Monday, March 14, 2011


Chances are, you've probably heard of Laurie Halse Anderson. She wrote the controversial, challenged every other day, excellente, important novel known as SPEAK. Now she's written another powerful book, Wintergirls.
Lia and Cassie have been best friends for a long time. But in recent years, they've been competing in the deadly battle so many girls find themselves in: Who can be the thinnest?
In the process the two girls get two different eating disorders. Lia has Anorexia (starving yourself until you die or get dragged to the clinic) and Cassie bulemia (you stuff yourself full and full and then puke it all up after a meal.
But then, Cassie dies alone in a motel room from the erosion of her stomach lining. She literally died from puking.
So Lia, dangerously thin and cutting herself, can't rely on her family, stepmom, stepsister, or anyone to help get over Cassie's death and I don't want to spoil the rest for you, but it's an intense and powerful ride. If you were to hand this book to a girl with an eating disorder as I'm writing this and have her finish it in a day (it's a fairly short book) I have no doubt she would most likely at least consider getting some help. Thsi book could save lives, I have no doubt. Ms. Anderson could very well save a generation of weight obssessed girls who are going to kill themselves to be pretty.
The book was written just as strong as it's content. There are phrases that are crossed out because Lia doesn't want to think that (it's mostly stuff like I'm So Hungry, or I Want To Eat The Whole Thing and stuff like that). You can basically see Cassie calling herself a stupid fat loser even when she's not saying it directly.
But on the subject of beauty, why so thin?
Why are we as Americans so obssessed with being thin that we drive ourselves into the ground, quite literally?
In Africa it is beautiful to be plump, seeing as so many are starving. Large women are married faster and are considered super model hot.
I think it's crazy what we do to ourselves. I was already aware of eating disorders before this and know that they can kill people if they go at it long enough. But this book really drives the point home.
Thank you Ms. Anderson. Here's to more eye openers.

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