This book was ok.
It's about two sisters, Giselle and Holly, who are dealing with Giselle's anorexia. The book alternates between Giselle and Holly's pov.
Both sisters are complete opposites. Giselle is kind of a hippie with blond dreadlocks and baggy clothes. She is a med student who's eating habits have spiraled out of control. At first it was a few missed meals so she can keep studying but over time she stopped eating completely. She became dangerously skinny and her roommate decided to call her mother to get her. The book opens up with Giselle just getting out of the hospital. The rest of the book is her dealing with her anorexia, recalling memories and finding out about her father. Giselle and her father had a troubled relationship. He never really payed attention to her and held her at arms length for his entire life until he passed away when she was 12. He spent most of his time doting on Holly, Giselle's younger sister. Giselle is obsessed with finding out why her father never loved her. (BTW Giselle's father and mother are Hungarian and escaped Hungary to come to America or Canada~ the book does not give specifics on where it takes place).
Holly is completely different from Giselle. She is a athlete who runs track, plays basketball and loves sports. Holly has problems of her own. She uses a hearing aid and she was diagnosed with a learning disability. She was a very moody and difficult child but she has mellowed out as she got older. (Holly is 14 and Giselle is 20). Holly is dealing with Giselle's sickness as best she can. She gets angry at Giselle for her sickness at times and doesn't understand why Giselle can't/won't get better. Holly's pov also deals with her growing up, her friends and boys as well as Giselle's anorexia.
I like Holly a lot better than Giselle. Holly has her problems but she is generally a good kid who wants to help her sister as much as she can. She tries to feed Giselle and talks to her when Giselle needs her. She massages Giselle's waning body and re~braids her dreads. She is a daredevil who climbs fences and does whatever impulse she feels at the moment regardless of the consequences. She has to actually put in effort to curb her impulses. She is also weird. She swears she sees her dad's ghost and a few times in the book she talks to him. What was frustrating to me was that this "ability" was never really explained. Its like it was a fact and the read just had to accept it. I mean was there some paranormal aspect to it? Or did she hallucinate? Did it have anything to do with her disabilities? You just don't know. I would of liked some clarity on this but sadly I didn't get it.
Giselle was ok. I guess I didn't really take to her because half the time I had no clue what she was saying. She would jump between the past and the present within sentences and half the time I was wondering what the memory had to do with what was happening in the present. I did feel sorry for her when she had memories of her father because no child deserves to be ignored by her parent. It was sad and I disliked her father for it. Giselle thinks that her anorexia was caused by her father's neglect which could very well be true. Also another thing I found frustrating and that made no sense was the constant medical information and definitions that began Giselle's chapters and were thrown in each chapter. Sometimes the information matched what was going on in the chapter but most of the time I didn't really see any connection and for me it was just spewing of useless facts.
I found it very creepy when Giselle would talk to herself like she had a split personality. She would talk to her disease like it was another person. I felt like I was going crazy right along with Giselle and I complement the author on this because it is the mark of great writing when I feel exactly what the character feels. I felt very sorry for Giselle in the end where she couldn't tell reality from fantasy. Its very sad and it stayed with me because real people in real life feel like this.
The writing of the book is what made me not like it so much. A lot of the time what was being said was hard to follow and I just had no clue what was happening. I was grasping at any sentence that would make sense to me. It read more like poetry which is a genre I just don't get. You had to read between the lines and I like straight forward writing where I don't have to figure out what was going on. Like I said before I also wasn't crazy about the medical excerpts and found no need for them.
I do applaud the author for the ending because its so different from other books that deal with anorexia.
This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews