Monday, May 25, 2009

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way - thin, thinner, thinnest - maybe she'll disappear altogether.
(Summary from jacket flap)

Let's start out with a few choice quotes from the book, mmk?

"The snow drifts into our zombie mouths crawling with grease and curses and tobacco flakes and cavities and boyfriend/girlfriend juice, the stain o lies. For one moment we are not failed tests and broken condoms and cheating on essays; we are crayons and lunch boxes and swinging so high our sneakers punch holes in the clouds. For one breat everything feels better."

"We held hands when we walked down the gingerbread path into the forest, blood dripping from our fingers. We danced with witches and kissed monsters. We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone."

And that right there is the novel summed up in a few sentences. Dark, haunting, sick, and still hopeful. It messes with your mind.

Laurie Halse Anderson really knows how to write. I actually think that Wintergirls would've worked really well if it was written in prose. The way the words are put together is almost poetic, but not quite. It's a different kind of writing style than I'm used to and it helped to lend an air of surreality to the story. I liked it.

The other thing that was great about the book was that it dealt with a harsh problem in a harsh way. There was no sugar-coating anything. How could there be when it's told through the eyes of a girl who's starving herself to death? Lia was brutally honest and seriously messed up, but she was convincing.

People exist that do things like this to themselves. It's horrible. I think that Wintergirls did an oustanding job of portraying something that's usually shoved into the closet because people are too scared to face the reality of it. But this is real. Girls like this are out there. They just need to be seen.

The only teensy thing that I took issue with was that this book actually didn't leave a huge impression on me...? Which is strange. Maybe it's just me. It was a great book but I think I read it at an inoportune time.

So a B+ for this one. Heavy stuff here.


  1. I actually loved this book, but part of it is the writing. I love that sort of raw, gritty imagery and voice.

  2. I <3 this book so much it's scary. And yes, I adore Anderson's writing style. Like Kami said, it's really raw and somewhat painful (which works because you can't say that WINTERGIRLS or, say, SPEAK deal with any pleasant issues in today's world).

  3. Hey, I LOVE your new blog banner! SO CUTE!!!

    Those quotes you pulled take my breath away. I read this book and while it was at times painful to read, I think it's an amazing book!

    You are reading A NORTHERN LIGHT right now - can't wait to hear what you think. I LOVE THAT BOOK!!!

  4. This is my favourite book I've read this year - I absolutely loved it. I know what you mean about the writing, it was almost lyrical.

  5. Great review! I can totally relate about reading something at the wrong time. Or at a time when the impact is lessened.

  6. Have this one in the TBR stack and can't wait to read it! Just the cover art is haunting. I finished Catalyst and Twisted a few months ago and fell in love with Laurie Halse Anderson! Such wonderful narratives -- they really stay with you.

  7. This book is really heart wrenching, its terrible that a lot of people go through that stuff on a daily basis and Laurie Halse Anderson just writes so well about it. I really liked this book.


  8. i like your review! Here's mine: Have a nice day! :)


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