Book title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Summary: Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia’s mother is busy saving other people’s lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia’s head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way – thin, thinner, thinnest – maybe she’ll disappear altogether.
Wintergirls was unlike any other book I've read. It's not just the author's unique writing style or the brutally honest narration from a self-destructive girl that held my interest. This novel just really made me think. It led me into the mind of a person like Lia, and this changed my opinion on people who are victims to such eating disorders. I have read reviews of this novel criticizing Lia's character, stating she was too selfish and pathetic. But she's supposed to be human, people need to accept that not every main character will be likeable and heroic.
Wintergirls was everything from creepy to inspiring. I spent hours staying up at night, reading and taking it all in. It was hard to put down... I had to know Lia's ending. She suffers from anorexia, she wants to be the skinniest girl in school, skinnier than her best friend Cassie, who herself is a bulimic. What intrigued me was that in normal circumstances a friend would try to help you out of your disorder but here we have two girls who are practically competing to see who can turn into a bare skeleton before the other.
If you read it over, you'll realise the only thing Lia has her mind on is her weight. She's not living her life. She's simply trying to shed the pounds one day at a time until she reaches what she calls 'Dangerland' (her ideal weight goal). But it doesn't stop there, once she reaches her ideal weight, she'll want to take it further.. a few more pounds.. then some more until she's size Zero. She's so good at hiding the disorder, that her parents don't realise how bad her condition has gotten until it may be too late.
It's a little freaky how her friend Cassie's ghost is always haunting her, cheering her on to lose the weight so Lia can join Cassie in death. I think one of my favourite parts of this novel was their friendship and the irony behind it (won't ruin the plot for you).
Basically, this novel changed my life because I learned to sympathise with people who suffer from these disorders. There's always a story behind the scars and the visible bones. Lia had a story too, so did Cassie. There's always a reason people feel the need to starve or cut or whatever. We shouldn't shake our heads at them in disappointment, we should try to get through to them. Wintergirls really made me want to reach out and it inspired me into believing that there is hope for these people who are slowly killing themselves.
We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone.
Wow that was a long post. But anyways, have you read Wintergirls? Are you going to read it?
Is there a book that changed YOUR life? :)