Thursday, December 31, 2009

Book Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Andersen

Description (from Goodreads):
“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.
My thoughts: I got this book yesterday night from the library and I had to spent the whole night reading it, I just couldn't put it down. I read Catalyst by Laurie Halse Andersen a couple of weeks ago and I knew what to expect. After I finished with this book, I was speechless. And that does not happen very often.
Lia's best friend Cassie has died alone in a motel room. Lia feels responsible for her best friend's death. Cassie tried to call Lia 33 times before she died. Lia didn't answer. Lia and Cassie made a deal when they were younger. They both wanted to be the skinniest students of their high school. Cassie, suffering from bulimia and Lia, suffering from anorexia get smaller and smaller. When Cassie dies Lia starts to fight with herself; there is the hungry Lia who wants to take a bite from muffin and eat like a normal teenager. There is the strong Lia, the one who says that food is disgusting, the one who is in charge of the ideal weight goal. The strong, forceful Lia is in charge and the hungry Lia cannot fight against it. Lia gets skiennier and sicker all the time without understanding that eventually, if she goes on the way she is going on now, she is going to die. The fact that Cassie's ghost is hunting Lia, telling her that she is going to die, does not help at all. Can Lia fight against a part of herself and Cassie? Does she find a way to get better soon enough?
The imagenery and lyrical language are amazing in this book. At some points you feel like you are reading a beautiful poem when you read this book. Andersen uses language so greatly that the reader is able to see the struggle Lia is going through, the reader is able to sense it. Even though you wouldn't like the story inself you will love this book because of it's amazing use of English language. I am still mesmerized.
If I wouldn't have made by best reads on 2009 list yet this book would totally be on it on the top 3, maybe even on the first place.


  1. if you haven't already, you should also read Speak by the same author. amazing books that make you pause for thought.
    btw: you've been awarded

  2. I completely agree with your review, in fact it sounds like something I might have written myself! I was completely blown away by this book though and as you may know, it ended on my #1 spot of 2009! It's absolutely breathtaking! Oh and yes, I strongly recommend Speak too if you haven't read it yet! :)

  3. I really want to read Speak but I couldn't find it from the local library in English. I think that the books written by Andersen you must read in English since the translation just ruins the beautiful use of English language.


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