26 January 2009

Wintergirls; Laurie Halse Anderson

Wintergirls Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes, I really do think in terms of books linking to others (it helps when students ask for another book like xxxx). I'd put Wintergirls in the same box as Lisa bright and dark, Cut and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden along with other "gone crazy/on the way to mending" books. In this case, Anderson's powerful prose really sets the book apart, as do some interesting typographic elements.

Lia is 17 and has just learned that her BFF, Cassie, died in a motel room. She and Cassie hadn't spoken in a number of months, ever since Lia's second release from the clinichell on the hill (see what I mean about interesting typography? her real thoughts are crossed out and replaced by her conscious thoughts). Read further, and you learn that Lia and Cassie made a pact to never be fat, which then developed into a contest to see which could be thinner. First prize? No guesses here.

I know many girls struggle with body image, and that anorexia and bulimia are rampant in many schools. The pro-ana life is explored without calling it by name.

What finally brings about Lia's crisis moment? Realizing that her stepsister Emma will be taken away from her for ever, coupled with the recognition (by her therapist) that there's more than just body image to contend with - like Lia's talking to Cassie's ghost.

Very powerful book and difficult to read in places.

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