Thursday, September 30, 2010


Title: Wintergirls

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Pages: 278

Rating: ****

Summary (from Goodreads: Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way—thin, thinner, thinnest—maybe she'll disappear altogether.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl's chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.

Review: Wintergirls is the type of book you sit there thinking about after you finish the final page. It sits with you, makes you think. I finished this book yesterday, and it's all I've been able to think about today.
Wintergirls isn't necessarily "dark" (when I think dark, I think evil), but it is haunting and harsh. Nothing candy-coated here! It is truth, and lies, and perception, and loss.
Anderson's writing style mimics that of Speak (the only other book I've read by her), with fragments, varying text sizes, crossed out text, and other aspects of the text not usually considered "right" in a published novel. it is much more like stream of consciousness writing. Cassie's death is constantly in the back of her mind. "she called thirty-three times" is a common thought.
I didn't quite get the term 'wintergirl'. I understand it means not dead, but not alive, but I just couldn't really grasp it. I found the ending to be quite fitting and interesting. I liked how Laurie drew the contrast between not onlly Lia and Cassie, but Lia and Elijah as well (you'll learn all about him when you read this).
I couldn't put Wintergirls down. It is a quick read, but it will stay with you. I highly recommend it to any teenage girl, especially one struggling with body image or an eating disorder. As a girl who often wakes up hating her body, I found Wintergirls to be a reminder of how far into "dangerland" many girls go, and being skinny simply isn't worth it.

Recommended for: teenage girls.

P.S. might I just make a note of how GORGEOUS the cover is??? It is one of my all-time favorite book covers.

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