5 stars · fiction · young adult

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson


Author: Laurie Halse Anderson [also wrote Twisted]

Pages [hardcover]: 2

memorable quote:
Who wants to recover? It took me years to get that tiny. I wasn’t sick; I was strong.


“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

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 step-mother 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.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl’s chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.


I really, really love everything Laurie Halse Anderson writes. I’ve read around four of her books so far, and I’m working on getting myself the rest. Whatever she decides to tackle-be it a serious issue like this, or a happier tale, she certainly brings everything she has. With great characterization, a fantastic and lyrical writing style, and a heart-wrenching story to tell, Wintergirls is one of my favorite books.

I love the writing here. Full of imagery, it feels like it should be written in verse instead. Lia often sees things in a way different from everyone else; because that’s the way she thinks, or because of her disease. I think the constant pressure and anxiety of something like anorexia was captured wonderfully in the main character. The supporting ones were great in their own ways as well, even the ones that only haunted Lia in her memories.

While at times it felt like I could get lost in Lia’s internal monologues and the story fell away from me, they were still worthwhile and served a purpose. I think it’s important to be able to feel for the characters of a story, which Anderson certainly makes you do, and to try to imagine yourself in their shoes.

Because of its serious topics, Wintergirls isn’t for everyone. I think it’s important for anyone who can to pick up a copy . . . even if they aren’t a teenage girl. There’s a lot that can be learned from novels like this.

INSIGHTFUL. 5/5 stars

I read this book a while ago, and reread it now because someone requested I review it. Thanks, Sky!

6 thoughts on “Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

  1. Have you read “Catalyst”, also by LHA? It’s not as popular as “Speak” and “Wintergirls”, but it’s my favorite of her works. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of WG’s content–having an eating disorder myself, I felt parts of the book were a bit unrepresentative–but I always enjoy her style.


    1. I’m sorry to hear that! But I have read Catalyst, and loved it! . . . And it was also so long ago that I can’t quite remember why. That’s another one I’ve been needing to reread.


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