The Compulsive Reader: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia is anorexic. Her disease is a compulsion, something she can't—and doesn't want to—fight. Before, she's always had her best friend Cassie for support. But then Lia was forced into rehab, and now that she is out, Cassie refuses to talk to her anymore, leaving Lia more confused and alone than ever.

And then Cassie dies. Her tragic and rather mysterious death brings up all kinds of unwanted thoughts and feelings that Lia doesn't want to experience. But she has no choice but to face them—Cassie is haunting her, no matter where she goes, reminding Lia of what she didn't do the night of Cassie's death.

Wintergirls is altogether startling, compelling, and in a way, a bit morbid as the spotlight is cast on Lia and how she lives her day-to-day life with her anorexia. Anderson's writing is stark and even lyrical as she effortlessly characterizes Lia into someone that the reader can't help but pity, but loathes to do so at the same time. Lia herself is a hypnotizing narrator: her blunt honesty draws you near, only to twist your heart as she delves deeper into the finer points of her disease and reveals her secret plots to become thin, which, in Anderson's style, manages not to seem completely crazy and twisted, and will allow readers to identify with Lia on some levels. Besides being about anorexia, the novel also has much to do with family, and how they have influenced who Lia has become. The strained relationships and the uncertainties that come with a family that doesn't get along very well are intriguing and support Lia's behavior and character perfectly, making Lia an even more authentic character. Wintergirls is one of those novels that, once started, cannot be set aside easily, and will drive readers to discover Lia's fate. Wintergirls is all at once evocative, exquisite, and painful, and has the power to engulf readers with waves of thought and emotion.

Wintergirls will be out in May.


Staci said...

Excellent review and I can't wait to get my hands on this book!!!

Kelsey said...

Out in May? Where'd you get that?

Excellent review. I have mine scheduled for tomorrow too, haha.

Bookgeek said...

Great review. I'm in the middle of the book right now. And it's out now at out bookstore (came in early)

Anne Shealy said...

I absolutely cannot wait to read this book!