Monday, November 18, 2013

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Since they were little girls, Lia and Cassie were the best of friends, as close as sisters.  They went through everything together.  It became apparent that the girls has an unhealthy, co-dependent relationship, as both girls struggle with severe eating disorders and body image issues.  For months now, the girls have not spoken.  But Cassie has turned up dead, after having called Lia several times.  Lia things Cassie is haunting her, and it causes her to spiral back into the depths of anorexia.

Nothing about this book was easy or simple.  It was beyond difficult to read.  Lia as a character is so wounded and seemingly helpless.  And the worst part is, she does not even realize it.  She things she is strong, and in control.  I just wanted to reach out and wrap my arms around her frail body.  The majority of the story is about Lia, but Cassie has such a tremendous impact on Lia, I would have expected she would be a little more developed as a character.  I would have expected more of an emphasis on their bond in life, which would then make their bond in death much more believable.  Similarly, I felt like we never saw the full picture of Lia's relationship with her mother.  It was like we skirted the issue.  

The writing is powerful and intense, something I have come to expect from this author.  I think she does a great job showing the frantic thoughts of someone in the grips of mental illness.  The book is pretty graphic in terms of the anorexic and self harming behaviors, and it could possibly serve as a trigger for anyone else dealing with those issues.  I think it is important for young adult readers to read this book; I think it is equally important that their parents read it and discuss it with them.

This book is from my personal library, and I wrote an honest review of my own volition.

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