On book tour in Austin, TexasThe marketers of the global consumer culture spend obscene amounts of money every year to make people feel bad about the way they look. Lia’s struggle with both her eating disorder and her guilt is heightened when Cassie’s ghost appears to her at night. The ghost may or may not be a manifestation of Lia’s conscience, but whatever it is, it’s terrifying. I’ve heard from parents who said that the book helped them understand what their daughter was feeling for the first time. At times the book is disorienting, but this seems to align with Lia’s state of mind. "[4] Burgess further notes, "It would be rare to find a novel in mainstream adult fiction prepared to pull out the dramatic stops this far, and difficult to imagine one in recent years that was prepared to be so bold stylistically. Lia has been struggling with eating disorders for quite some time and none of the help she received has made much of a difference. The novel was published in 2009 by Viking. From the frequent amount of times Lia says she is cold, … Eating disorders have the highest fatality rate of any mental illness. Her stepmother is clueless. Wintergirls is a 2009 fiction novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. Cassie is dead – but on the night she went on her final binge, she called Lia thirty-three times. But the stress of her parents’ worry about her – which includes weekly weighing-in sessions and monitoring what she eats – starts to take a toll too, and sometimes there’s only one thing that makes Lia feel better. Hearing from readers who were struggling with eating disorders made me want to write about their battle. Lia's relationship with her step-mother, Jennifer, is also complicated. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Jezebel observes that "read without supervision or discussion [for vulnerable teens] Wintergirls could indeed be triggering. Cassie was found in a hotel room, killed by her illness, bulimia. Writing for The Guardian, Melvin Burgess notes that the novel is "an exhausting novel to read: brilliant, intoxication, full of drama, love, and like all the best books of this kind, hope. Her father is away on business. It knows exactly what to say to hurt her. Lia finds it difficult to get close to her father and step-mother because they previously brought her to a hospital to recover. Interview with the author about this book, “A brutal and poetic deconstruction of how one girl stealthily vanishes into the depths of anorexia.” Though Lia does manage to fool a few people, she secretly hates herself even more for having to resort to more and more lying. Lia’s mother is busy saving other people’s lives. Lia struggles to cope with her mental illness while balancing everything else going on in her life. Lia, after therapy for her anorexia, lives with her father and stepmother. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson is the touchstone YA novel for eating disorders. On the other hand, it’s an intensely evocative book. Do you remember how it was to feel like Lia? Yes. Wintergirls has a permanent place on my keeper shelf. A girl is dead. But if read as part of a conversation...perhaps it could make a teen's world a little less dark. But Jennifer's eight-year-old daughter and Lia's step sister, Emma, is one of the only things that keeps her feeling happy. I never developed a clinical eating disorder, but for decades I had a very confused image of myself, and I put way too much emphasis on how I looked. Lia’s mother is busy saving other people’s lives. Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans, Daughters of Jubilation by Kora Lee Corthron, The Flapper’s Scandalous Elopement by Lauri Robinson. I also liked the symbolism, from pomegranate seeds to fairy tales, especially the ones with glass coffins. This is even more dramatic in the minds of teenagers, whose bodies are changing radically and whose brains are still developing. “You’re not dead, but you’re not alive, either. Finally Lia has to confront the choices she and Cassie made, and decide whether she wants to walk out of the woods. What is your advice for authors writing very emotional books, like Speak or Wintergirls? If I had the chance to talk to a teenager who hates her body, I would say, “I understand that feeling. I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through. Lia is a high school senior with divorced but independently successful parents, a caring stepmom and a little stepsister who adores her. Lia Overbrook and Cassie Parrish were once best friends. What Would You Say to a Teenager Who Looks in the Mirror and Hates Her Body? She cares about Lia even … This complicates Lia's life even more and forces her to confront her own illness. Ms. Anderson is a consummate stylist and I loved the descriptions in the story. You’re a wintergirl, Lia-Lia, caught in between the worlds. I cried my way through every draft of that book and emerged a much healthier person for it at the end. They had each other’s