Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: YA fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library
Summary (from the inside flap): 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.
Review: Laurie Halse Anderson has done it again! This book is powerful, heart-wrenching, and beautiful all at once. I didn't even know the term "wintergirls" before I read this book though I knew the book was about a girl with an eating disorder. Anderson gets inside the head of her main characters so well; I feel like I am the girl as I read the book.
As I read this book I thought about the girls in high school and the women in college that had anorexia and bulimia, how sad their eyes always seemed, how worried their friends and families were, and how much I didn't understand what they were doing to themselves. I have issues. I eat more than I should and I certainly don't exercise enough, but I cannot imagine slowly killing myself the way Lia does in this book. She sees it as a means of control, a way of being in charge of herself when she knows she isn't. And not eating seems the best solution. Because no one else can make you eat.
While there is a good size group of supporting characters in this book, they each play a vital role in Lia's life, for good or bad. They are developed enough for us to understand where they are coming from in terms of their behavior, but they do not detract from Lia and her story. And the ending is so good and realistic. A glimmer of hope without the promise of recovery. Anderson did that so well!
What do you think of the Laurie Halse Anderson books that you've read?