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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  61,873 ratings  ·  6,091 reviews
“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...more
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published March 19th 2009 by Viking Juvenile
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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskySpeak by Laurie Halse AndersonLooking for Alaska by John Green
Best Teen Books About Real Problems
6th out of 1,703 books — 9,480 voters
Hush, Hush by Becca FitzpatrickFallen by Lauren KateShiver by Maggie StiefvaterPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-SmithCity of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Best Book Cover 2009
8th out of 315 books — 3,018 voters

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Community Reviews

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Apr 11, 2014 kari rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009, ya
I didn't care for the writing style, all the crossed out words just felt like an unneccessary affectation that slowed down the pace of the book. The chapter headings 001.00, etc were a distraction that took me several chapters to even realize what the numbers meant. The descriptions are ugly.
I didn't make any connection to Lia and never grew to like her. As written, her character seemed like a spoiled rich brat who was not even kind enough to pick up the phone to speak to the parents of her dead...more
Meg ♥

Who exactly are the Wintergirls? They are Lia and Cassie. Cassie is a pretty girl who started battling bulimia at a very young age, and at the beginning of our story was found dead in a motel room. Lia is her former best friend who is still battling anorexia, and has to deal with getting weighed weekly by her well-meaning step mother, and also has the guilt constantly in her mind knowing that Cassie had called her. 35 times. Right before she died. The details of her death have not yet been relea...more
Lia fights a war every day.

A war with herself.

A war with food.

At 95 pounds she still feels fat. When she looks in the mirror she sees the pockets of fat hanging on her body. Everyone else is just blind. Two stays in a treatment facility hasn’t cured her; it just forced her to develop techniques to survive in a world of food. She picks the bruised apples at lunch so she has an excuse to cut some of it off, she sews quarters in the lining of her robe to add weight when she has to stand on the s...more
I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this book, as Laurie and I share a publisher. It is so, so good. The voice is unique, the style like a puzzle and a poem, all at once. Highly recommended. I think it will be HUGE with teenage girls.
I initially found this book to be absolutely repulsive - the narrative was suffused with this sense that something was hideously wrong, and the devices that Anderson was using to describe narrator Lia's reality hinted at a disturbing mania. As it turns out, this is exactly right - Lia's sense of self was damaged even before her former best friend Cassie died alone and in pain. Their partnership was a deathly one; both girls aspired to be the skinniest as they struggled to grasp their way into ad...more

ariel says everyone loves this book, and that's probably true, these girls today are probably super-drawn to this kind of story. it's not bad, i just already have a favorite teen-problem-novel about anorexia, one that doesn't have the voice of this narrator, who was so immersed in her dreamworld, she frequently spoke in this forced-poetic voice that i found distracting:

"used to be that my whole body was my canvas - hot cuts lick my ribs, ladder rungs climbing my arms, thick milkweed stalks shoo...more
Laurie Halse Anderson sinks her teeth into writes about eating disorders in this one. She distracts from the too-familiar story and flat characters uses lots of "clever" formatting, including numbers/tiny text/three guesses

This could have been a good book if Anderson had spent less time being "clever" and more time creating solid characters that would have strengthened a story that's been told plenty of times before.

I'm surprised there is so little criticism of this book!

I don't normally write reviews, but I finished the book a couple weeks ago and have been letting my thoughts simmer, unable to just forget it. Amazon seems to have eaten my review (maybe it will be posted in a couple days?). I decided to look for more dissenting opinions on here.

4 or 5 stars for great writing. Anderson creates a page turner and certainly has an admirable command of language.

2 stars for depth.

Most articles and even many book...more
Lisa Vegan
Feb 07, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who treat young people with eating disorders; not necessarily for those suffering from ED
This book was absolutely mesmerizing! I was completely engrossed and I really enjoyed it. This book gets five stars and not four from me, despite a couple of flaws, because Lia seemed so real and the writing style was wonderful and the language was lovely.

I’d highly recommend this book to those treating and caring for those suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and certain types of mental illnesses. I think it would be very educational for some, and useful for those they’re trying to help.

