Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I got this (audio)book from the library, I had no idea what it was about. I thought it was a paranormal book for some reason--the title, or cover pic, or maybe I read part of the description and thought it said something about invisible girls and ghosts. If I'd known what it was about, I don't think I would have read it, so I'm really glad I didn't know, because I would have missed an amazing book.
Of course I figured out about five minutes in that it was actually a book about a girl with an eating disorder. I had a few reservations, but I liked the audio narrator, so I stuck with it. Anderson is an amazing writer. I love her style, her poetic prose, and her unique twists.
As far as accuracy, the book was pretty much spot-on as far as capturing the helpless feeling of it. I can't say I agreed with everything, but for the most part, I found it accurate and moving. When she finds out what happened to her friend, I wanted to barf tears. It was a very, very sad book, so if you don't like sad books or can't put yourself in the shoes of someone with problems you've never experienced, this book probably isn't for you. I don't have a problem with those things, plus I could relate to Lia and her struggles to find peace, so I loved the book.
I also love how Anderson writes books that are not romance novels. She usually has a hopeful ending, but some really dark things happen in her books. I like how she doesn't sugar coat issues. I also loved the character of Eli in this book, although he never felt...real. I kept wondering if Lia imagined him. Something about him seemed too clueless, too weird, too perceptive. But I LOVED what she did with his character at the end--it was exactly right, and I didn't see it coming. I love when authors surprise me, and especially when the surprise makes me say 'Yes! That's exactly what that guy would do!' Too often I find books where it seems the author is self-indulgent and gives characters what they think the character deserves or what readers want to see. I love finding a book where I feel the author did something completely honest with a character.
Overall, this was a wonderful, moving, honest book that I would highly recommend to teenagers.
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