Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Publisher: New York: Viking 2009
pages: 278
Author's website

Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Genre: Issues
Topics: Eating disorders
Media Type: Book

Grade level: 9-Adult

Reader's annotation:
Lia doesn’t eat, she knows it is a problem but that doesn’t change anything. Now Cassie is dead, will Lia follow her lead?

Summary: Lia struggles everyday just to keep going. Her life revolves around not eating. The book opens with the news that her best friend Cassie had died from the eating disorder alone in a motel room. Any progress that Lia had been making, though it is difficult for us to know what that progress was, doesn’t seem to be working anymore. She goes through the next days at school and the funeral of her friend continuing with the self-destructive behavior she lives by, cutting, and not eating - convinced that this is making her stronger. Cassie is often in Lia's thoughts and so are the hallucinations haunting her. She is so isolated yet we see that it is all a front to keep everyone else thinking that she is fine, normal, and doing all the things she should be doing. No one has any idea what is going on in her head. But she can’t go on much longer like this. Something needs to change.

Evaluation: Powerful and raw, this is a difficult topic to read about but Anderson’s ability to show us this side of human nature and the possibilities of how far the human mind can take things is important. This book should instigate many worthwhile discussions among teens.

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I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.