Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Release Date: March 19th, 2009
“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.
Eating disorders are foreign territory to me. I know what they are and how they work, but never in my life have I had an encounter with anyone with anorexia or bulimia. when I picked up Wintergirls, not only did I read my first ever about the topic. I was immersed in the sick, twisted world of a true anorexic.
Lia wants nothing in life but to be the skinniest girl in her school. She doesn't care for grades or sports or fashion or even boys; all she wants is to see her bones through her skin. It even became a competition between her and her best friend, Cassie, until Cassie dies.
Wintergirls was my first attempt at reading Laure Halse Anderson's writing, and I have to say, I was blown away. Her words are poetic. Lyrical. They make reading about such a painful topic delightful. The metaphors, the imagery, the overall writing style in the novel are all so flawless. Anderson could sell a book based on her writing alone.
The characterization in the novel is spectacular as well. Lia's pain is so real it's almost palpable- she hates eating and punishes herself for even thinking about picking up a cupcake, yet her desire for food is so intense she practically screams it in her thoughts and she hates herself when she does. She's puzzling, she's complex. I didn't get her one bit, yet at the same time I understood her completely. She's such a fragile, heavily-broken character, so emotionally and physically messed-up, and equipped with her raw, gripping story, she's bound to be one of the most unforgettable characters in YA literature.
I am one hundred percent sure when I say that Wintergirls is a must-read. It's something that is relevant to both teenagers and to parents, because it delves into a difficult topic that consumes a lot of young girls nowadays because of the unattainable standards of beauty that the media imposes on them. It tackles eating disorders, self-mutilation, death, friendship, and family troubles with its beautiful writing and exceptional story, and I firmly believe that one day, this book may just save somebody's life.