The Stone Girl is about a girl, Sethie, with an eating disorder that gets worse and worse throughout the book. Not only does she have a problem with eating, but her self esteem issues make her perceptions of romantic relationships way out of whack too. The character and aspects of her personality are wonderfully portrayed, but not much happens during the entire book.
I didn't like the third person narrative. I couldn't relate to Sethie at all, and she felt very distant, like I couldn't get to know her. The book was very repetitive. I understand that Sethie kept telling herself the same things over and over, and this was probably intentional on Sheinmel's part, but it drove me crazy. There is one paragraph that says twice in the same paragraph how Sethie longed to be a "cool independent girl." This is an ARC, so some of the wording may change. It was like she had a mantra that she kept repeating. But, I also think I could have understood this literary technique if I were reading these thoughts in first person. Like they were HER thoughts, rather than someone telling me what she was thinking. Because if someone else is explaining it to me, then I don't need to be told twice within three sentences.
I didn't understand why Shaw, one of Sethie's love interests, was always cold. He always felt cold to Sethie. I kept thinking, "Wait, is this a paranormal story? Is he a vampire?" It didn't make sense.
I just don't have much positive to say about the way The Stone Girl was written. I must admit I skimmed the middle part, waiting for something to happen. I appreciate that Scheinmel had problems with an eating disorder, and I admire her for writing what probably was a very difficult story to tell. It just wasn't something that I could relate to given the style in which the story was told.
There is quite a bit of casual drug use and sex, so The Stone Girl needs to be saved for older teens who are OK with those situations. I would never discourage anyone from reading this, and I'm sure some will relate to this style of story telling better than I did.
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, August 28, 2012
eARC obtained from NetGalley
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