In this weeks’ book, I decided to examine a longtime favorite of mine. “Wintergirls” is, in my opinion, Anderson’s best book. Anderson writes like how I wish I could write. Her words are lyrical and poetic, and yet beautifully simple.
We follow Lia, a high schooler struggling with severe anorexia. She deals with the death of her former best friend, and struggles severely under the weight of her disease.
Sarah Gruen put it best when she described it as “ The voice is unique, the style like a puzzle and a poem, all at once.”
I’d highly recommend this book to those close to those suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and certain types of mental illnesses. I think it would be very educational, even, if not useful.
I’m not sure I’d suggest it to young people who suffer from anorexia, bulimia, or severe depression because it could be a harmful trigger. It’s not that the book glorifies these debilitating ailments, but the graphic descriptions of coping methods could set some off on a dangerous and self-destructive path.
This book is not for the weak of heart, it is dark and disturbing, but with a satisfying character arc and a unique voice. It is emotionally tragic and beautifully raw.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Favorite quote: “What do you miss about being alive?”
“The sound of my mom singing, a little off-key. The way my dad went to all my swim meets and I could hear his whistle when my head was underwater, even if he did yell at me afterward for not trying harder. I miss going to the library. I miss the smell of clothes fresh out of the dryer. I miss diving off the highest board and nailing the landing. I miss waffles.”
Best time and place to read it: Somewhere clinical, clean. In the bathtub, maybe.