A high school sophomore struggles with disordered eating and the attention of two different boys.
Landra knows she has a problem with food but can’t bring herself to change her behavior or get help. She subsists on dry cereal and salad, frantically exercises after the occasional indulgence, and considers herself fat despite evidence to the contrary. Landra’s father is constantly on the road for his job, her football-playing brother doesn’t understand why she won’t eat, and her beloved mother is conspicuously absent. When Landra’s longtime crush, Hunter, finally takes notice and asks her on a date, Landra is thrilled but worries about the feelings of classmate Brian, who expresses his crush on her by following her around despite her asking him to stop, addressing her as “my queen,” and frequently cooking and baking for her. Landra’s anorexia and disordered eating persist throughout the book, but nowhere does Landra seek professional treatment or take active steps to solve it. Instead, family and friends urge or force her to eat, and Brian fetishizes feeding her when he’s not exhibiting emotionally abusive behavior like consistently disregarding personal boundaries and throwing a pie he made for her into a garbage can where she can see it. Most characters are white; Landra has one friend who is described as dark skinned.
A disturbingly problematic take on eating disorders and young love. (Fiction. 13-17)