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Posted August 6, 2007
This is a wonderfully written book. It has all the elements - good story, believable characters, and true to life consequences. Feeling for Bones is much like the Secret of Bees only better. So many first time authors just don't know how to end their stories. This is a wonderful read all the way through. I on the other hand am not a great writer or I would be able to articulate why this is a great choice.
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Posted July 29, 2010
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An Awakening For Readers
When Olivia's father loses his job, her family uproots from their current home and moves to Bethsaida, a small town with an even smaller scope of activity. To placate her festering nerves, Olivia creates a mural of glamour shots across the wall of her new bedroom she's forced to share with her little sister, Callapher. She meditates over these images, longing to see her own reflection in the glossy pages of ripped and torn magazine ads. Introduced to a cast of eccentric and loving characters, Olivia is tested by the perceptions others have of her and the perceptions she has of herself. She finds solace and excitement in the spongy feel of brush strokes across canvas, but will Olivia ever be content with her own body? Feeling For Bones is a deeply rooted story of mentality. Pierce does a fascinating job of digging through the bulbous roots and weeds of the sixteen-year-old mind, and drawing out a soul full of life but suppressed by thought. Olivia is strikingly meditative in her narrative, filtering through spiritual challenges, family struggles, and the art of true friendship.
"Color is white light shot through prisms. Sight, the world shot through the eye. You can go around accepting everything. Or you can renegotiate the space between the eye and the brain; you can teach the two to communicate differently. Then the whole world changes. It's like the words from 'Amazing Grace': I once was blind, but now I see. Suddenly I found myself walking around wide-eyed, in wonder, my body filling up with light."
--Feeling For Bones, Bethany Pierce
This was perhaps the most important paragraph for me in respect to the main character, Olivia, and her spiraling, convoluted battle with eating. Where food involves complex calculation that only she can justify, art makes sense to Olivia. In reading this paragraph closely, I saw Olivia's explanation of the complexity of color as a parallel drawn to her complex system in calculating calories and watching what she eats and how much. Everyone tells her she is skinny, but Olivia fails to see this. She cannot accept what she has been told, reflecting her justification of "[renegotiating] the space between the eye and the brain"(pg. 140). The "prisms" of color she discusses actually inverts her predicament with food as is proven when she cites the lyrics to Amazing Grace: "I once was blind, but now I see." She says, "Suddenly I found myself walking around wide-eyed, in wonder, my body filling up with light" as though there is a healthy intake of knowledge and revelation, which contradicts her logic of food intake. It's almost as if she's battling hard to control one situation to counteract another situation she has no control over, which would be the most evident cause for a disorder like this.
Feeling For Bones is a technically drawn and designed novel of a self-destructing teenager saved by grace. Pierce, also trained as an artist, draws from a wide color palette of vocabulary and paints a resonating story about the trials, tribulations, and savory bites in between of a teenager struggling to come to terms with self-acceptance.
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