Int'l librarian's Reviews > Wintergirls

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
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's review
Oct 26, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: coping-with-loss, grades-9-and-up, teens-in-trouble-girls
Read in October, 2010

This book is depressing, morbid and painful. That fits the topic well enough – Lia is a horror story of anorexia, self-mutilation and prescription drug abuse. Starvation is her source of strength, fueling hallucinations of frantic energy. Every ounce of imagined fat induces bloated visions.

Lia’s former best friend Cassie followed a similar path, until her body finally gave out. The two teens rallied each other to the goal of neverending weight loss, and Cassie’s death can’t stop her from clawing out to Lia from beyond the grave.

There’s a pileup of dysfunctional parents to ratchet up the agony, along with a twisted and addictive skinnygirl blog post.

The trauma seems absolute and overdosed, especially all the crossed-out words to supposedly convey deeper meaning. Must demons arise from every page? Apparently they must – Anderson sought out significant research support to get the story right, and I believe her. But that doesn’t mean I have to absolutely love the literary result.


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