by Laurie Halse Anderson
Lia is a wintergirl. Her best friend Cassie just died of bulimia, and now Lia is planning to join her. Anorexia is slowly eating her away, while her mother Dr. Marrigan is always busy, her dad is away on a business trip, and her stepmother is too clueless to even notice. Now Cassie's ghost is everywhere, along with the phrases: thin/thinner/thinnest, lose more/weigh less, and marshmallow/bitch/fatty/stupid girl. Now all Lia wants is to lose the fat that she believes is suffocating her thighs, her arms, her stomach. Maybe then she will truly disappear.
To be honest, this book scared the H___ out of me. The way Lia knew the calories of every food item she picked up was truly horrifying. And the way her thoughts would be crossed out and replaced was really freaky. In fact, once, when it got so intense I just couldn't take it, I got up and ate an entire bag of chips just because I didn't want to be that skinny. The way this book was written was amazing. The feelings you experience while reading are scary to a psychological point I never even imagined. Even now, reflecting on it, my stomach is curling in on itself. Once you pick up this book, you cannot put it down until you are absolutely done with it. It reaches out with thin, skeletal, blue veined, manicured hands to pull you in and keep you there until you have read it cover to cover. The characters are so well described that you begin to feel their pain, their worries, and their confusion with a clarity I doubt even they themselves have yet to reach. The sense of awe that you experience upon finishing this novel never lessens. It may be shoved to the back of your mind after a while, but it is always there. There will always be an awareness to what you eat, you might even begin to see ghosts in a different light. The lines and phrases that popped up everywhere, such as Cassie's dying words or the names Lia has been called was a touch of genius. I think it was those simple sentences that scared me more then anything else, although the entire book sent shivers down my spine.
The cover was awesome. No complaints. The Ice and frost obscuring that expressionless face was absolutely perfect.
Clare Schuett is 13 and lives in Sebastopol California. She is a lover of books and a voracious reader. She reviews YA books, prior to their publication, for the American Library Association. We have the privilege of posting her reviews on our blog.
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