Monday, February 9, 2009

Wintergirls-- Laurie Halse Anderson

I have always loved it when poets use seasons as a way to describe an emotion or a feeling... one of my favorite examples, historically, is "In the Springtime of his Voodoo" (Tori Amos). When I first heard that Laurie Halse Anderson was writing a book called Wintergirls, I was picturing girls in fluffy coats and woolly hats frolicking in the snow not unlike Let it Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson. And boy was I wrong.

Wintergirls isn't about snowbunnies. It's about girls who are trapped in the winter of their lives. They are encased in giant bricks of ice that just won't thaw. Wintergirls are tenaciously weak, stubborn starving survivors. Wintergirls are poets, obsessors, emotional/less. Wintergirls are anorexics, bulimics, and addicts.

Lia is a wintergirl. She is also anorexic, though I don't remember her ever referring to herself in that way. When her fellow wintergirl, her recently former BFF Cassie dies in a grotesquely tragic way, Lia tumbles from her precarious point of stability and falls deeply into the throws of her eating disorder. Laurie Halse Anderson gets it right; she manages to communicate both the physical and emotional causes and repercussions of a severe eating disorder while maintaining a very believable first person narrative. She uses such lyrical, poetic language, and while sometimes it's hard to tell what is actual fact and what's a product of Lia's jumbled brain, the smudging of the lines of reality add to the overall tone and atmosphere of the book.

Can you tell I loved it?

I would recommend this book for girls who want to read about eating disorders, death of a friend, and relationships with other teens in general. I would also pass this on to teens who like verse-novels, even though this isn't one.

This book will be published in March of 2009.

**UPDATE** LHA just posted a link to this review on her blog!! I am freaking out with joy over here!


deltay said...

Haha, that's awesome - I actually got here from the link on her blog ;)

I really like the analogies you used in your review as well, it's very quirky and fun :)

Ahh, Wintergirls seems like a wonderful read, I'm really looking forward to it!

Jenny Wood said...

Great review and how cool to get the link.
I can't wait to read the book!

Ms. Yingling said...

Anderson covers some big social issues in informative yet emotionaly gripping ways. I am looking forward to reading this one. And congrats! It's always interesting to connect with authors!

♥nervosa♥ said...

Best fictional eating disorder book I have ever read! (and I've read a LOT of them) Anderson is an amazing and creative writer. You don't come across her writing style very often.
This book is quoted ALL the time in the ED community <3