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Wintergirls April 22, 2013

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson


“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 space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia is a wintergirl – frozen between life and death.  She is living in a shell of a body, a body she hates, a body she starves.  When her best friend Cassie is found dead, Lia is thrust into a spiral of self-destructive behaviors that threaten her life.  Faced with her guilt and grief, Lia must confront her own eating disorder and decide if she truly wants to live or if she would rather cross over and join Cassie as a wintergirl.

Rarely does a book move me as much as Anderson’s Wintergirls.  Chapters numbered by pounds and ounces weighed my progress through the book.  Whispered taunts and negative self-talk haunted us on Lia’s journey. The voice of Lia rings loud and true, giving us an accurate portrayal of the descent into madness and sickness Anorexia truly is.  A cautionary tale, this should be required reading for every young girl, especially those concerned with body image and weight.