Authors: Laurie Halse Anderson
Reading Format: Kindle
Read: 25th April, 2017
Rating: 4/5 Stars
***Possible trigger warning for eating disorders and self harm***
“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.
Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.
“In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves.”
Wintergirls was a fantastic, poignant, and raw story.
I commend Anderson for her brutally honest portrayal of eating disorders, the fact that there was zero glorification of the mental illness, at all, in this book was also so significant.
Along with that, Wintergirls also dealt with self harm, and inner demons. I found the erratic and almost poetic writing to be so true to what someone going through all these things would be hearing and feeling in their mind.
It was brilliantly executed.
“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.”
Our main character Lia, I related to greatly at times throughout the book, and at other times she went through things that luckily I haven’t ever experienced. She was a fantastic protagonist, written so well that the reader can really feel what she is going through and how significantly she’s struggling to deal with it all.
Cassie was also a very important figure in the story, who I found quite fascinating, she plays a very large part in Lia’s struggles, and it was interesting to see just how much Cassie affected her.
Another thing I found really great, and refreshing, about this book was that there was no romance, basically at all. That really allowed the true topic of the novel to shine through, be completely encompassed and explored without the added pressure of a
“I am angry that I starved my brain and that I sat shivering in my bed at night instead of dancing or reading poetry or eating ice cream or kissing a boy…”
This truly was a fantastic story, and although I have dealt with this issue before, I didn’t find myself falling into Lia’s mindset, but rather saw it as a more educational story, and just that, a story to be told and heard.
Please, if you have dealt, or are dealing with some of the issues discussed in this book, make sure you are in a good, healthy state of mind before reading it, and I’d say do not read it if you are easily triggered, etc. Because even though I was fine reading it, I cannot say that this will be the same for other people.
Evaluate yourself, and make sure you are able to take in something so raw, be honest, and do what is best for you.
In every part of life.
Be strong. Be happy. Be you.