Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review: WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson

Just finished Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, a YA contemporary novel (checked out from the library). Wow. I mean, just wow. It was sad and depressing and amazing. I don't think I could--or would want to--write a book like it. But wow.

I picked it up because I'd heard about it on Twitter and through several articles about banned books. I can't remember off-hand if it is one of the books that those parents who wanted to ban the books with gay characters from their schools and from their libraries. I hope not. It's a hard journey about a girl with anorexia. Her friend, who shared an eating disorder (bulimia, in her case), dies at the start of the book. Alone in a hotel room. And this poor girl, Lia, is left behind to struggle with both her demons and her friend, Cassie's.

Laurie Halse Anderson brings the reader deep into Lia's psyche, her endless counting of calories, the lengths she goes to to avoid eating and still make sure that her parents and stepmother think she's eating. It's a rough, rough journey. I had a very hard time reading some parts. That may be because I just don't understand it. I love food and can't imagine starving myself or even hating myself or my body to avoid eating.

How do you fix someone who is so broken? Well, you can't. They have to want to fix themselves.

All-in-all, an amazing book. But not a light summer read. 
Originally posted to Aug. 11, 2009

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