Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

One of the most moving, heartfelt, yet sad book I’ve read in a long time, is Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson, the New York Times bestselling author of Speak, has written yet another wonderful book.

Lia, the protagonist, is an anorexic and also cuts. When her ex-best friend Cassie, a bulimic, is found dead in a motel room, Lia is haunted by her friend’s memory. She deeply regrets not answering Cassie’s phone calls the day she died. The book constantly repeats phrases such as “body in a motel room,” “she died alone,” and “she called thirty-three times.”
Trying to deal with her disorder, her divorced family, getting along with her mother, and finding out what happened to Cassie that night, Lia enters a new low filled with cutting, starvation, and depression. Her parents make her see a therapist, Dr. Parker, against her will, but it doesn’t help. She starts to lose more and more weight. Her grades slip and her relationships become more and more strained.
In the end, she makes some decisions that result in her finding who she really is, and she gets onto the road to recovery. She must sacrifice many things along the way, but in the end, she gets help and starts to live a life, a life Cassie didn’t get. She realizes how much her disorder has affected her life, and once she sees this, and once she has a reason to get better, she does.
The ending is the one part that made me cry, yet it holds the most meaning. It shows that no matter how hopeless things seem, they can and will get better. This is one of the best books I’ve read in some time. I would recommend it to anyone, but I have to warn readers. If you are easily triggered or if reading about intense anorexia or bulimia is triggering, you may want to think about whether or not you should pick up this book. But to anyone else, it is a book you do not want to miss. If you enjoyed Anderson’s Speak, I believe you will greatly enjoy Wintergirls as well.





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