Monday, January 5, 2015

What Happens When Food's the Enemy

In Wintergirls, Laurie Halse Anderson weaves a terrible and compelling tale of two girls suffering from eating disorders.

I love Laurie Halse Anderson. I remember reading Speak when I was in like 8th or 9th grade and feeling completely overwhelmed. Anderson isn't afraid to tackle difficult subjects. In fact, I think a lot of people might call it her specialty. I haven't read one of her books in years. I'm not sure how that happened. I still have a few more books of hers to read. In fact, I haven't read her newest release yet. But when I was checking out the ebook availability from my library and saw this one, I downloaded it immediately. It was so good. Anderson's writing style is phenomenal, as always. Her prose is so fluid and beautiful. 

Lia and Cassie were best friends. Up until a few months ago. Now Cassie is dead. Lia's been in treatment two times for anorexia. But this time she won't get caught. This time she'll maintain control.

I've known so many girls and women who've struggled with eating disorders. I've struggled with my weight and my body image since middle school, at least. Probably earlier. Being thin is constantly romanticized in our society. I might go so far as to say it's demanded. Anderson tries to work against that while still not isolating the people who do have eating disorders. Because of that, this book is so necessary to help understand people with eating disorders. It's all about control. 

I would recommend this book to people who like books about tough subjects. I totally cried. I think you have to be in the right state of mind to read this book, but if your heart is open, you can take a lot from it.

Favorite Quotes: I knew how much it hurt to be the daughter of people who can't see you, not even if you are standing in front of them stomping your feet.

For one moment we are not failed tests and broken condoms and cheating on essays; we are crayons and lunch boxes and swinging so high our sneakers punch holes in the clouds. For one breath everything feels better. 

There is no safer. There's not even safe, never has been.

We held hands when we walked down the gingerbread path into the forest, blood dripping from our fingers. We danced with witches and kissed monsters. We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone.

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