backs, they shared secrets, and they made a promise sealed in blood. I didn’t find her an easy character to like, but being in her head is often fascinating and I could relate to a lot of her struggles. Because Lia's weight is so low, she ends up waking up in the hospital, finally realizing that she actually wants to live. Lia struggles to cope with her mental illness while balancing everything else going on in her life. Lia believes that if she had picked up the telephone, Cassie would still be alive. The days grow darker as the year slides into winter, and her body becomes easier to hide under sweaters. Cassie had called Lia 33 times the night of her death. Make sure you are putting healthy things in your life, like exercise and time with friends. If they can make us feel bad about our bodies by showing Photoshopped images of models who are on the brink of starvation, then they can sell us whatever they want. And the voice inside Lia’s head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. Wintergirls (2009) is a fiction novel by the American author Laurie Halse Anderson. Wintergirls: The Quiz This quiz is based on the 2009 young adult novel Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Jennifer is Lia's stepmom. But for those people who still only coping with confusion about their body image, it is very helpful to have people who will listen to the things they are struggling with. I remember the self-hatred and the terrible thoughts. [1] In 2009, the novel received the Kirkus Reviews best YA book. It tells the story of Lia, an anorexic cutter whose former best friend dies from her own ED. It’s a terrible one, isn’t it?” and then I would ask her about what makes her joyful and what she is afraid of. "[6] Common Sense Media rated the novel five stars, noting that the novel's writing style is innovative and that Lia's references to fairy tale imagery makes it appealing to young adult female readers. When Lia thinks of Cassie being dead : Cassie’s in the morgue. If she keeps on going this way – thin, thinner, thinnest – maybe she’ll disappear altogether. Lia is 18 years old and a wintergirl. I had some experience with the feelings, but I knew I needed to learn more. And I’ve heard from countless readers who said the book finally helped them understand that anorexia is not cool and starving is not beautiful – readers who have decided never to become wintergirls. Soon, Cassie's ghost starts haunting Lia. Lia's realization that she wants to live is her own spring that she needed to melt away the winter she felt was raging on inside of her. —School Library Journal, February 2008, Starred Review ⭐️. For most of the novel, she weighs less than 100 pounds. The descriptions are so lyrical and offbeat that it’s not even like reading poetry – it’s more like poetry washing over you. Lia was going through a rough time in her life and like winter, this time felt daunting and seemingly never ending, making Lia just want to give up and give in to her disorder. She feels trapped between life and death, torn between the desire to eat and the power she … How Did You Study/Research Eating Disorders? The novel was published in 2009 by Viking. She is anorexic* and she is never too cold or too empty enought to eat. Eating disorders are mental illnesses that need to be taken seriously and treated by professionals. In addition to wrestling with an eating disorder, she struggles to come to terms with grief and loss of her friendship. This makes Lia feel guilty for not picking up the phone that night and not being there for Cassie when she needed it most. Home; Wintergals Blog ; Videos ; Pictures; Characters; Vocabulary ; Questions For Discussion ; Lia. Plot Summary . On the other hand, it’s an intensely evocative book. I’ve heard from teen readers who handed the book to their mother and asked to be taken to a doctor because the book helped them understand how dangerous eating disorders are. Wintergirls can be an unnerving read, especially the parts where Lia starts cutting herself. Their friendship had disintegrated by then, though, partly because of the pressure from their parents, so Lia didn’t pick up. But all winters eventually end, and spring takes over. [2] Wintergirls also won the 2010 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award. Eat.” about two hundred times in a row), but on the whole, it’s unforgettable. And the voice inside Lia’s head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. The story focuses on a girl, Lia Overbrook, who suffers from anorexia and self harm. "[8], "Tabs like seeds growing & a poem to make you sing", "Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – review", "Reviews of 'A Comrade Lost and Found' and 'Wintergirls, "Wintergirls: Possibly Triggering, Definitely Thought-Provoking", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wintergirls&oldid=973880203, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 August 2020, at 19:34.

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