We are aware from early in the text that Melinda bites her lip, but her first description of herself in the mirror probably tells the reader more about her internal state of mind than her true physical appearance-
Two muddy-circle eyes under black-dash eyebrows, piggy-nose nostrils, and a chewed-up horror of a mouth.
As the social isolation stifles Melinda, her mental torture becomes physical as she finds she struggles to speak-
It's getting harder to talk. My throat is always sore, my lips raw. When I wake up in the morning, my jaws are clenched so tight I have a headache.
Melinda is very conscious of her growing body and views the process extremely negatively-
I need a size ten, as much as it kills me to admit that Everything I own is an eight or a small. I look at my canoe feet and my wet, obnoxious anklebones. Aren’t girls supposed to stop growing at this age?
She realises once she faces the trauma of the summer before, that she can grow, move on and become a woman as she has the strength to acknowledge the past and let it go-
It wasn’t my fault. He hurt me. It wasn’t my fault. And I’m not going to let it kill me. I can grow.