Sunday, November 14, 2010
Review of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Cassie and Lia were best friends ever since Cassie moved in next door, and Wintergirls for almost as long. They were never going to be the smartest, prettiest, or most popular girls at their school, but there's something they can be: the skinniest.
So while Lia's father's on business trips and her mother's saving other peoples' lives, Lia's wasting away. Strong and empty, is her mantra.
When Cassie decides she wants out, Lia doesn't have a choice but to talk her out of it. They start to grow apart. And then Lia gets 33 calls from her on the night she dies alone in a motel.
Cassie's death to Lia just means that she won - she's the skinniest now. But that's no reason to stop now. She's 95, but why not 90? And then why not 85? In fact, why rest until there's nothing left?
Wintergirls is written in the unflinching and lyrical prose that Anderson does so well. The writing style itself is so beautiful I didn't feel I was doing it justice reading it in my head; I had to read it all out loud. My favorite passage of Wintergirls is:
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.
Laurie Halse Anderson is by far one of my favorite authors. She tackles the biggest issues plaguing young adults realistically and heart-wrenchingly. Wintergirls explores the facts of eating disorders without pointing fingers or sugar-coating. It transcends the barrier between young adult and adult literature, and is a must-read for anyone. I rate it 6 out of 5.
In the comments, tell me what you think of Wintergirls, if you've read it. Otherwise, tell me what you'd like to see reviewed next.