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Wintergirls

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,6942902,712 (4.04)117
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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English (289)  German (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (292)
Showing 1-5 of 289 (next | show all)
Extremely difficult subject very well handled.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss - her life - and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend's memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her.

In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia's struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all: hope. ( )
  Gmomaj | Feb 3, 2022 |
This was a tough one to read. I've struggled my whole life with body image issues, and I'd be real hesitant to suggest this book to young girls, but I'd jump at the chance to recommend this book to family members of girls with eating disorders. It might give them an insight they didn't previously have.

Though I'd be afraid that some girls reading this book would almost see it as a how-to, especially since the resolution is only 4 pages. I get why Anderson did this, but it gives me pause in who I'd share this book with.

I love love love some of the stylistic freedoms Anderson takes with the formatting--the strikethroughs are brilliant and very much accurate as to what teens think versus what they say. It's a good book, but so harrowing...I had to take several breaks... ( )
  ms_rowse | Jan 1, 2022 |
Lia's best friend, Cassie just has died as a result of bulimia. Lia is anorexic and continually sets goals to lose five more pounds. Cassie comes back to haunt Lia and urge her to join her. Lia fights her parents efforts to get her to eat. ( )
  dara85 | Oct 21, 2021 |
My rating: A near perfect 4.75/5
Trigger Warning: My review talks about eating disorders.

Wintergirls is the journey of Lia's descent when are best friend Cassie is found dead in a motel.
Written in easy, short chapters and sitting at hardly 300 pages , Wintergirls is a gripping read. I actually finished this entire book in a single sitting of 4 hours and I enjoyed, albeit morbidly, every page of it.

The book is written in the voice of Lia or more so her inner thoughts as Lia is stuck in a state of "suspended animation". Like other YA books dealing with mental disorder, this book follows the same trajectory of starting slow and slowly spiraling down to chaos. However inspite of a predictable trajectory, it still is able to bring its own flavor into it. The imagination used is beautiful.

As this book was written in 2009, the scene and narrative is very relevant to the present time. The author successfully shows the thought process of a patient of eating disorder . Certain moments like the constant calculation of calories, Lia parroting what she thinks her guardians and doctors want to here , her bond with her step sister are beautiful gems that shine out in the novel.

I really like how the author does not try to give any specific reason for the disease. I feel by doing so she would have undone her own work.

So, you must be thinking ? Why have I deducted 0.25 and not given it a solid 5.
The reason being, I feel the recovery part was very hurried. I would not have cared if the novel ended before she goes inpatient for the final time. However, the way the author tries to make a happy ending seems a bit hurried.

Nonetheless, the wintergirls is an amazing magnifying glass to look into the world of Bulimia, anorexia and self harm.

Hope you enjoy your read. ( )
  __echo__ | May 11, 2021 |
Heard about this book, thought I'd read it myself. It was melodramatic,(duh its a YA book) disturbing, and really, really, sad oh how I cried.... ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 289 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anderson, Laurie Halseprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Naoura, SalahÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stith, JeannieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
[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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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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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Average: (4.04)
0.5 1
1 17
1.5 3
2 36
2.5 9
3 193
3.5 38
4 400
4.5 67
5 369

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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