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Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson


by Laurie Halse Anderson

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I like Laurie Halse Anderson's books, but I have not read her YA. Friends recommend this one as a favorite of hers.
  afshaffer | Jul 18, 2017 |
4.25 stars

Lia is 18 and struggling with anorexia. Her best friend, Cassie, was bulemic and has just died. Lia is trying to deal with Cassie's death (difficult with Cassie's ghost haunting her) and the guilt she feels because she didn't pick up the phone any of the 33 times Cassie called the night she died. Lia lives with her father and his new wife, Jennifer, and her daughter, Emma. Lia's mother is trying to mend their relationship while also making sure Lia is eating.

This was really good. I think probably very realistic. I got soo frustrated with Lia, plenty of times.

I listened to the audio and like the way they did it, with the occasional sound effect (just a little beep here and there), although at the start of the book, I was a little confused by all the numbers - the way the chapters are read (like Lia keeping track of her weight), and numbers representing calories. But, I did figure it out and thought it was well done (though the chapters, I would have understood sooner if I was reading the print). At the end of the book, the author read the acknowledgments herself, and that was followed by a short interview with her and a poem she wrote about her earlier book, Speak. Very interesting. I'll give an extra 1/4 star for the audio. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 12, 2017 |
Leggere questo libro è stato difficile, tutto sommato. Non difficile a causa dello stile, assolutamente, ma piuttosto a causa dell’argomento trattato dall’autrice. Bulimia, anoressia, autolesionismo, droga, tentati suicidi… Uno dei cancri che sta consumando voracemente gli adolescenti di oggi, una di quella silenti paure che stringono il cuore delle mamme ogni volta che vedono le loro adorate creature fissare con troppa attenzione il loro corpo allo specchio, l’ago della bilancia o il contenuto calorico di un determinato alimento. Una paura perenne e insistente che rimane, nonostante tutto, ancora nascosta sotto una patina di ipocrisia. Anoressica mia figlia? Ma no, ha solo l’ossatura piccola! Peccato che nel frattempo “sua” figlia sia in bagno a vomitare anche gli occhi o che si stia facendo il calcolo mentale delle ore che dovrà impiegare, sfinendosi di flessioni, per “buttare giù” quel pranzo appena ingerito. Il tutto perchè?

Il libro di Laurie Halse Anderson è uno schiaffo in faccia. Un libro per ragazze, un libro – forse inutile? – per tentare di smuovere le acque e tentare di avvisarle delle conseguenze. Ma Wintergirls è anche un libro, se troverà mai qualcuno intenzionato ad “ascoltare”, per gli adulti. Un libro che tenta di ripercorrere, e di spiegare, parte del declino psicologico, prima che fisico, di una ragazza, Lia, che si trova fare i conti con una fragilità emotiva che mal si sposa con la durezza della vita che finisce per sopraffarla.

Cassie, la sua migliore amica e fino ad allora compagna di quel viaggio suicida che era la ricerca della taglia zero, è morta e lei si trova improvvisamente a fare i conti con qualcosa che non accetta. Non le interessa che sia morta, in fondo erano mesi che non si parlavano. Giusto? Si…. O forse no.

I fantasmi la colpiscono e la ricerca della magrezza l’aggredisce nuovamente. Ma no, a lei non interessa che Cassie sia morta, niente a fatto. Lei è forte, lei è leggera, invincibile, carica, forte e magra. A lei non servono che 500 calorie al giorno per essere perfetta, anzi no, 450. Sì, 450 calorie sono meglio ancora. E se provasse con 300?

Una famiglia divisa che, nonostante ciò, la segue e la ama sforzandosi di capirla, di aiutarla. Lia non ha bisogno di aiuto, lei sta bene, il suo non è “star male”. Lei “ha le ossa piccole” e sta male se mangia troppo, è inutile che loro la forzino a mangiare, il cibo le è nemico. No, forse non è un nemico, lo desidera ma semplicemente non è degna di mangiare. Le sue cosce sono troppo grosse e le sue braccia, che si circondano con il pollice e l’indice, troppo flosce. E’ sbagliata e grassa. Deve scendere ancora, ancora e ancora. Fino allo “zero”. Dove sarà leggera, vuota e libera.

