Saturday, April 25, 2009


....When I was a real girl, with two parents and one house and no blades flashing, breakfast was granola topped with fresh strawberries, always eaten while reading a book propped up on the fruit bowl. At Cassie's house we'd eat waffles with thin syrup that came from maple trees, not the fake corn syrup stuff, and we'd read the funny pages....


In the pecking order of fifth grade, I was closer to the top than the bottom because my parents were rich and my dad had met the president of the United States. In the complex math of elementary school, I was a whole number, not a fraction.


I inscribe three lines, hush hush hush, into my skin. Ghosts trickle out.


....I started coming here after the first prison clinic stay because Dr. N. Parker is a scam artist specialist in crazy teenagers troubled adolescents. I opened my mouth during the first couple of visits and gave her a key to open my head. Ginormous mistake. She brought her lantern and a hard hat and lots of rope to wander through my caves. She laid land mines in my skull that detonated weeks later.

. 114

The final eight minutes march past in silent formation until the timer on her desk dings.
"So, can I go to the funeral?" I ask.
She reaches for her shoes. "Do you understand why you want to go to the funeral?"
To make sure they bury her in concrete so she'll leave me alone. "I feel that I need some closure about this. "
"And the funeral will provide that?
Yes, that's what I just said. "I've given it a lot of thought."
The clock ticks by two bonus minutes. I roll the hair of strangers into a ball.
"It's a good idea." She slips her shoes on and stands up. "But have one of your parents go with you. Nobody should ever go to a funeral alone."


The next passage is a glimpse into the internet chat rooms where girls meet up to help support each other with their weight loss. For me this was extremely scary and unnerving.

im bulimic have been for six years recently tried to recover gained a lot of weight now im sliping back and cant stand the weight any longer

what doess everyone think is the least amount of day you could lose 25 pounds?

I am so disgustingly, horribly fat. Today i went for a 2 hour run and starved myself till dinner where i ate like a pig. Sometimes i feel so fucking helpless.


I go up two flights and tiptoe across the polished floor of her bedroom, sloooooowly turn the doorknob, and open her bathroom door a crack. A breath of steam trickles out, filled with the sobs of a grown woman breaking into girl-sized pieces.
I close the door.


I showed her how I'd been making tiny cuts in my skin to let the badness and the pain leak out. They were shallow at first, and short, like claw marks made by a desperate cat that wanted to hid under the front porch. Cutting pain was a different flavor of hurt. It made it easier not to think about having my body and my family and my life stolen, made it easier not to care....


My fingers reach through the screen and comb through the garbage until they find the home of the shrieking chorus, hungry girls singing endless anthems while our throats bleed and rust and fill up with loneliness. I could scroll through these songs for the rest o my life and never find the beginning.


Two days later, two days before Christmas, I am judged fat and sane enough to be kicked out of the hospital. The plan to send me straight back to New Seasons won't work. There is no room at the inn for a leather Lia-skin plumped full of messy things. Not yet. The director promises Mom Dr. Marrigan he'll have a bed for me next week.
I'm stable enough to go home until then. They all say I'm stable.
I failed eating, failed drinking, failed not cutting myself into shreds. Failed friendship. Failed sisterhood and daughterhood. Failed mirrors and scales and phone calls.
Good thing I'm stable.


I breathe in slowly. Food is life. I exhale, take another breath. Food is life. And that's the problem. When you're alive, people can hurt you. It's easier to crawl into a bone cage or a snowdrift of confusion. It's easier to lock everybody out.
But it's a lie.


There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.

I am thawing.



  1. There are so many great quotes and passages from this novel.

  2. I really liked this book, it not only showed the struggles of anorexia but it also showed the hard recovery... my favorite quotes are the ones when Lia is in class

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  4. I really loved this book. This is one of my all time favorites and I love the figurative language in this book it makes it so much more vivid and exciting.

  5. I am a recovering anorexic, I have been hospitals more times than I can count and diagnosed with everything from Manic Depression to OCD. While this book was very well written, it was incredibly triggering for me, and not altogether accurate.

  6. I thought this was incredibly accurate. I've been in and out of treatment for the last 5 years and it basically put my thoughts and emotions into words.I agree it was slightly triggering but it was also incredibly motivating.

  7. This is one of my favourites books. I have read it several times. I love it!!!! Laurie Halse Anderson has a magical writing.