Laurie Halse Anderson
Trigger Warning- eating disorder/mental health content
“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles”
I did not like this book. Why? Wintergirls reads like a how-to-develop an eating disorder book. Wintergirls lays on the border of inspiration, that being said—
Anderson uses Lia’s weight, calories, extreme workouts, strikethrough text, italics, and other styles to bring the disorder to life. You get to climb into Lia’s skin and walk through her struggle. Anderson does a great job of weaving the life-changing effects of a long-term eating disorder, the bumpy road to recovery, and the efforts of having a loved one who struggles with mental illness into a relatively short novel. I have yet to read a YA that captured the woe of a family like this one did.
In short, Lia has 30 some missed called from her dead best friend, Cassie. The guilt from the missed calls and various other old demons push Lia into a deeper battle with her eating disorder/mental health. You venture with Lia as she struggles to escape the vicious cycle of her eating disorder to save her own life. Lia’s family is emotionally exhausted from supporting her through her ups and downs, but somehow they keep going. No family is perfect, but Lia is lucky to have the one she does.
Lia walks between two worlds, like Persephone, healthy and unhealthy, life and death. She is stuck in the cycle of her unhealthy lifestyle. Wintergirls was recommended to me because it is a Persephone myth-based story. If you are studying myth and their influence on YA or retellings, I would recommend you read this book. If you are interested in YA about eating disorders/mental illness, you might find this read worthwhile. Overall, Wintergirls would not be highly recommended by me.
Have you read Wintergirls? Did you like it? Are you interesting in reading Wintergirls?