A Star for a Sub-Zero Day

THIS is nice way to get all toasty warm on the inside: second review for WINTERGIRLS, second star. Thank-you School Library Journal!!!

From SLJ February 2009: ANDERSON, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls. 288p. Viking. Mar. 2009. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-670-01110-0. LC number unavailable.

Gr 8 Up–The intensity of emotion and vivid language here are more reminiscent of Anderson’s Speak (Farrar, 1999) than any of her other works. Lia and Cassie had been best friends since elementary school, and each developed her own style of eating disorder that leads to disaster. Now 18, they are no longer friends. Despite their estrangement, Cassie calls Lia 33 times on the night of her death, and Lia never answers. As events play out, Lia’s guilt, her need to be thin, and her fight for acceptance unravel in an almost poetic stream of consciousness in this startlingly crisp and pitch-perfect first-person narrative. The text is rich with words still legible but crossed out, the judicious use of italics, and tiny font-size refrains reflecting her distorted internal logic. All of the usual answers of specialized treatment centers, therapy, and monitoring of weight and food fail to prevail while Lia’s cleverness holds sway. What happens to her in the end is much less the point than traveling with her on her agonizing journey of inexplicable pain and her attempt to make some sense of her life.

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15 Replies to “A Star for a Sub-Zero Day”

  1. Phshaw. I could’ve told them that.

    They left out a description of the part that was so scary, so truly creepy, I wanted to crawl under seat 27D of my flight to San Antonio.

  2. Congrats!

    *makes sure Wintergirls is on list of things to read once her life is released from the jaws of homework and papers* I, likewise, can’t wait to read it.

  3. Congrats on the Star!

    The novelist with sophmore-book-syndrome wants to know: do you get tired of people comparing your other books to SPEAK?

  4. How did I miss this?

    I can’t believe I somehow totally missed the fact that you had a new book! You are way popular at our library….so popular I have to keep replacing your books b/c….ahem….they keep getting stolen (-:) My teens will be thrilled when I get this!

  5. Nice. One more star, and you’ll be able to make one of the lesser constellations. I hope you get a 4th. Then you can form something cool, like Cassiopeia. It looks like you’re on a roll.

  6. Congratulations. Laurie! Sounds like a segment from my life long ago – only I made it through.

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