Apr 27, 2012


by Laurie Halse Anderson

It was just after reading Wasted that I saw another review for Wintergirls, and remembered that it was on my TBR list. Found a copy at the library and immediately dove in. Despite the disturbing and depressing content, it was a book I just could not put down.

It's about a teenage girl named Lia struggling with an eating disorder. Her best friend suffers from bulimia and at the beginning of the book has just died from the disease (the two girls had engaged in a private competition to see who could loose the most weight, which got frighteningly out of control). Lia has to deal with grief and guilt at feeling partly responsible for her friend's death, which only push her further into destructive behavior. It's pretty horrible to read about. But it doesn't go into as much depth as Wasted did, which carefully examined all the environmental and emotional factors that led to her disorder. In this case, the book focuses more on the present struggle and the emotional upheaval that Lia is experiencing. The writing is lyrical and full of imagery that reflects the main character's skewed thinking very vividly. In spite of how well I could picture what she felt, it was hard to feel close to her as a character. She felt... empty in a way (which makes sense). I find I liked Speak better. This book gives me the shivers.

Rating: 3/5 ........ 278 pages, 2009

more opinions:
At Home With Books
Caught Between the Pages


bermudaonion said...

I read Speak and loved it, so I bought this book. I will temper my excitement for it now.

Chris said...

I really really liked this book. I thought it was so well written and I actually keep it on my shelf in my counseling office!! I don't know if Anderson herself ever had an eating disorder, but we treat eating disorders at the psychiatric hospital I work at and she captured it really well in this book.

Jeane said...

Bermudaonion- don't get me wrong, did I give the wrong impression? it was a good book! just not as strong (I felt) as Wasted- but then, that one was a lot harder to read, too.

Chris- I'm glad to know it's accurate in the portrayal of what this disorder is like. I'm never sure when I read a book like this, how close it is to the true experience of people.

Trish said...

Interesting about the thought of her feeling empty. I listened to this one on audio and was really intrigued by it but agree that I liked Speak better. Maybe it's just because I could relate to the subject matter more easily (though I didn't have the same experience...).

Have heard of Wasted.

Mumsy said...

I liked Speak a lot, but found this one disappointing - not because Anderson is not a good writer (she's terrific) but because I found the plot thin and a bit - oh, I don't know - I hate to say it, but i think "silly" is the word I am looking for. Not that the disorder is in any way silly! But the plot just didn't work for me.