Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I didn't start this book right off after I checked it out from the library. I had really wanted to in some ways but in others, I didn't. For one reason is the subject matter is tough which deals with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia) and through my reading I found out that there are other subjects included (cutting, ghosts) that are tough to read about in this book also. This book is an emotional investment and even though I may not want to think about subjects like these, it is real. This book was written in such a way that it made you feel, even empithetically, what Lia, the main character, was thinking. My heart was torn and breaking for her and at the same time I wanted her to make sense of all of it and find a way to overcome. It left me to wonder about how I struggle with my own irrationality but I don't always notice the tiny opportunities or people given to me that could help me along my path. They are so small and tender that it is hard to see clearly sometimes. It finally takes sheer "will" and difficult "work" to change. I have to open my eyes and regard it as merciful. It amazes me that Anderson could stir all of this thought process within me by her writing. I find that is a wonderful talent for an author. I'm glad she has shared this with the world and I look forward to reading other works of hers.
I can't say that I completely loved this book because it was not easy due to the subject matter to read but I do view that it is important. For some, it may even be helpful or at least that is my hope. I would recommend this very carefully.

I wish I had finished reading this book in time to attend my library's book group discussion on it which would have been interesting.

Check out these thoughts from the author at Amazon Videos.

288 pages, Pub: Speak (February 23, 2010), My rating: 4 stars

Memorable Quotes (spoiler alert):

"The lights flicker behind my eyes. I knew her whole world. I
knew her sleepovers and cookie sales and crushes on boybands and the time I
broke my leg riding on the back of her bike and the time I helped her paint her
room white after she painted it black without permission." pg. 95

"We sit in the middle of the cafeteria, a fish bowl crowded with minnows,
guppies, tetras, mollies, and angelfish. Sharks circle their prey.
Lesser spiny eels bump their noses against the glass, looking for the
exit. Bits of fish flakes and strings of poop dangle in the air.
Lime-green algae slicks the floor." pg. 105

"Beautiful when seen through the paper wings of out-of-season flies."
pg. 112

"The dead do walk and haunt and crawl into your bed at night. Ghosts sneak
into your head when you're not looking. Stars line up and volcanoes birth
out bits of glass that foretell the future. Poison berries make girls
stronger, but sometimes kill them. If you howl at the moon and swear on
your blood, anything you desire will be yours. Be careful what you wish
for. There's always a catch." pg. 253

"There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are
only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that
doesn't matter anymore." pg. 278

Links from other readers of Wintergirls:

Lucid Conspiracy

Call of Kairos

Helen's Book Blog


Hamilcar Barca said...

i love the excerpts, Julie. especially the imagery in the cafeteria quote.

Julie said...

Thanks, Hamilcar. I really like the imagery from that quote also.

Julie said...

Here is another review of Wintergirls you may want to check out: Review found here.

Anonymous said...

I love that book and thats very good review juie! another book by LHA I recommend is SPEAK.

Ashley said...

I loved this book, and LHA in general. I felt that this book was an incredibly powerful read, and definitely one of my best for 2010.

I like the quotes you added, but I think my favorite quote, and the one I feel is most indicative of Lia and her mental/emotional state is when she is discussing that no matter what number shows up on the scale, it's never enough, that she won't be satisfied until it says zero. I don't remember the full quote, but I do remember that she says zero in tennis is love. I finally get it.

I have the full quote included in my review of this book. If you want to check it out, you can read it HERE
but, I really enjoyed your review!