Raesha is not the stereotypical girl with an eating disorder from the “after school specials” of my youth. She isn’t the super-popular girl who is afraid to lose it all if she gains a few pounds, nor is she the unpopular fat girl who thinks that she will finally be accepted by her peers if she loses some weight. This story is much more realistic, so I think it’s only fair to provide a *TRIGGER WARNING* for people recovering from eating disorders.
While Raesha doesn’t set out to be anorexic, she is so dedicated to making it to (and winning) Nationals that she decides to lose a few pounds. After all, being lighter will mean that her horse can run faster. The worst thing is that she isn’t pressured by anyone else to compete in barrel racing but rather competes to honor the memory of her mother. Between grieving for her mother and her father’s frequent absences (for work), Raesha is often very lonely. And, with the change in behavior that accompanies her eating disorder, she only drives her boyfriend and her friends further away. I would recommend this book for Ellen Hopkins fans and readers of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls.