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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  115,117 ratings  ·  9,534 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 feeling guilty for not being able to help save her.

In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author, Laurie
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)
Alyssia Cooke Perhaps I'm a little too literal here judging by the other answer, but I took it as Wintergirls is almost a code for the anorexia; when you get that t…morePerhaps I'm a little too literal here judging by the other answer, but I took it as Wintergirls is almost a code for the anorexia; when you get that thin, you are forever cold, your circulation doesn't work as well, you need three jumpers instead of one. It seemed fitting to me.

And so 'wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies' is essentially saying the same thing twice, only the matchstick bodies is a more overt description of their malnutrition.(less)

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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  115,117 ratings  ·  9,534 reviews

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May 29, 2009 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
Emma Giordano
Dec 31, 2016 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
Feb 26, 2009 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 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
Mar 26, 2009 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.

Jan 31, 2009 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
Nov 26, 2008 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

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
Jul 08, 2009 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
I ship this book. Ship! Ship!! Ship!!!



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


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


"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
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
WOW. Laurie Halse Anderson knows how to write a good and powerful book!
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I bought this paperback book from Amazon in 2010, or so they say. That’s a long time ago and I finally did this reread to unhaul books. It’s still a sad book. But that’s life or death for some people. A lot of us have many bridges to cross and hopefully we can make it. XOXO

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Helene Jeppesen
Jan 01, 2017 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
Oct 25, 2014 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
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

DNF @ p.34

I've been on a Laurie Halse Anderson binge as part of this project. (I'm sure some of you are tired of hearing me talk about The Project™ and I'm sorry, but I am a book hoarder and this is my way of letting go and saying goodbye to some of my books-- giving them a final send-off, if you will, before turning them over to a new owner.) So far, most of her books have held up reasonably well. I even enjoyed the relatively unpopular
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In a world riddled with made-for-tv, paint-by-numbers eating disorder cliche, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson separates itself from the pack.

The set-up is standard: Lia is the caucasian, teenaged daughter of divorced parents. Much shock, much surprise. As the book opens, Lia is reeling from the loss of her estranged bestie, Cassie. Cassie, our token warning sign in human form, died suddenly after making repeated, unanswered calls to Lia. 33, in fact. Thankfully, that’s where the cliches st
this book broke my heart. and I can't decide if I liked it.

It has been almost a month since I read Wintergirls and I still don't know how to feel about it.

Laurie Halse Anderson is undoubtably an immensely talented author. She painted such a vivid picture of what it is like to live with an eating disorder that I felt like I was Lia, experiencing it alongside her. Some lines absolutely punched me in the gut. Not just in their beauty and poetry, but in their raw and unflinchingness.

“There’s no p
Lisa Vegan
Jan 27, 2009 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.

Kate (beautifulbookland)
Anorexia rated this book 4 stars. Me? I rate it 1 because it’s SO FUCKING TRIGGERING AND DANGEROUS.

I read this book when I was in the grips of anorexia, before I was hospitalised. And the amount of fuel this gave me, the amount of passages I had highlighted to act at ‘inspiration’ is ridiculous.

Maybe it’s because I couldn’t have cared less about recovering when I read this, but I can’t actually remember her recovering? I just remember her deciding to recover, and then the end.

May 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2009
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
Feb 22, 2011 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
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Overall I have a feeling this book would be frustrating and disturbing for those who know nothing of disordered eating; and for those with disordered eating, I think it would be very triggering. So really, I wouldn’t recommend Wintergirls to anyone.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
5.0 Stars
Five stars upon re-read. Anderson has such a talent for writing authentic stories about real teenage issues. The narration is emotional and raw, accurately depicting the inner monologue of disordered eating. I love the fragmented writing style, which felt very remiscent of Speak. I highly recommend this powerful, young adult novel.
Huge content warnings for eating disorders. This novel includes triggering thought patterns regarding weight, calories, and starvation tricks that could dange

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Contemporary + Young Adult

Lia and Cassie are best friends who struggle with anorexia. One day Cassie is found dead in a motel room. She tried to contact Lia many times to say sorry after their breakup, but Lia never answered her that day for the horrible things she said to her. When Lia finds that her friend is no more she will struggle a lot to choose between life and death.

Book Structure:
The book is 278 pages. There are 65 chapters and most are short and can be r
May 04, 2009 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
Nov 06, 2008 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
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 06, 2016 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
Tamora Pierce
Apr 10, 2009 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! ...more
Feb 01, 2009 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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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Forgotten YA Gems: Wintergirls: General Discussion 8 28 Dec 10, 2020 07:53AM  
The paradox of a novel about an ED 5 68 Jul 26, 2020 10:02PM  
205A Book Club: WINTEL GIRLIES 6 13 Jun 29, 2019 09:56AM  

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UPDATE! SHOUT, my memoir in verse, is out, has received 9 starred reviews, and was longlisted for the National Book Award!

For bio stuff: Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. Her new book, SHOUT, a memoir-in-verse about surviving sexual assault at the age of thirte

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