Author: Ibi Kaslik
Genre: NA realistic fiction, mental health
Publication Date: April 22 2005
Publisher: Walker Childrens
I found this book after a short Goodreads search about the subject of anorexia. We discussed this big, scary subject at school a couple of times, but it was mostly "dry" descriptions. I wanted to get the real FEEL of this illness that is so close to many of us teenage girls, and luckily I found exactly what I wanted in this book.
From the green popsicle on the cover, I was expecting a typical story about some teenage angst with a happy ending. But I got it soooooo wrong. Don't let the cover fool you!! This book was so much more than teenage drama!! It was one of the most complicated and unique books I've ever read. EVER.
This book is narrated by two sisters, 20-something-year-old Giselle and 14-year-old Holly. Giselle had suffered from Anorexia for many years, and at the end of her first year in medical school, she's taken to the hospital after losing a lot of weight and having a mental breakdown. Besides her Anorexia, Giselle has many mental issues that were mostly caused by her father's preferring of Holly over her.
Holly, a middle school student, has a very strong spirit, the opposite of her sister's. She is a talented basketball player and runner and has a strong lean body, the opposite of her sister's skinny figure. While trying to shape her identity as a teenager, Holly has to deal with the sickness of the sister she loves.
This book describes a battle with Anorexia - a battle that involves not only Giselle, but all the people in her life.
What impressed me the most about this book was the sheer realism of it. Everything was so completely genuine and honest - the narrators, their feeling, their struggles. Both sisters were dealing with unbelievably hard situations, but somehow I could believe and understand everything. I was surprised at how much I could relate to their pain and struggles even though none of them are actually close to my life.
I can't decide which of the sisters I liked more. They both kind of balanced each other with their strong bond. I adored their close, harmonic relationship. They never let jealousy take over them and they always meant good to one another. Giselle didn't hate her sister even though she had everything she'd ever wanted - their dad's favoritism, a perfect body, a stable soul. Holly, from her side, never thought about herself when it came to Giselle's sickness - she always thought about her sister's health first and never about the effect it has on her own life. They definitely set an example to how a relationship between sisters should be - caring and ego-less.
This book showed how Giselle's anorexia and mental disorders were a result of many different reasons, some of them almost hidden. For example - the fact that her parents were immigrants from Hungary had an effect on Giselle. As people who came to America to get their children better lives, Giselle's parents put a lot of pressure on their first daughter to study very hard, be healthy, good-looking, etc.. Her eating disorder was in a way her rebellion against them.
This is only one example. There were so many complicated reasons behind this sickness. This book showed me how complex anorexia really is and how you can never judge people for having it.
This book taught me a lot about mental disorders and anorexia, about their causes and the strong effect they have on both person who has them and the people surrounding him. I don't think I'll ever forget this tragic, heartbreakingly beautiful story.
This songs describe the complicated relationship between Giselle and Sol perfectly. You'll understand it better when you'll read the book.
THANKS FOR READING THIS!!! I hope you find my review helpful :)
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