse amongst young girls and teens - and I really liked how the book posed an interesting question that I began wondering as I was reading. Sethie's of average height (I think she was somewhere between 5'4" and 5'6"? Can't exactly remember) and her ideal weight is 111 lbs. She's constantly starving herself to get there, but she is still eating. Small portions here and there, every once in a while a full meal when she has to -- And I began to wonder, at what point do we call this anorexia? At what point is it a full on diagnosed eating disorder? Even though she's not so skinny that it's dangerous to her health and it hasn't started to affect other physical aspects of her body, is that behavior enough to warrant the title of an eating disorder?

As I kept reading, it's clear that even though people may not notice the physical signs as much, Sethie is doing her body major harm by starving herself and even worse, we start to see her mental state deteriorating. The more pressure she puts on herself to not eat, stay skinny, lose even more weight, the more we see the stress taking its toll on her. She stops caring about her once good grades. She starts to purge the food she just ate, even if only a little. She stops communicating with her mother, who is her only parent as a single mom.
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Format: Paperback
All her life, Sethie has known what she’s wanted to do, then has gone out and done it. She’s gotten all A’s at school, scored over 2000 on her SAT’s, written all her college essays, sent out her college applications, made Shaw her boyfriend, and is awaiting graduation from high school in a few months.

One of the most important accomplishments she’s achieved is paying attention to her weight. She is tired of feeling all the fat accumulate between her thighs, on her belly and all over her body so, just as she’s challenged herself to be perfect in other areas of her life, Sethie is applying perfection to herself. She has managed to get her weight down to 111 pounds, but finds even that to be too fat. Having recently discovered how to throw up her food, she is ecstatic.

When Sethie finds out Shaw, the love of her life, doesn’t want to be with her anymore her world crashes down around her. Since she can’t control how he feels, Sethie feels there is only one thing she can control: her weight. As she continues to get skinnier and skinnier, her health declines, and other physical problems begin to manifest themselves. Without help, it will just be a matter of time before Sethie really turns into the stone girl she already feels she’s become.

“The Stone Girl” casts an uncompromising view at the world of the Anorexic and Bulimic teenager, colored through the experiences of the author who’d also had similar problems when she was a teen. High school teens who read “The Stone Girl” will not only be educated on what to look for in their friends who may be suffering from similar weight loss illnesses, but may also recognize themselves within its pages and seek the help they need.
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