25 September 2011
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls. New York: Penguin Group, 2009.
Lia and Cassie are competing to see who will be the thinnest girl. Cassie learned to binge and purge at a summer camp, and Lia began counting calories after her ballet teacher suggested she stop eating so much ice cream. At the beginning of this novel, Cassie loses her life, and Lia struggles with grief over the loss of her friend, guilt over what she could have done differently, and visions of Cassie's ghost who keeps encouraging Lia to end it all. Lia doesn't want to go back into residential treatment, but her parents don't know how to help her anymore. Lia needs to choose whether to be brave and open herself to getting help or to continue to listen to Cassie's ghost.
I absolutely love Anderson's book Speak, so I was happy to see another of her novels. I'm not super-familiar with the trauma and struggles of those with eating disorders, so it was a bit odd for me to be trapped inside Lia's head, so to speak, as I read through this book. I was glad for the decisions she made toward the end of the novel, and I think Anderson has once again captured the mind of a teen girl who is dealing with problems larger than she can handle on her own.