Summary: Fifteen year-old Grace is heart-broken when Sprite, the horse she rides at the stables is sold to new owners. When the stable owners offer her a job and she will be able to keep an eye on Sprite, Grace jumps at the opportunity. At home, she lives with her step-mother Annabelle and her little brother Jamie while her father is away teaching overseas. Issues with body image and control over her life mean Grace is dealing with anorexia, but a co-worker named Matt helps her to see herself in a new way. Though she doesn’t know it, everyone close to her is doing their best to support her while she builds her confidence and starts eating in a healthy way again.
Number of Pages: 211
Age Range: 13-14
Review: There were a lot of things I loved about Objects in Mirror, but my favourite was Tudor Robins’ juxtaposition of people supporting Grace through anorexia against the care Grace and others provide to the horses in the stable. I just loved that idea, that even though Grace had her doubts, everyone except her father and her therapist were rooting for her and caring for her in different ways, working to bring her back from her scarred sense of self to build a more confident, healthier young woman.
Like Grace, I loved Matt too. His gentle nature with the horses translated into him being gentle with Grace too, and in a way it was almost like she was one of the horses that had been abused who needed time to trust people again. Matt was the perfect person to coax Grace into eating again, and he also provides her with the right motivation to turn things around.
Another great character was Annabelle, Grace’s step-mother. It isn’t often in teen books that the step-mother is a favourable, loving character, but in Objects in Mirror Annabelle completely had Grace’s back and her best interests at heart, even when Grace’s own father didn’t. I wish Robins let her readers know more about how Annabelle came into Grace’s life when she was only six months old, but the background story wasn’t too clear.
It’s a wonderful, character-driven read for younger female teen readers, with vivid descriptions of horses and a happy ending.
“I don’t want to give it up. The words sear through me, tumbling my emotions, bringing tears dangerously close to the surface. Despite the hunger, despite the worry on Annabelle’s face, despite here, now, nearly fainting in the sand ring, my disorder – if that’s what I have to call it – has given me so much. Structure, goals, regular small achievements. It’s shown those who judge me – Drew, my dad – that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
But Sprite, Whinny, Iowa, Matt, I can’t lose them. Not today. I’m weak and hungry and very confused. I’m not convinced of the right long-term decision. But I do know what I have to do in this moment.
I hold my hand out for the power bar and look Matt straight in the eye. I take a bite and chew.
It’s delicious and I hate every mouthful.” – Grace from Objects in Mirror by Tudor Robins, pages 108-109
“Because I like Matt. I really, really like him. And not just in the ‘he has piercing brown eyes and makes me lose my concentration kind of way. In the ‘being a decent human being who always does his best to do what’s right’ way. When you spend time with somebody like that every single day, it lightens your life. Getting to know Matt has enriched me. That might sound stupid, but it’s just the plain truth. I’m better for being his friend, and I want to be better to deserve his friendship.” – Grace from Objects in Mirror by Tudor Robins, page 122
“As upset as I am for Sprite, it’s not what happened to him that’s making me cry right now. It’s Matt, caring about me. Wanting to take care of me. A sob heaves out of me at the thought.
For months now, I’ve been trying to change – literally reshape myself – so I’ll be more likable? Lovable? God, it sounds stupid put like that, and I know it’s irrational, but I still can’t shake this feeling that being smaller will make me more appealing.
And the thing is, it seems like Matt likes me whatever way I am.” – Grace from Objects in Mirror by Tudor Robins, page 155