You loved Speak–and Wintergirls is by the same author!

Ms. W

by Laurie Halse Anderson

On Saturday night Lia ignores thirty-three phone calls from her ex-best friend Cassie. On Monday morning Lia learns that Cassie has been found dead in a motel room. Lia has always been skilled at hiding her emotions, and her ongoing struggle with anorexia has taught her how to keep secrets—she sews quarters into her bathrobe to trick the bathroom scale and simulates eating by smearing ketchup on her mouth and making a mess in the microwave. But hiding her guilt over Cassie’s death will push her to the edge—and visions of Cassie’s ghost, beckoning Lia to join her, might push her over it.

JLG Review: “It’s not nice when girls die.” So opens Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, a powerful exploration of the distressing world of teen eating disorders. Almost as soon as Lia learns about the death of her former best friend, she becomes haunted by her memories of Cassie. Convinced that she is complicit in Cassie’s death, Lia quickly descends into a familiar pattern of self-destruction. Anderson takes her readers along on Lia’s journey, using a stream-of-consciousness narrative that allows them to understand first-hand Lia’s thoughts and experiences.

This book contains no easy answers. Instead, Anderson precisely details the physical and emotional effects of Lia’s disease. The metaphors she uses are intense, violent images that bring Lia’s inner demons to life.

NOTE: COHS Titans–The above review is excerpted from the Junior Library Guild. (Meaning that I didn’t write it and don’t want to take credit from something I didn’t do!) We belong to the Junior Library Guild and purchase four books from them each month, so we have access to these reviews. I’m going to start posting excerpts from the reviews in the hope that you will see what great books we get from JLG–and come check them out! If you want to read the whole review, ask your English teacher. I have made copies for him or her to post in the classroom.


About Victoria Waddle

I'm a high school librarian, formerly an English teacher. I love to read and my mission is to connect people with the right books. To that end, I read widely--from the hi-lo for reluctant high school readers to the literary adult novel for the bibliophile.
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