Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Book Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Hard Topics
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 278 (Paperback)
Summary from Goodreads: Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to 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 emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl's chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.
Review: So, there was World Book Night on April 23rd, which my library (and other libraries around the country/world) celebrated it by giving out books to people that don't read a lot. One of the books was this one, and so in celebration of World Book Night, I decided to read it.
I've been having a problem reviewing this book. I... can't really put my thoughts about it into words. But I'll try, so... here we go:
So, you know from reading the summary, that this is mainly about eating disorders. I've always found eating-disorder books very interesting. My problem with them is personal - upon reading them, I always feel as if I'm going to turn anorexic. Not that I actually ever have, but...
I've only read a few of them, but this was one of the better ones. Laurie Halse Anderson is a very good author, and this was a raw, unpolished look at anorexia and girls who cut themselves for release. I found Lia's struggle very interesting. I loved seeing the way she thought, how she viewed herself and what she did in order to be thin. She viewed herself in a different way than others did, and it brought up a question that I believe we all think about sometime in our lives, though it is impossible to answer: Do we all see things the same? Which of those views is the true one? Cassie's ghost haunts Lia throughout this book. Is it really Cassie's spirit, or is it Lia's inner demon personified, in a way that she can hear and see and understand?
I thought Lia was also intelligent, clever. She was able to figure out ways that made it seem as if she had eaten, even if she hadn't. As horrible as it was, her starving herself, it made me respect her. She was very clever in the way she did things.
I also liked how Lia genuinely cared about her little stepsister, Emma. Lia did everything she could to make Lia happy. She hated her parents, but still cared a lot about Emma. I liked her for that.
This is a very thought provoking novel, one that you have to read to fully understand and appreciate. I... really wish I could explain it more than that, but I cannot.