Simon & Schuster
|ISBN:||1442429070 (ISBN13: 9781442429079)|
From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.
Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special… even if that means betraying her sister.
But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship —and her sister—before it’s too late?
Loann is always being overshadowed by her older sister Claire. Claire is prettier, smarter, more popular- in short, Claire is everything Loann wants to be. As Loann begins to learn more about Claire's world though, Loann realizes things aren't as wonderful as they seemed. Claire's destructive behavior is much worse than Loann ever imagined, and Loann wants nothing more than to fix everything for Claire. Some things however are not easily fixed.
I put off writing this review for a long time because of the subject matter. Issues with body image hit a little too close to home for me. Watching Claire slowly destroy herself was extremely painful. I don't want to make this review about me and my issues, which is part of why this review is so hard to write. I have written whole paragraphs and erased them because it's just all about my issues instead of the book. However, this book really managed to bring a lot of that to the surface and made me question why females young and old feel this way. Claire's life is seemingly perfect. She has a great boyfriend and a good future. She's talented and beautiful and smart. Yet none of this is enough for her. None of it gives her the confidence and feelings of positive self-worth she needs to be able to do something as simple as eat. I think that while most women, like me, probably do not have eating disorders, they can find it difficult to accept and love their bodies.
Loann was someone who I think could have grated on me, but she managed not to do that. She could seem a little self-centered at times, but that certainly seemed age-appropriate for being a teen. Loann really did love Claire so much though. She wanted nothing more than to help and heal Claire, and I think it was difficult to discover that you can't just love someone into health. Of course, Loann also had to deal with her friend and his home situation as well. I don't want to spoil that, but I really just wanted to give Loann a big hug and some therapy. I hope someone was looking after her well-being as well.
I think I spent the last quarter of the book or so in tears. This book was difficult to read and beautiful at the same time if that makes any sense. There is a very fine line there between exploiting a difficult plot line for a reaction and writing something that means something. I think this book managed to mean something. I am working very hard to change my attitude and ideas about what makes a person beautiful and of worth, and this book really helped put some of that in perspective. So while it is not an easy read by any means, it is definitely a worthwhile read. Just keep the tissues handy.
Galley provided for review.