I love Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak is one of my all time favorite novels, so to say I was excited to read Wintergirls was an understatement. I was excited until I realized what Wintergirls was really about: anorexia. Was that something that I wanted to read about. It sounded truly depressing and slightly disturbing. But as hard as it was to read this novel, I felt like it was even harder to put down. Anderson continues to impress my with her beautifully written novels.

I’ve seen Anderson’s writ...more
Wintergirls is a story about girl who's struggling with anorexia. It's a pretty quick read, but it didn't move me as much as I thought it would.

The story is good. Scary and shocking with a strong message. I don't have a lot insight into the disease so this was a real eye opener for me; I wasn't aware how people with anorexia were able to actually self-discipline themselves to not eat. We're shown through Lia's point of view how she warps her world and relationships that which steers her into de...more
I am oh-so-ready for more people I know to have read this book so I can talk with them about it!!

Though it will inevitably be compared to SPEAK, I felt like this marked a real advance in Laurie Halse Anderson's ability as a writer in comparison. That said, the main character is dissociated, so it's hard to feel particuarly close to her as a reader. But I think that's the point.

I don't think it's an exaggeration at all to say that some readers will find salvation in this book, and for that alone...more
Oct 06, 2010 Caris rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: girls without an eating disorder
Shelves: 2010, young-adult
The anorexia book. I knew it was coming.

The big problem I have with this topic in fiction is that it always gets solved in the end. When I’d made it through one half of a page and knew the subject matter, I couldn’t help but foresee the events to come: the starvation, the obsessive weight monitoring, the angry parents, the hospitals, the releases from hospitals, the re-admittance into hospitals, the eventual changing of ways, etc. As soon as the subject is mentioned, we know how the story goes....more
Wintergirls. What can I say about this book? It wasn't an easy read. I have never been exposed to the world of anorexia and bulimia and therefore can't say if it was truthfully and accurately portrayed, but what I can say is that being in Lia's mind definitely was a powerful experience which I will not soon forget. Although I couldn't understand what moved Lia to do certain things, I had a good look at her inner world which was a terrifying and bleak place. Her obsession with calories, not eatin...more
This book is going to set the world on fire in 2009. Absolutely compelling and heartrending.
Wintergirls was so good. I give it 4.5 stars.

This is a story about a teenage girl who has a severe eating disorder. Some of the psychological aspects of eating disorders has never really crossed my mind so deeply until now. Lia, the main character, on the surface, seems to have a picture perfect life. But then you start to realize about halfway through the book, why she suffers from the eating disorder.

I want to open up about myself, because this book made me think a lot about things which wer...more
Jun 14, 2009 Claudia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every girl
Recommended to Claudia by: Rebecca
Shelves: ya-books
This one was worth the wait. I had to wait while the pre-publication copy flew around my classes. This one is her best. She writes flawlessly in the voice of Lia, a sad, disturbed, disturbing, girl who may or may NOT be recovering from her recent hospitalization for anorexia...We hear everything in Lia's head. Her real thoughts, which she revises out of her own head, her ambivilance toward her parents, her anger she can't quite express, let us know she's sicker than she will admit. We also see h...more
Anne Osterlund
Lia—stupid/lazy/stupid/loser/stupid—received over thirty messages from her best friend in the days before Cassie’s death (girl found dead in a motel room). Lia didn’t answer them. And she tries not to see the ghost—who haunts her own slow march toward death/life/death.

Lia can’t control her mother—nutcase cardiac surgeon. Or her father—philandering professor in denial.

The only thing Lia can control is her weight.

Toast (70). Razor thin spread of jam (30).


Laurie Hals...more
Tamora Pierce
Another gut-wrencher story from Laurie Halse Anderson, of two friends determined to starve themselves to the ideal weight, which looks more and more like death. It's powerful; it's believable, and it will give you the chills. You'll never forget it--I know I won't!
Raeleen Lemay
Not quite as good as Speak but AHHHH STILL SO GOOD. I want to go eat something now.
"No hay una cura mágica; un hechizo que lo aleje todo para siempre. Sólo hay pequeños pasos;un día más fácil, una sonrisa inesperada, un espejo al que ya no le das importancia"

En Wintergirls nos encontramos con la historia de Lia una chica de 18 años de edad que padece anorexia. La anorexia que padece es terrible,no come nada y cuando come cuenta las calorías que ingiere cada vez que la "obligan" (cuando tiene que fingir ante su familia que está comiendo). Eso no es lo más triste de la histor...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When Lia's best friend Cassie dies in a motel room, Lia is left all alone. Alone to finish the game and carry out the oath she shared with Cassie - to continue to lose weight. Lia is trapped in a deadly competition with her own body - don't eat, weigh less, and look thinner. Casting away her family that doesn't understand the limbo of tantalizing fats and calories, Lia marches solo into the storm that will take her entire living existence away from her - anorexia.

