Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson
I cannot say enough great things about Laurie Halse Anderson. She is such a fabulous and compelling author. I read Speak quite a few years ago and was so impressed with it. It was so different, so emotional, and so real. When I recently came across Wintergirls, I knew I had to read it.
Wintergirls is a hauntingly accurate portrayal of two teenage girls with eating disorders. Like so many other teenage girls, I suffered from serious issues with food and self image as a teenage girl, which only made this book that much more chilling and haunting for me. It forced me back into an extremely uncomfortable place in my life.
In Wintergirls, Lia and Cassie are childhood best friends who come to suffer from their own unique eating disorders, started when the girls made a pact as young teens. Cassie is bulimic, and Lia is anorexic. Now 18, the girls are no longer friends. However, one winter night, Cassie calls Lia 33 times before she passes away. The death shocks Lia, who begins to withdraw further and further into herself and into her destructive and deadly behavior.
In my opinion, this book, along with Speak, are must reads for every teenage girl in America. It is so brutal, so honest, so raw, so filled with emotion that it leaves you speechless and feeling wrung out by the time you finish the last page. I only wish there had been a book like this when I was a teenager. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alone and vulnerable.