Stone Girl moved me and made me think about marginalised youth in a more personal way. It tells the story of Sophie, made a ward of the state after a traumatic incident. She is suffering from low self-worth and grief at the same time as trying to navigate a world where no one appears to care about her plight.
Shifted from home to home, she hardens and learns survival skills as she drifts into the wrong company. Eleni Hale pulls no punches, as the reader watches Sophie lose the one advantage she has: control. No one can be trusted and she forms a hard shell of indifference.
It’s easy to understand how she clings to Spiral, even though he is clearly bad for her – she wants to feel protected and he is the only person who appears to have her back.
Stone Girl isn’t just about Sophie, but is a compassionate exploration of young people who fall through the cracks, who feel worthless and act out in an attempt to feel powerful in the face of helplessness and apathy. It is harrowing and gritty but with so much heart. For me, it opened my eyes to the process of disconnection and social isolation, and I’m sure it will do the same for many readers. Highly recommended.