Lia lives with her divorced dad and her step-mom and step-sister. She is an anorexic who hides the severity of her disease from everyone except her ex-best friend Cassie. Lia does not starve to be model-thin but to have some part of her life that she can control. Not eating is the only thing she thinks she’s good at, and to be the thinnest one in the room gives her a feeling of pride and the motivation to continue not to eat. Lia’s life twists as she is haunted by the ghost of Cassie, who recently died. Lia battles Cassie in her mind and is determined not to let Cassie be right. But she is not sure if she can defeat Cassie.
Laurie Anderson does an excellent job of showing the conflicts between the Lia and the other characters as well as the conflicts within Lia. One of the themes in this story is definitely about finding out who you really are and what you really value. I think Lia discovers both of these things, but it’s a long struggle with no easy answers.
I couldn’t put this book down. I finished it in less than four days. The way Anderson developed the character of Lia and the conflict within her was strong, as she wrote everything that was going through Lia’s head. The dialogue was realistic, too; Anderson used the language that real teens use today. The narrative voice was in first person so I could really get inside Lia’s head. I got everything that was going on from her point of view—scary, but essential.
Laurie Halse Anderson is a great author who has written many books for teens, including the well-known Speak. I would recommend this novel to anyone who read and liked Speak. I loved Wintergirls and I rated it a ten out of ten.
Publisher: Viking Juvenile, 288 pages
Tags: Laurie Halse Anderson