Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Number of Pages: 278
Synopsis: “Dead girl walking”, the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret”, the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.
Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.
My Thoughts: Wow! This book was both heartbreaking and beautiful.
The writing in this book was incredible. Everything flowed together perfectly and it was more like reading a masterpiece than just reading a book. I’m extremely impressed with the way the author was able to capture all of Lia’s experiences with the perfect words, words that fit together so flawlessly it’s impossible for them to be described any other way.
Who are the Wintergirls? In this book, it refers to Lia and Cassie. Cassie is a girl who started battling bulimia at a very young age, and at the beginning of the book is found dead in a motel room. Lia is Cassie’s former best friend. Lia is currently battling anorexia, and has to deal with getting weighed weekly by her step mother, and also the guilt constantly in her mind knowing that Cassie had called her thirty five times the night that she died.
This was a haunting story that discussed, in detail, how it feels to have an eating disorder. Lea doesn’t really see food just as food. She sees, for example, an orange as “75” for the calories it contains. Wintergirls provides an in-depth look into eating disorders, and it does not hold back or sugar coat anything.
The emotional and physical aspects of both diseases are explored in such an amazing way. The parents’ concerns even come out in a way where you understand them, and not resent them as being simply annoying parents. Lia’s protests don’t make you feel like she is being a typical rebellious teen, either. We are inside her head hearing the inner monologue, and I found this fascinating to read about.
I also loved this author’s writing style. She used several tools such as the strike outs, repetitions and numbers.
This is a book I won’t soon forget.