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*** Trigger-warning: self-harming, eating disorders, suicide, mental health issues. Please take caution whilst reading the book, and this review.
“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.
In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.”
In Wintergirls, the main character, Lia is battling her demons…sort of. She lost her best friend, Cassie, and is trying to continue their bet…to be the skinniest girl. She’s pretending to be fine around her family, when in reality, she is slowly killing herself.
Lauria Halse Anderson has a beautiful voice throughout the book, and it is really a delight to read, despite the content. I have never read/seen imagery that’s as truly fascinating as Wintergirls. I really enjoyed Lia’s calculations on food. “[…] Orange (75) or toast (87), and waffles (180) make me gag.” The fact that she documents each, and every food item as such, it is a different perspective.
I really admired Lia’s love for her stepsister Emma. After Lia has her incident, which Emma walks in on, you could tell it crushed Lia. The pain was in her voice, in her words, in her future actions. Emma was the pureness that Lia wanted to achieve, and yet she tainted her. Lia cared enough about Emma, to try to start caring for herself.
One thing that I didn’t really enjoy about the writing was when it was written like: “Breakfast isthemostimportantmealoftheday.” It kind of seemed…pointless, and a little rushed? But maybe, the rushed bit was supposed to be that way. Despite a couple of flaws, it really is written well. The last sentence of the book will always get me, I’m pretty sure the first time I read it, I openly sobbed. Anderson does an incredible job of portraying mental illness and eating disorders. Kudos, to Laurie for writing a character this well.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who has read LHA’s ‘Speak’, and anyone who likes young adult/realistic fiction. As stated before, it is a very triggering book, and should be read with caution.
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