Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BOOK: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, 288 pages

young adult

Way back in the day, the eighties, there really weren't a lot of books called young adult that I was aware of. A teenager in those days went from Nancy Drew to VC Andrews, from Judy Blume to Stephen King. Oh, there were a few 'teen' books like The Outsiders or, and the books that read like an Afterschool Special about drinking, or drugs, or peer pressure. I really remember a book about anorexia, called The Best Little Girl in the World. It was a realistic look at a girl descending into the world of anorexia nervosa. I don't know if it would hold up through the years, but it doesn't matter, because Wintergirls is a fabulous book that will have its place in young adult literature. It's disturbing, but so well written.

These books are tricky because while they expose a serious situation, anorexia, the argument can be made that a book like this gives ideas and 'how-to' for teens with anorexia. I once tutored a girl in the hospital with anorexia, and she learned as many tricks as an inpatient as on her own. Wintergirls will give the reader insight into the mixed up thinking that is as much a part of anorexia as the dieting.

Lia is the main character, and is still struggling with her disorder, despite the fact that she has been released from inpatient care and her family believes she is getting better. When her former best friend dies, she is thrown in a tail spin. It's just heartbreaking to watch Lia battle with herself in her brain for control of her body and her life. This was a great book, and beautifully written. Teens today are so lucky to have good books written by authors like Anderson to introduce them to well-written literature.

also reviewed by :
Trish at Hey Lady!, joanne at the Book Zombie, suey at It’s All About Books, alea at Pop Culture Junkie, joy at thoughts of joy,


  1. This book is on my TBR list. Sounds painful but intriguing. :-)

  2. I loved this one. I thought it was amazing how she could make you think that Lia was both completely rational AND completely crazy.

  3. Reading this, I felt we must have grown up at the same time. I have read and loved all the authors you mentioned and pretty much followed that same path - Nancy Drew to Judy Blume... and even wound up in a time of Stephen King until I discovered (many years later) Dean Koontz).

    This book sounds interesting and you review it well.

  4. This sounds like a good read, one that I might give a go. :)

  5. Man, I still haven't reviewed this and I read it forever ago now. It was good, though.

  6. As always, an insightful review, Raidergirl. I'm probably 15 years older than you but I don't recall many YA books either. I went from Nancy Drew to Marjorie Morningstar and other adult novels. Nothing wonderful to fill the gap like there is today. I'm thrilled with so many of the YA books of today. My daughter and I always have stacks of books we want to read and discuss together.

  7. Well said!

    Great sentence: "It's just heartbreaking to watch Lia battle with herself in her brain for control of her body and her life."

    I'm glad you liked it! It's amazing that girls can ultimately break out of anorexia. It's such a horrible disorder.


Thanks for commenting, so nice of you to visit.

(I'll try without the letters for a while - so please dont be a spammer! Let's try no anonymous users)