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Wintergirls

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  63,268 ratings  ·  6,193 reviews
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss-her life-and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend's memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Lauri...more
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published March 19th 2009 by Speak
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Rue Kinsman Lia's recovery from anorexia nervosa
she has to deal with her illness and also cope with her best friend's death and the family pressures of divorced…more
Lia's recovery from anorexia nervosa
she has to deal with her illness and also cope with her best friend's death and the family pressures of divorced parents.
i seriously think you should read it, it's so eye-opening and Lia is very relatable and real(less)
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William ShakespeareThe Winter's Tale by William ShakespeareUncle Fred in the Springtime by P.G. WodehouseSilent Spring by Rachel CarsonThe Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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188th out of 217 books — 21 voters
Tagged by Joseph M. ChironIt Lives in The Basement by Sahara FoleyBehind Blue Eyes by D.M. WolfendenThe Girl From Hanoi by Tom   MyersA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
2014: What 25-40 year olds are reading this year
102nd out of 182 books — 79 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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kari
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
Sarah
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.
Karin
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
edh
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
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...more
46milestogo
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.

Kyla
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  ·  review of another edition
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’...more
Kristi
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
Giselle
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
Molly
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
Caris
Oct 06, 2010 Caris rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Tatiana
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
Nancy
This book is going to set the world on fire in 2009. Absolutely compelling and heartrending.
Kathryn
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
Claudia
Jun 14, 2009 Claudia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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).

Stupid/lazy/stupid/loser/stupid.

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.
Cynn
"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
Michael
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
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
Thomas
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
Karla
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.
Mike
Warning: This review might be triggering to anyone who has suffered from an eating disorder.

Five months ago, I read The Impossible Knife of Memory around the same time as one of my friends. I was aware that she had also read other books by Laurie Halse Anderson, and when I got an autographed copy of this book, I was excited to show it off to her. When I showed her the book, she said,
"You can't read that."
"But it's so good," I protested. (I was already about a hundred pages in.)
"It is really good...more
Mery
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
Aryn
Mar 31, 2012 Aryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Linda
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
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got EMO??? 26 269 Oct 11, 2014 05:08PM  
Anyone else freaked out by this? 13 193 Oct 08, 2014 08:42PM  
♥Fangirlin'!♥: Wintergirls 2 6 Sep 01, 2014 03:01AM  
Crazy for Young A...: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson → Start Date: August 6, 2014 15 28 Aug 09, 2014 07:30PM  
Understanding Anorexia? 13 138 Aug 01, 2014 01:11PM  
Give me spoilers please 5 51 Aug 01, 2014 01:08PM  
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UPDATE!

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
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“In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves.” 2300 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.” 947 likes
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