Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

An incredible story about a teenage girl who’s only aspiration is to be as skinny as she can be.  A view to the inner workings of her mind after her best friend Cassie dies, trying to win the contest of being the thinnest.  It truly was a strange walk through a very troubled and confused mind.  Being haunted by Cassie and pushed to her limits was such a frightening experience to standby and watch.  I just couldn’t imagine anyone going through this – yet I am aware it happens every day.

I found this story difficult to read on many levels.  The topic itself was hard to grasp – but the way the story was written and presented – was tough but I understand why it was tough.  The chunkiness (I can’t think of a better word right now)  of the written page fit the way Lia’s mind was working – in the present now – switching back and forth to Cassie – blacking out – coming back.  The way it was written and presented to the reader – I think really emphasized how Lia was handling her life.

I would recommend this book to the older teens – and yes – maybe I’m stereotyping or following what I believe – but I would definitely recommend this to girls rather than they guys.  Or maybe the guys should read it – to get a better understanding as to how these young ladies’ minds can work.  Interesting…  I would also recommend that parents read this book!

Here’s a video showcasing Laurie Halse Anderson talking about the motivation behind writing this book.

Favourite quote:

“You’re not dead, but you’re not alive, either.  You’re a wintergirl, Lia-Lia, caught in between the worlds.  You’re a ghost with a beating heart…”         p. 196

Anderson, Laurie Halse.  (2009).  Wintergirls.  Toronto, ON: Speak.

Author website:


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