WintergirlsTitle: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
ISBN: 9780670011100
Pages: 278 pages
Publisher/Date: Viking, c2009.

So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.
She tells me in four sentences. No, five.
I can’t let me hear this, but it’s too late. The facts sneak in and stab me. When she gets to the worst part
…body found in a motel room, alone…
…my walls go up and my doors lock. I nod like I’m listening, like we’re communicating, and she never knows the difference.
It’s not nice when girls die. (1)

This is high school senior Lia’s reaction to the news that her ex-best friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room in Centerville, New Hampshire. They were inseperable ever since Cassie moved into the neighborhood, until several months ago. They shared everything with each other, including Cassie’s bullemia and Lia’s anorexia and self-mutilation. Lia, who’s now living with her father and stepmother after two hospital stays, backpedals while trying to deal with the grief of not answering her phone when Cassie called her for help.

Laurie Halse Anderson has written a gripping tale delving into the world of eating disorders and depression with Wintergirls. I gobbled it up (pardon the pun) in less than 23 hours. It’s rivetting, haunting, and depressing. When the main character’s narration stops, and the next two page spread is left blank, my heart stopped. I don’t normally read depressing books, and I certainly don’t usually recommend them, but this book is definitely a must-read. Fans of Speak will be jumping for it. Anderson has cornered the market on troubled youth fiction, and rightly so, as I don’t think anyone can do it better. Lia is a well developed character that readers will be invested in for years.