Friday, June 5, 2009

YA book I Read and Loved: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I loved the honest writing of Laurie Halse Anderson in the novel, Speak, and I really love her unflinching portrayal of anorexia in her newest book, Wintergirls. In this story, Lia is a troubled anorexic teenager coping with the death of her former best friend, Cassie, who was also anorexic. To make it worse, Cassie called Lia 33 times before she died, but Lia ignored her calls, because they weren't friends anymore.

Wracked with guilt over abandoning Cassie and delusional from the weakness of her disease, Lia thinks she see Cassie's ghost telling her that she has to come over to Cassie's side to be as thin as she wants. Lia drifts further down into anorexia and cuts herself, too. Lia is straining the patience of her family, doesn't feel like anyone understands her, and it seems like the only way she'll ever be happy is if she becomes a "wintergirl'' like Cassie. Wintergirls is a painful, realistic look at the toll eating disorders take on people ( but especially girls) mentally and physically.

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