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.