The so called wintergirls Lia and Cassie have been best friends since they were young. Now at age 18 they are no longer friends, driven apart by their own eating disorders. Lia is anorexic and down to a scary 98 pounds. Cassie sees Lia getting thinner by the day and gets herself deeper into trouble with her bulimia. After a nine-month estrangement Cassie finally hits rock bottom and calls Lia for help but Lia doesn’t pick up the phone and her friend dies all alone in a run down motel.
Now racked with guilt Lia is haunted by images of Cassie everywhere she goes. Cassie’s ghost is taunting her endlessly about her weight. On top of that Lia is having trouble dealing with her divorced parents. Her mother is controlling and her father doesn’t seem to care but as much as they each try to help, Lia is sliding further into trouble with her lies. Will everyone realize the depth of her sickness before she does permanent damage to both herself and her little sister?
Wintergirls was a very emotional read. It’s shockingly realistic and Anderson makes it easy to visualize what might go through the minds of those suffering from eating disorders. It made me take a good look at how easily our society’s expectations might make a situation with a troubled teen worse.
I listened to this one as opposed to reading it but from snippets and excerpts I’ve seen online Anderson had a really unique writing style with Wintergirls that doesn’t fully come across in the audio. Here’s a link from Amazon about it. In the print version she uses strike outs, different fonts and italics to get a clearer picture of Lia’s state of mind. The most striking thing that did come across in audio is Lia’s calorie counting. Every time she mentions food she whispers how many calories that particular food is and each whisper gave me chills.
I’ve never had anyone close to me facing any of the issues in the book so I don’t know if this would hurt or help a struggling eater but I highly recommend it for YA readers.