Eisha Marjara. Arsenal Pulp (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-55152-618-8
A young woman looks back on her upbringing in Quebec and her time in a psychiatric ward, in Marjara’s emotionally charged debut. Lila, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has always been uncomfortable with her body, which she perceives as chubby, especially compared to her lean younger sister and beautiful older cousin. When Lila realizes that food is something she can control, she becomes an expert at calorie counting, envisioning a svelte inner “faerie” persona (“The burdensome identity I had carried for so many years had finally withered away, and the faerie had taken me over”). When her weight dips dangerously low, she is admitted for psychiatric help at age 17. At Four East, she bucks the rules, hides food, compulsively exercises, and recognizes a kindred spirit in new patient Alyssa—an alliance that forces Lila to confront whether she wishes to live. Marjara, writing in Lila’s affecting voice, delicately captures the deep insecurities of teenhood, the pressure of trying to fit into one ideal of beauty, and the complexity of anorexia with lovely, flowing prose, underscoring the devastating effects that mental illness can have on an entire family. Ages 14–up. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2016
Release date: 06/07/2016
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-55152-619-5
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