On Saturday night Lia ignores thirty-three phone calls from her ex-best friend Cassie. On Monday morning Lia learns that Cassie has been found dead in a motel room. Lia has always been skilled at hiding her emotions, and her ongoing struggle with anorexia has taught her how to keep secrets-she sews quarters into her bathrobe to trick the bathroom scale and simulates eating by smearing ketchup on her mouth and making a mess in the microwave. But hiding her guilt over Cassie's death will push her to the edge-and visions of Cassie's ghost, beckoning Lia to join her, might push her over it.
JLG Release: Apr 2009
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Mature Young Adults Plus
Grades 11 & Up
Awards & Honors
ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2010; ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2010; Amelia Bloomer List 2010; Indies Choice Honor Award 2010, Young Adult; Bulletin Blue Ribbons 2009, Fiction; Booklist The Best of Editors’ Choice 2009; Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2009
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Book List*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
Junior Library Guild
Both Anderson and her audience must grapple with the question of why Lia, and thousands of other girls like her, destroy their own bodies in such extreme ways: “Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heartbeat scream that everysinglething is wrong with you. ‘Why?’ is the wrong question. Ask ‘Why not?’” This book contains no easy answers. Instead, Anderson precisely details the physical and emotional effects of Lia’s disease. The metaphors she uses are intense, violent images that bring Lia’s inner demons to life.
As the novel progresses, Lia descends further into the world inside her own head, believing that she is actually seeing Cassie’s ghost. Worse, Lia feels unable to turn to anyone around her for help. Anderson draws on imagery from folklore and mythology, especially the stories of Persephone and Sleeping Beauty, to enhance her narrative. In the hopeful and empowering ending, though, there is no Prince Charming. Lia acts as her own savior, finding the strength within herself to become healthy again. Her story is one that readers will not soon forget.
5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Level 4.1; Points: 9;
Scholastic Reading Counts
Level 4.5; Points: 15;
Potentially Sensitive Areas
Anorexia, Bulimia, Cutting as a form of self-abuse, Misuse of drugs,
Death, Self-hatred, Divorce, Stepfamilies, Food, Calories, Car accidents, End of a friendship, Voice mail, School, School nurses, Body weight, Breasts, Standing up for a friend, Ghosts, Names, Cutting as a form of self-abuse, Parents, Hospitalization, Body image, Anorexia, Wakes, Grief, Drifters, Psychiatrists, Internal dialogue, Funerals, Bulimia, Autopsy reports, Bake sales, Binge eating, Running away, Abandonment, Dying, Recovery,