Even though this book was almost...more
This was a heartbreaking book of a troubled girl named Lia who is hauted with the loss of her friend Cassie. They had a bond or oath to be the skinnest girls. Lia takes strength in her illness of choice Anerexia. While Cassie's feeling not as strong a grip controling her urges to eat, she had bulimia struggles. You find out clues to the inside of Lia's mind as she is suffering hiding her pain by putting her in the danger zone towards death to join Cassie.
This is a quick book to read but a must...more
Kami Garcia
This is a gnarly book in the best way possible- real, raw, the truth and nothing but the truth. I want to be LHA for a day. Brilliant! My daughter will read this book.
Setelah baca Hannah, aku kok jadi suka sama cerita-cerita yang depresi gini yah... :|

Dan yang satu ini super duper bikin stress.

Lia si tokoh utama, bersahabat dengan Cassie dari mereka SD. Suatu hari Cassie ditemukan meninggal di sebuah motel. Lia ngerasa bersalah dan terpuruk. Karena setelah suatu insiden, Lia dan Cassie berhenti bicara satu sama lain selama berbulan-bulan. Dan sebelum Cassie meninggal, Cassie menelepon Lia berkali-kali. 33 kali tepatnya. Dan Lia dengan sengaja gak mau ngangkat...more
My jaw was on the floor by page 14. Literally. I have a big mouth.

This book was so stunningly good that I'm almost at a loss for words. Almost.

The language is so amazingly realistic that it just sucks you right into the story. It wraps around you like a blanket and keeps you warm through the chill of this wintergirl. It's probably the most realistic teen voice I've ever read. It's not overwrought to the point of ridiculous and it's not dumbed down emo to the point of hurling it across the room....more
Mar 31, 2012 Aryn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone, but people who are easily triggered with EDs or Self Harm.
If you are struggling with an ED or Self Harm, or worry you may be triggered, do not read this book. I can imagine it being incredibly triggering!

I sat down to read this book today, around 2pm. It's now almost 10pm. With only a few breaks to pee and probably an hour break for dinner, I haven't moved in in around 7 hours. I kept trying to put this down, really, I did, and it kept demanding that I pick it back up.

(view spoiler)...more
May 06, 2009 Linda rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Normally, I would have just left my two star (really, more like one and a half) rating and gone on my way. But Laurie Halse Anderson is very close to the top of the list of my favorite authors who write for teens, and this is the second title in the row of hers that I've given two stars.

It kills me to think she might never write anything as good as Speak or Catalyst again.

If I'm going to devote several hours of my life to follow a character through several hundred pages, I need something to hang...more
I thought this book was genius! Everything from the characters to the writing, to the plot, to the message. It was awesome. I think this book should be mandatory for teenage girls to read because it talks about a very important subject - anorexia. I had never read a book about anorexia before so this was pretty refreshing. I don't think people realize what goes on in the mind of someone dealing with anorexia. This book really helps you see what it is like to live your life that way on a day to d...more
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Crazy for Young A...: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson → Start Date: August 6, 2014 15 26 Aug 09, 2014 07:30PM  
Anyone else freaked out by this? 12 186 Aug 01, 2014 01:16PM  
Understanding Anorexia? 13 136 Aug 01, 2014 01:11PM  
Give me spoilers please 5 49 Aug 01, 2014 01:08PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Restarting July 7th 2014 31 31 Jul 09, 2014 09:36AM  
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Laurie's new YA novel, THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY, comes out in January!

(She is working on ASHES this very second.)

Back to our regularly scheduled biography...

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Spe...more
More about Laurie Halse Anderson...
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“In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves.” 2290 likes
“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.” 933 likes
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