Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

A quick overview from Laurie Halse Andersen's website:

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secrets,” 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 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 stepmother 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, bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl’s chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.

Wow! Talk about the most realistic story about anorexia I have ever read. It is brutally honest and opens your eyes to the struggle and difficulty that is anorexia. Laurie Halse Anderson doesn't just open your eyes to it she puts you in the mind of a girl who is losing the battle with the disease. Every time Lia ate a single thing she calculated the calorie intake in her head. If it was too many calories she calculated how she could shed those calories. She was lost in the disease, lying and deceiving the ones around her to continue down this path to get thinner.

The only one that had any type of impact on her was her stepsister. That's what made Lia real to me. The relationship she had with her stepsister proved that while she was consumed by the disease she still cared about something other than the disease. She was ridden with guilt when she disappointed her stepsister and there was one scene particularly (I don't want to spoil it for anyone) that brought me to tears.

This is the second book I've read by Laurie Halse Anderson (The first was Twisted) and I can guarantee I will be reading more. Her books seem more like a biography than a story. She delves into her characters minds and pulls you in with her. You don't just read her books you experience them. I would highly recommend Wintergirls.


  1. This is the second time in a matter of a week or so that this book has come up. I think I need to read it already. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it! :-)

    1. It's really good. Heavy on the mind but good :)

  2. Thanks for the review Theresa!

  3. Laurie Halse Anderson is not one to shy away from difficult topics. Her debut novel Speak deals with the issue of teen rape was lets just say it was incredible. In her latest, Wintergirls, Anderson deftly addresses the devastating effects of eating disorders.

  4. i like your review! Here's mine: Have a nice day! :)