Word Up, Nerd Up

a few words about words

review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Written By: Word Nerd - Mar• 26•13


Laurie Halse Anderson


Release Date: March 19, 2009

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss-her life-and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend’s memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all: hope.



Did you read the previous sentence? Do you understand that this review will contain spoilers? SPOILERS AHEAD!

I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend during my search to find titles with the same emotional pull as John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. (Someday I will review it, or Teen Nerd will review it, once we can discuss it without bursting into tears.)  Normally I would not read a book about eating disorders because they just make me mad.  It is such a complicated disease – there are mental components and physical components, you can have one or both, you can be morbidly obese and anorexic, you can eat 5000 calories a day and still be, technically speaking, anorexic.  Throw in bulimia, orthorexia and all the other mutations…how can you treat it accurately in 80,000 words?

I feel like this book veers dangerously close to being a “how to” manual for eating disorders.  Yes, we see horrible consequences from Cassie’s bulimia/alcohol abuse and Lia’s anorexia.  Cassie’s painful and lonely death is heartwrenching.  But, it isn’t enough to compensate for the tricks of the trade that are discussed.  Tricks, I will add, that would never work for someone who has been to inpatient care twice, but would prove useful to someone just starting down that dangerous path. The truth is, Lia likely would not have made it out of her car wreck without fractures caused by the de-mineralization in her bones.  Her hair would be dull and falling out, she would be in near constant pain from pushing her body beyond the fuel she was providing.  And the plotting, the schemes?  Clear thought is one of the first things to go in dehydration and starvation.

The best thing I can say about this book is that (YES, ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT!) in the end, Lia seems to come around and realize that she is slowly killing herself.  She will enter inpatient treatment for a third time– this time, with a changed attitude.

My verdict:  Skip it.  Perhaps others see this book as a cautionary tale; I see it as a training manual.

If you, or someone you love, is dealing with body issues and/or eating disorders, please visit here to find help.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. magnificent submit, quite informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this. You should proceed your writing. I’m positive, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  2. Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the good work.

  3. Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

  4. painters says:

    I have been browsing online more than three hours today
    for https://cheapcalgarypainting.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/calgary-painting-company-saves-you-half-price-on-house-painting/ & review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Word Up, Nerd Up,
    yet I never found any interesting article like
    yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did,
    the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  5. first solar says:

    I truly enjoy looking through on this site, it has superb content. “Don’t put too fine a point to your wit for fear it should get blunted.” by Miguel de Cervantes.

  6. Fabulous, what a blog it is! This webpage presents valuable data to us,
    keep it up.

  7. You are my inspiration , I possess few web logs and often run out from to brand.I conceive this site holds some rattling great information for everyone. “Dealing with network executives is like being nibbled to death by ducks.” by Eric Sevareid.

  8. Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog
    web site? The account aided me a appropriate deal.
    I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered shiny transparent concept

  9. Wow! Thank you! I continuously needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I include a part of your post to my blog?

  10. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such magnificent information being shared freely out there.

  11. Perfectly written content material, Really enjoyed looking through.

  12. dfs says:

    Can you tell us more about this? I’d love to find out more details.

  13. Hi this is kind of of off topic but I was
    wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with
    HTML. I’m sarting a blog soon but have no coding know-how
    sso I wanted to get advice from someone woth experience.Anny help would be enormously appreciated!

  14. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and
    wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  15. about.me says:

    Heey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely hapoy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  16. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such magnificent information being shared freely out there.

  17. Some really select content on this web site , saved to bookmarks .

  18. Ann says:

    That corrects, the trucks tires provide it significantly
    a lot more grasp than the tugboat has in the water, and the pull
    to triumph starts.

  19. It’s awesome to visit this website and reading the
    views of all friends about this paragraph, while I am
    also eager of getting experience.

  20. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “Feeling passionate about something is like getting a peak at your soul smiling back at you.” by Amanda Medinger.

  21. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with
    the layput on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

  22. amazon says:

    Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better!

    Reading through this post reminds me of my good oldd room mate!
    He always kept chatting abbout this. I will forward
    this pawge to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  23. Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and include approximately all significant infos. I’d like to peer extra posts like this.

  24. I do believe all the points you have presented for your
    post. They’re very persuasive and can surely work. Still, the posts are really
    quick for beginners. Many thanks for the post.

  25. Hey there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to
    my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.