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Anderson, Laurie Halse.
WINTERGIRLS
New York : Viking, 2009
IL YA
ISBN 067001110X

(4 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Lia and Cassie have been best friends for a long time.  And now Cassie is gone.  She was found dead and alone in a motel room.  After leaving Lia 33 messages that Lia ignored.  Is there something that Lia could have done to save her friend?  Lia doesn't even recognize the self-destructive tendencies in her own life.  The anorexia, the cutting, the low self image.  Even after lots of therapy and threats from her parents, Lia is still obsessed with her weight. She plays the game of getting better but delights in seeing the numbers on the scale go down everyday.  101.30, 97.00, 89.00 ...

Booktalk #2

Wintergirls is a tragedy, a story of two teenaged girls with eating disorders.  One, Cassie, has been bulimic since she was 11; the other, Lia, is anorexic.  Lia and Cassie were best friends who shared the secrets of how they stayed so skinny, until the secrets land them in a car accident.  Lia, being malnourished, fainted while behind the wheel and landed in a rehab center not once, but twice.  Cassie kept her distance, but then one night, after having not spoken to Lia for six months, Cassie calls her 33 times.  The next morning, Cassie is dead, found alone in a sketchy motel room.

Cassieís death "triggers" Lia, who begins to spiral out of control and into the land of goals (99 pounds, 95 pounds, 90 pounds), cutting, and depression.  Counting every calorie that enters her body (apple = 82, 2 brussels sprouts = 35) and running them off during the night on a stair stepper in her basement, Lia is in the "dangerzone" quickly enough.  But eating 500-600 calories a day and burning 800-900 calories at night, having knees that are wider than her thighs, and carving designs onto her skin with a razor blade do not help Lia rid herself of Cassie's ghost.

Only when she finds out the truth about Cassie's death does Lia realize the decision to live or die is hers alone to make.  (Book Talk Author: Kristin Grabarek Roper, The Colorado Blue Spruce Award nominee 2012)

Booktalk #3

Lia has been hospitalized twice for anorexia and cutting herself.  Any progress she has made toward normalcy is destroyed when her ex-best-friend Cassie dies alone in a hotel room of a burst esophagus, which was the result of violent bulimia.  Lia is devastated by the 33 messages Cassie left on her phone; none of which Lia listened to until it was too late.  As Lia spirals into another period of self-destruction, her busy, divorced parents barely notice. Liaís love for her stepsister is the only thing giving her the will to fight her self-destructive urges.  The stream-of-consciousness, first-person narration illustrates the anorexic mentality. Still visible crossed out words and phrases show the disconnect between Liaís anorexic voice and healthy reason. As Lia struggles to fight her disease, Cassie continually haunts her, enticing her to join her in the land of the wintergirls.  (Book Talk Author: Sharon Nehls, The Colorado Blue Spruce Award nominee 2012)
 

Booktalk #4

Anderson paints a striking picture of eating disorders in this beautifully written story that borders on poetry. Leah is starving, on purpose. She has so much pain that she doesnít know how to cope. Her best friend has just died and now Leah is consumed with finding out what happened. As she explores more into Cassieís death, she finds herself falling deeper into her own head, eating less and seeing ghosts. It seems like her parents donít notice her or that she is wasting away. But Leah canít blame them as she keeps mostly to herself. Leah has to decide for herself if she is ready to get healthy once and for all. Gritty, realistic and a poetic journey into the world of eating disorders.  (Book Talk Author: Candace Skoff, The Colorado Blue Spruce Award nominee 2012)

SUBJECTS:     Anorexia nervosa -- Fiction.
                        Death -- Fiction.

 
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