I read an absolutely fantabulous book yesterday! So here it goes...
“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.
Having recently read Speak, I was crazy to get my hands on this book since I'd heard that it was Anderson's lastest work. And boy was it good!
The books starts off with Lia's reaction after being told that her best friend Cassie has died. In the last months,Cassie had stopped talking to Lia...until the night that Cassie died. Cassie called Lia 33 times and left messages, but Lia didn't pick up.
Lia begins blaming herself for Cassie's death. Which is more than enough to send Lia on a downward spiral, since she's already dealing with a controlling mother she can't stand, a father who's never around, and unsympathetic peers.
Lia had previously had problems with anorexia and cutting, and Cassie's death is the spark that triggers them again. Lia starts limiting her eating, until she tries to consume only 500 calories or less a day. It seems that nothing will stop Lia from destroying herself. She's continually haunted by the ghost of Cassie, whose death had been caused by bulemia.
I can't get over how beautifully written this book was. The descriptions and figurative language were powerful and moving, and her writing style was lyrical and poetic. Stylistically, Anderson has created something truly unique: there are words crossed out, refrains that show what Lia's really thinking, and a whole two pages in the middle of the book where the same words are repeated over and over again.
The way Anderson handled the subject of anorexia seemed so realistic. Readers will know every inch of Lia's thinking process: how she agonizes over every bite she takes, how she punishes herself for eating, how she blames everything on herself until the only solution she can find is to cut more and eat less.
When I finished the book, I just sat there for a while, the words buzzing inside of my head. I am truly, truly amazed by the powerful prose and equally powerful message in Wintergirls.
I give it a 9/10
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