I just finished reading (listening to) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, and in true Halse Anderson fashion the book blew me away.

Lia is a wintergirl, she denies herself the sustenance she needs to feel the joy of seeing her weight drop. It is a problem that she doesn’t want to solve, a problem that she doesn’t need to solve.

Cassie was Lia’s best friend. She was Lia’s best friend until she decided that Lia was a bad influence. Now Cassie is haunting Lia. Now Cassie is the bad influence.

Wintergirls made me love Lia and her parents; it also made me hate Lia and her parents. I so wanted to reach inside the pages of the book and force Lia to get the help that she needed. I wanted Lia to grow strong so she could be a good daughter, a good big sister, and a good friend. But I couldn’t. The book made me feel the helplessness that Lia’s parents were feeling. I felt exasperated with a protagonist who refused to get help. But I believe this is the point of the book. Halse Anderson’s novel teaches the reader that we cannot force help onto a someone who is unwilling to change. Instead we can only continue to help them see the positive side of change.

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One Response to Wintergirls

  1. christina says:

    Such a great book! I listened to this book two years ago and really enjoyed the audio of it. (I then purchased a copy for my classroom bookshelves). Anderson is amazing. I adore that she can go from historical to contemporary.

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