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Wintergirls

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3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  89,982 Ratings  ·  7,846 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
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Hardcover, 278 pages
Published March 19th 2009 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Savannah Grace When Lia is weighed, she always formats her weight as 000.00 (example: 101.20). The chapters are also formatted this way (example: 039.00). That's the…moreWhen Lia is weighed, she always formats her weight as 000.00 (example: 101.20). The chapters are also formatted this way (example: 039.00). That's the only reason I can think of.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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kari
May 29, 2009 kari rated it did not like it
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
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Sarah
Feb 26, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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.
Megs ♥
Nov 02, 2011 Megs ♥ rated it really liked it

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
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Emma Giordano
Dec 31, 2016 Emma Giordano rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars! This book was a really emotional read for me. It's been recommended to me a million times over and I'm so glad I finally picked it up.

The writing in this book was incredible. Everything flowed together perfectly and it was more like reading a masterpiece than just reading a book. I'm extremely impressed with the way the author was able to capture all of Lia's experiences with the perfect words, words that fit together so flawlessly it's impossible for them to be described any other wa
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Karin
Nov 26, 2008 Karin rated it it was amazing
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
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edh
Jan 31, 2009 edh rated it it was amazing
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
46milestogo
Mar 26, 2009 46milestogo rated it did not like it
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.

karen


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
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Anne
I ship this book. Ship! Ship!! Ship!!!

WAIT.

I MEAN... CAN YOU SHIP BOOKS?


Before I go further, before I'm made out to be insensitive, these are things you need to know.

1. YOU MIGHT NOT GET IT BUT


2. WHAT'S MORE I'M MOSTLY LIKE


3. TO THOSE WHO STICK AROUND LOOKING TO FIX MY PROBLEM - YOU NEVER LEARN


Now that that's out of the way...

STORY LINE

"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 thig
...more
Kyla
Jul 08, 2009 Kyla rated it liked it
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
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Zoë
Nov 15, 2014 Zoë rated it really liked it
WOW. Laurie Halse Anderson knows how to write a good and powerful book!
Mary
Oct 25, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
Reread in December 2015

This left me so fucked up.
I have no clue how to begin. I don’t think I ever read a book that left me so lost, for lack of a better word. I’m numb and astonished and a heap of other feelings I can’t even try to begin to explain. I felt physically uncomfortable while reading it and I felt so so sad throughout it. Just, simply put, an overwhelming feeling of sadness and helplessness was always with me. It’s that need you feel as a reader to shield the characters you read abo
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Lisa Vegan
Jan 27, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
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’
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helen the bookowl
Jan 01, 2017 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it
This was my first read by Laurie Halse Anderson and I now see why people love her writing so much. She has a way of explaining inner thoughts in beautiful and heart-breaking words and phrases, and while the language is poetic it doesn't drown the actual story.
"Wintergirls" deals with anorexia and bulemia all at once. It's a very strong and impactful story; especially, I would imagine, if you read it as a young adult which this novel is targeted towards. However, you can obviously still read it
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Giselle
Feb 22, 2011 Giselle rated it liked it
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
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Cait (Paper Fury)
That was emotional and terrible and intense...and cold. It didn't help that I'm literally FREEZING right now (it's winter! I'm cold!) and this book was...it was like reading about a self-destructing snowflake. I always find it intense and confronting to read about eating disorders. I put off this book forever, but I really loved Laurie Halse Anderson's The Impossible Knife of Memory and I knew I needed to read more of her masterpieces. SO I WAS BRAVE. I READ THIS. It definitely affected me.

This
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Tatiana
May 22, 2009 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, ya
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
Kristi
Nov 06, 2008 Kristi rated it liked it
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
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Carrie
Sep 06, 2016 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lia and Cassie were always the best of friends. They called themselves the Wintergirls, the two were competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But Lia had not spoken to Cassie in months after her trip into the hospital when her weight hit the danger zone.

Now, Lia finds that Cassie has died alone in a motel and all Lia wants is answers to what happened. Lia had ignored Cassie's numerous phone calls and is now carrying guilt over the loss of her friend which starts a downwar
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Evelina
Jul 29, 2015 Evelina rated it it was amazing
Δυο αχώριστες φίλες, η Lia και η Cassie,βάζουν ένα στοίχημα μεταξύ τους το οποίο μάχονται να κερδίσουν. Όμως από μια μάχη κανείς δε βγαίνει αλώβητος και,πολλές φορές,ζωντανός.
Η Cassie πέθανε. Η Lia κέρδισε τη μάχη και πεθαίνει κάθε λεπτό της ζωής της.
Όλοι λίγο πολύ έχουμε κάποια ανησυχία για το το σωματικό μας βάρος. Είναι φυσιολογικό εξάλλου να μας ενδιαφέρει η εξωτερική εμφάνιση και η υγεία του οργανισμού μας.
Πότε όμως αυτό ξεφεύγει από τα πλαίσια του φυσιολογικού και γίνεται αρρώστια που σε
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Raeleen Lemay
Oct 15, 2011 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good as Speak but AHHHH STILL SO GOOD. I want to go eat something now.
Molly
Feb 01, 2009 Molly rated it really liked it
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
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Haley
2016 Reading Challenge: A book with a blue cover


Originally read: 2010
Reread: October 2014, March 2016

October 2014 / When I first picked up Wintergirls, I was wading quickly into the deep end of an eating disorder without even realising it. If you'd asked me why I struggled so much to eat 'normally', my haughty response would have been something much along the lines of there is nothing wrong with watching what you eat.

This book marked the first point in time that I came to realise that I was s
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Claudia
Dec 01, 2008 Claudia rated it it was amazing
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
Nancy
Dec 24, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing
This book is going to set the world on fire in 2009. Absolutely compelling and heartrending.
Michael
Apr 09, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda
May 04, 2009 Linda rated it it was ok
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
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Kathryn
Dec 16, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Anne Osterlund
Jun 27, 2011 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it
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).

Stupid/lazy/stupid/loser/stupid.

Laurie Hals
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Tamora Pierce
Apr 10, 2009 Tamora Pierce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-yr
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!
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Ask box is open, my friends! What do you want to know?

UPDATE!

The final book in my thrilling historical trilogy about the American Revolution, ASHES, will be published October 4, 2016!


I recently answered all kinds of great questions over at Reddit. Check it out for loads about my writing process and my books:https://www.reddit.com/r/books/commen...

For bio stuff: Laurie Halse Anderson is the New Yor
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“In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves.” 2554 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.” 1157 likes
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