Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review: Wintergirls

Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: March 2009
Source: Library
My Rating: 4/5

From Goodreads:  “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 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.
My Thoughts:  I've been wanting to read this book for awhile, because I found the subject matter interesting. Eating disorders are quite complex, and I think Anderson did a wonderful job at conveying that. Lia's struggle came through quite clearly through the story. I thought Anderson's writing was poetic. What seemed to make it more realistic was how Anderson expressed Lia's thoughts and emotions. Lia didn't just eat a banana, she ate a certain amount of calories. Her struggle with wanting the food and wanting to be thin was evident in the way she would imagine eating something and then quickly think about how gross it would make her. I think Anderson did a great job at capturing the complexity of anorexia and bulimia. Small details like abrasions on Cassie's finger (from purging) and the way Lia viewed her body's outline in a therapy session made the story real. This is the first book by Laurie Halse Anderson that I've read, and I'm looking forward to read more by her. It's evident that she is not only gifted at writing and telling stories but also does the research to make her stories as realistic as possible.

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