Renae's Reviews > Wintergirls

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Jun 12, 11

Read in May, 2011

** spoiler alert ** What a dark book. Lia, the main character is struggling with the death of her former best friend Cassie while also hiding a control issue in the form of anorexia. This book puts the reader right into the mind of someone who has an eating disorder and at times, flirts with the line of too much information (in regards to cutting herself).

While I found this book to be depressing, I never had perspective in regards to why someone would have an eating disorder or how they could possess so much control. I also never had heard of ways of manipulating family and appearing as though you were healthy and eating properly prior to this book. I always thought that people with eating disorders came with families who were "bad" because they didn't notice enough or care enough about their child to realize they just weren't eating. I just did not realize the full extent to which a person could hide these things from their family and the lengths they would go to do so.

I do not know why Anderson decided to include the character of Elijah. I don't believe that the story benefited from him being there and I could not find a way that he impacted Lia. The ghost of Cassie haunting Lia was also very disturbing...this caused me a lot of turmoil as I read the book. I even got to the point where I could not read it at night once it was dark out because it freaked me out so bad.

My biggest concern about this book is that there was no information or resources at the back for readers to have if they themselves or knew of someone who had an eating disorder. Many people will not go out and find it themselves unless forced to and if it would have been very natural for Anderson to put that information at the end of the book. Things that would have been beneficial would include: what signs to look for, when it's important to tell someone, and organizations to contact for help.
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