Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wintergirlsis the gripping story of Lia, an anorexic girl who struggles with control after her best friend Cassie dies alone in a hotel room. She left thirty-three messages for Lia before she died. And now Lia deals with the grief and responsibility she feels - all while maintaining control at the very least over her own body.

Things I Liked:
Wow. Really, Anderson writes stuff that is hard to read - stuff that really makes you sit down and think. I am sure this book will speaks to people who struggle with eating disorders. I've never had an eating disorder, but as a woman, I have dealt with my own body image issues. This book looks at these things without flinching. You get right into the mind of Lia and see just what she thinks and why. Control. Strength. Power. All of these things play a huge part in Lia's disorder. This book is hard to read. Hard to put down. Impossible to forget.

Things I Didn't Like:
I really didn't like hearing about some of these things. I really didn't want to see some of what happened. But, I'm glad I did. I got a small glimpse of what it's like.

Read Speak by Anderson - iconic YA about difficult issues
Anything by Chris Crutcher - I've read Whale Talk
Also reminded me (not topic wise) of Monsterby Walter Dean Myers
*all of these are mature books - probably best suited for older teens*

s-factor: !@#
moderate amount of them

mrg-factor: X
some things mentioned - nothing described

v-factor: ->->->
not regular violence, but some cutting and other frightening images

Overall rating: ***

Not sure how to rate this one. I didn't "like" it, but it was very powerful...if you do ratings how do you indicate this?


  1. I love Laurie Halse Anderson. I just do. I haven't read this one, but I read and loved Speak of course, and also her historical fiction Fever, 1793. I'm excited to read this one as well. Thanks for your interview and read-alikes. I love doing these on my reviews, too. It must be a librarian thing :)

  2. This is on my TBR long list -- I will get to it eventually. I agree: Anderson has a way of tackling tough subjects and making them real and approachable, even if they are difficult. And very hard to rate.

  3. A Bookshelf Monstrosity (which is a fabulous name, BTW) I loved Speak and Fever too! And I do think it's the inner librarian doing some readers' advisory on the blog :)

    Melissa, she has real talent. I just wish I could say I "liked" it.

  4. I haven't read any of hers yet. I really need to.

  5. Britt! I'm shocked. All I can say is "yes, you really need to" - I especially enjoyed Chains.

  6. I know, isn't it sad?

    Sadder still is the fact that I hadn't even HEARD of her until a few months ago.

  7. I hadn't heard of her until I had to read Speak in my YA lit class in library school. Which was not that long ago.


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