“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 and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.
Taken from BookBrowse.
Lia and Cassie forged a friendship when they were just young girls. They weren't yet looking to fit in or stand out, but they had a bond that simply grew deeper and stronger over time. When puberty struck, Cassie found comfort in "Mia," while Lia found "Ana" to be her saviour. The two girls make a pact to be the skinniest girls in school - at all costs. That cost is dire though, when Cassie eventually succumbs to her disease, and Lia is left to either save the shattered pieces of her life, or suffer the same fate as her friend.
This book hit a little close to home. I've struggled with an eating disorder for many years, as I'm sure lots of girls out there understand. The pain of the internal commotion and the desire for perfection leaps from every page of this book. The problem is, and Laurie Halse Anderson captures this perfectly, there is no such thing as perfect. If we go for 80 lbs...when you reach there, the only way to go is down to 75. It's a battle every day, and Lia's struggle was portrayed accurately and truthfully.
That said, Wintergirls is not for the faint of heart. This book tackles serious issues of self-harm and the depth of this emotional and physical disease. I'll admit, reading it made me crave that thin, amazing feeling. Someone once said "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," and Lia lives by that standard. It's written from her POV, a bit like an internal conversation/war, and there are a lot of crossed out phrases, seemingly indicating her need and desire for ultimate control.
I loved this book. I thought it was poignant, relevant, and well-researched. I think Laurie Halse Anderson did a great job portraying the endless fight of eating disorders. The only thing that I would change is making Lia a bit more likable up front. At first I thought she was just a snotty teen with issues. I did, however, grow to feel for her. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5, and I would recommend it to anyone seeking a poignant, powerful, and extremely emotional piece.