An emotional and heart wrenching novel about grief and striving for perfection.
Lighter. Leaner. Faster.
Raesha will to do whatever it takes to win Nationals. For her, competing isn’t just about the speed of her horse or the thrill of the win. It’s about honoring her mother’s memory and holding onto a dream they once shared.
Lighter. Leaner. Faster.
For an athlete, every second counts. Raesha knows minus five on the scale will let her sit deeper in her saddle, make her horse lighter on his feet. And lighter, leaner, faster gives her the edge she needs over the new girl on the team, a girl who keeps flirting with Raesha’s boyfriend and making plans with her best friend.
So she focuses on minus five. But if she isn’t careful, she’s going to lose more than just the people she loves, she’s going to lose herself to lighter, leaner, faster…
“Sit quietly with this book. Feel the wind, the dusty air. Taste the sorrow and the wonder. Listen to the heart that is beating on every page. Then be grateful that Catherine Alene gave us this stunning story. It’s a thing of beauty.” —Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor and National Book Award Finalist
"Alene, a recovering anorexic, skillfully conveys Raesha's increasing withdrawal from worried friends and her fixation on counting calories and exercising. But this is much more than a problem novel. Raesha's Western world is beautifully evoked, from the "Breathed blue" of the sky to the camaraderie between the girl and her horse and dog" — The Washington Post
"Writing in free verse, debut author Alene vividly conveys Rae's spiral into anorexia...an illuminating account of a girl struggling for control of her life and body." — Publishers Weekly
"This debut provides an intriguing and valuable perspective." — Booklist
"This powerful tale is a realistic portrayal of the difficulties many go through every day with an eating disorder." — PopCrush.com
"Through poetry, the voice of the main character, Rae, and the voice of the author, herself a survivor, this book expresses the painful and critical discovery of self-worth and power that is gained when individuals accept that they are more than a disease... This one is worth the time and the tears." — School Library Connection
"Alene has crafted a beautifully written novel about a teen dealing with grief and struggling with an eating disorder... The fact that it is written in verse enhances both the setting and the characters. Readers will be immediately drawn to Rae and root for her on her path to recovery." — VOYA Magazine