Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

March 10, 2011
Laurie Halse Anderson

“Body found in a motel room…alone…”

How would you feel if your best friend called you 33 times the night she died, and you didn’t answer once?

Wintergirls by young adult novelist, Laurie Halse Anderson, is a heartbreaking story of one girl getting strength from her own pain, and losing her best friend somewhere along her journey. Lia, a troubled teen, is being haunted by the best friend that she has just lost due to an eating disorder. She has been checked in to the hospital numerous times for anorexia as well, but at 95 pounds she still feels fat, and gets strength from her illness. Her and her best friend, Cassie Parrish, made a wish on a star and said they’d be the skinniest girls in school. Even after Cassie past she’s still trying to make that wish come true. Other than being anorexic, Lia also faces many other challenges in this book.

Laurie Halse Anderson did an amazing job at explaining things so you can visualize them in your mind. She allows you to enter someone else’s world, a world of pain, sadness, and loneliness. She makes Lia seem so real, probably because she’s going through something that too many teenagers today have to deal with.

Despite all the good writing and emotion, every book has flaws. One thing that was a little confusing was the chapter headings (001.00), and I still don’t understand what it means. Another thing is that some of the words are crossed out to show that she’s thinking something, but doesn’t want to say it out loud…the crossed out things are also kind of hard to understand. One last thing I didn’t like was that she met some guy in a motel and then decided she wanted to leave the state with him. That part was stupid, I know she’s eighteen but she barely knew the guy.

Overall, this book would be good to read if you’re interested in learning about anorexia or if you are anorexic and want to see that other people go through a lot of the same things you do. A lot of teenage girls could probably relate to the main character, Lia, as well. I can’t imagine a lot of teenage boys would want to read about a depressed anorexic girl and her bulimic best friend, so I would say this is mainly a book girls would read.

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