Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Review

Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Published: March 19th, 2009 by Viking Juvenile
Book rating: 4 stars
Cover rating: 5 stars
“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.
In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

What to say about this book. Wintergirls was a tragic, heart breaking tale of a girls struggle with anorexia and it tore my heart to shreds. Freshmen year I took a psychology class and we studied eating disorders. After that I did a lot of my own research and watched a few documentaries about it, the disease is really fascinating in a not so good way and very serious. It's sad to see what not eating can actually do to a body. Anyways, the point is going into this book if you don't understand the severity of anorexia, the mental side of it, what causes it, and the consequences this might seem a little unbelievable or crazy. Lia was a really sick and sad girl, she needed help but she didn't want it. She'd push people away and deny things even though it was right there infront of her. I wanted so much for her to get better, to want to get better. It was really hard to not get emotional while reading this book because it was about such a serious disease. 

Lia's family was frustrating yet admirable at the same time, if that even makes sense. Her mother and father both tried to help her, the mom's approach more strict while the dad's was a bit more soft because he was afraid to push her. Laurie did really well in describing how it might make you feel to have a family member deal with anorexia. There's this moment where Emma, Lia's younger sister, is embarrassed because she didn't know how to explain her sister's disease to her soccer coach and instead told him she had cancer. I felt like that was a really raw, truthful moment in this book because I could see it happening. Wintergirls also shows how important friendships are in ones life and how deeply it can impact someones life if an important relationship is lost. The impact Cassie's death has on Lia is really sad, it makes her worse, and adds more problems to the ones she already has. Her weight becomes a competition, a goal, even though it will truly never be enough. Even after Cassie dies Lia still competes, with a dead girl. She starts seeing some crazy things, her experiences throughout this book are unimaginable and hard to process. It just made me feel the severity of this disease, of how sick Lia truly was.

I loved Wintergirls, it was tragic, it was sick, it was twisted, it was beautiful. I'm a sucker for books about struggles, addictions, and diseases that people fight every day. Wintergirls is a must read in my book (pun not intended lol), just be sure your emotionally prepared. I'm looking forward to reading more of Laurie's work because I couldn't put this one down.

Favorite Quotes

We held hands when we walked down the ginger bread path into the forest, blood dripping from our fingers. We danced with witches and kissed monsters. We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone. 

She wipes a snowflake off my cheek. "You're not dead, but you're not alive, either: You're a wintergirl, Lia-Lia, caught in between worlds. You're a ghost with a beating heart. Soon you'll cross the border and be with me. I'm so stoked. I miss you wicked."

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