Perché non si può ferire ciò che è vuoto...

Leggi l'intera recensione su: http://sognandoleggendo.net/blog/?p=2283
[ recensione postata per metà per motivi di lunghezza] ( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
Creativity - 10/10
Plot - 10/10
Characters - 10/10
Writing - 10/10
Pace - 10/10
Ending - 10/10
Stars - 5/5

All in all, it is an amazing book, everyone should read it! ( )
  marybethsoper | Dec 12, 2016 |
”It’s not nice when girls die.” - p. 1

”She offered herself to the big, bad wolf and didn’t scream when he took the first bite.” (p. 22)

Wow. You guys.

This one blew me away. I would say it’s up there with Hannah Green’s I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

One of the teenagers I supervise at the library has been recommending this author to me forever. I did read the other book by this author that she recommended (Speak) and really liked it, but I put off reading this one for a long time because I read the summary - it’s about teenage girls with anorexia - and figured I wouldn’t be able to relate. But Anderson’s writing is so powerful and immersive it doesn’t matter. This book sucked me in immediately with the raw, real anger and pain of the narrator’s voice.

”Here stands a girl clutching a knife. There is grease on the stove, blood in the air, and angry words piled in the corners. We are trained not to see it, not to see any of it.” (p. 3)

Our narrator/main character is Lia. Her parents are divorced, her relationship with both of them, and her stepmother is strained, though she really loves her stepsister.

Lia’s former best friend, Cassie, has just been found dead in a hotel room when the story opens. Cassie tried phoning Lia 33 times before her death but Lia, angry at her, didn’t answer. Now she is roiling with guilt and anguish over her friend’s death, to the point where she begins to see ghostly manifestations and hallucinates that Cassie is stalking and tormenting her.

”There’s no point in asking why, even though everybody will. I know why. The harder question is “why not?” I can’t believe she ran out of answers before I did.” (p. 14)

All the while, Lia is struggling with anorexia. She has already been hospitalized twice and, though she tries to convince her family that she is fully committed to recovering, she is still very much suffering from the disease. As the story progresses, we see that she further blames herself for Cassie’s eating disorder (bulimia) as the two had been enabling each other.

”We held hands when we walked down the gingerbread path into the forest, blood dripping from our fingers. We danced with witches and kissed monsters. We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone.” (p. 99)

The story is amazingly well written - and I love the way it weaves in fairy tales, dreams and nightmares, ghosts, etc. Lia is caught suspended between life and death, and suspended between adulthood and childhood. The first snowfall of the year triggers a fleeting moment of nostalgia and memory of innocence:

”The snow drifts into our zombie mouths crawling with grease and curses and tobacco flakes and cavities and boyfriend/girlfriend juice, the stain of lies. For one moment we are not failed tests and broken condoms and cheating on essays; we are crayons and lunch boxes and swinging so high our sneakers punch holes in the clouds.” (p. 15)

Throughout the book she thinks of her childhood as the time when she was a “real” girl. We witness her descent as she loses more and more of her grip on reality. This is a powerful, heart-wrenching read. ( )
  catfantastic | Dec 10, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anderson, Laurie Halseprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stith, JeannieReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[Persephone] was filled with a sense of wonder, and she reached out with both hands to take hold of the pretty plaything. And the earth, full of roads leading every which way, opened up under her....She cried with a piercing voice....But not one of the immortal ones, or of human mortals, heard her.

Homeric Hymn to Demeter, translated by Gregory Nagy

The King gave orders that they should let her sleep quietly till the time came for her to awake.

The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods, by Charles Perrault, 1696, translated by Charles Welsh
To Scot - for building the fire that keeps me warm when the blizzard rages outside.
First words
So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.
We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone.
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Book description
"Dead girl walking," the boys say in the halls.

"Tell us your secret," the girls whisper, on 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 were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other peoples lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way -- thin, thinner, thinnest -- maybe she'll disappear altogether.

In her most emotional wrenching, lyrically written book since National Book Award finalist Speak, bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl's chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.
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Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.

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Laurie Halse Anderson is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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