Review: Wintergirls Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic, Contemporary 
Page Count: 279
Publisher: Viking Juvenile


“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.


My god. This book. The realness of it, to think that there are people that go through this everyday. I can't. This is a book that every teenage girl should have to read. Being a topic that is in out face now of days I think it would be beneficial for others to read this before they go and attempt it themselves. 

The book was written in a form I am not familiar with, so I wouldn't be able to tell you. But things were repeated and it made it have and eerie effect. In my opinion that is. 

     "“Why? You want to know why?

      Step into a tanning booth and fry yourself for two or three days. After your skin bubbles and peels off, roll in coarse salt, then pull on long underwear woven from spun glass and razor wire. Over that goes your regular clothes, as long as they are tight.

      Smoke gunpowder and go to school to jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and roll over on command. Listen to the whispers that curl into your head at night, calling you ugly and fat and stupid and bitch and whore and worst of all, "a disappointment." Puke and starve and cut and drink because you don't want to feel any of this. Puke and starve and drink and cut because you need the anesthetic and it works. For a while. But then the anesthetic turns into poison and by then it's too late because you are mainlining it now, straight into your soul. It is rotting you and you can't stop.

     Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heartbeat scream that everysinglething is wrong with you.
      "Why?" is the wrong question.
      Ask "Why not?” "  ~ Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls

Lia's struggles are scary real. Laurie made you feel as if you were in Lia's position. My feelings towards the book are indescribable. Weight is something I deal with all the time but I could never starve myself to the extent of 97lbs. What shocked me most though was that Lia wanted to go even LOWER then that! 

I wish there was a second novel or short story to this to tell you what Lia became after her treatment. If she is actually better, or "thawed" as she put it in the novel. I want to know what happens in her life. But I guess that is up to my imagination. 

I got asked by a friend if I would find this book supernatural. No, I would not. I believe that Cassie was a figment of Lia's imagination. I believe Lia wanted the help she needed all along but wouldn't admit it to herself. So by making up Cassie she created a figure to convince her that she needs help. In the end though Cassie leaves Lia as she is dying. Alone, in a motel room. Just like her best friend. (***Spoiler: Lia doesn't die!***) 

Though Lia's and Cassie's friendship ended long before Cassie's death she did call Lia 33 times that night. None of which Lia answered. Another thing that I believe she made up Cassie for was to ease her guilt of not helping her ex-best friend when she needed her most. 


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