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Wintergirls [Paperback]

Laurie Halse Anderson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Jan 2011
Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going in this way - thin, thinner; thinnest - maybe she'll disappear altogether.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books; 1 edition (3 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407117483
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407117485
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous American Library Association and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also earned a spot on the Carnegie Medal Short List.

Laurie received the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by the Young Adult Library Services Association division of the American Library Association for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."

Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York State, an hour south of the Canadian border, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. Right now she's finishing up her next YA novel and researching Ashes, which will conclude the adventure of Isabel and Curzon that readers enjoyed in her historical novels Chains and Forge.

You'll find loads more information about Laurie and her books on her website: You can follow her adventures on Twitter,, on Facebook,, and on her blog,

Product Description

About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Speak, as well as Catalyst, Prom, and Twisted. She is the recipient of the prestigious ALAN Award (2008), which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of adolescent literature. Ms. Anderson lives in northern New York State with her husband. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 19 Mar 2009
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Chilling. Even many days after reading WINTERGIRLS, I still shiver when I think about this book.

Lia has struggled with an eating disorder before. Her parents think that she is getting better, but she is just fooling everyone. When Cassie, who used to be her best friend, dies, Lia spirals out of control again.

She eats less and less and begins seeing Cassie's ghost everywhere.

WINTERGIRLS explores the world of eating disorders with vivid, horrifying detail.

Even though this book was really creepy, it was also spectacular. I had never understood how or why some people began to have eating disorders, and this book gave a spectacular insight into their state of mind.

Reviewed by: Emily Ann
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Lia is a recovering anorexic who lives with her father, step mother and step sister. But Lia has no interest in recovering. She worked too hard to be this thin and too hard in fooling her family into believing that she's getting better. Her dream is to weigh 95 pounds and she's determined to achieve it.

One night her former best friend Cassie phones her 33 times. Cassie and Lia haven't spoken in over a year - not since Cassie blamed her for her own bulimia. Angry and resentful, Lia refuses to call Cassie back and the next day, discovers that Cassie died alone in a motel room. As Lia tries to come to terms with what happened to Cassie, she finds herself becoming more and more a wintergirl - someone who is only half in this world and half in the world of the dead. Then Cassie starts to appear to her in visions, and she's determined to bring Lia to her side ...

Anderson's novel is a searingly powerful and unflinching look at anorexia. It's not an easy read - not least because Lia also self-harms and the scenes that show her cutting herself are particularly difficult to read. Anderson brings out Lia's need for control, the dual nature of her disease - how she wants to eat and yet is scared and determined not to. There's no judgment here - Anderson is too wise to point to anorexia as having one root cause. However she does show the contributing factors - Lia's low self-esteem, the support offered by pro-anorexia internet communities, the breakdown of her parents' marriage and the criticism she felt she got from her very successful mother. At the heart of it is confusion - Lia struggles to work out who she is and can't acknowledge the truths screaming within her.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wintergirls 8 Feb 2011
I loved this book so much! I don't know how to explain it, but Wintergirls is somehow different from most E.D. books out there. It's true, blunt, realistic with a thick plot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I wasn't sick. I was strong..." A MUST READ 4 May 2011
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
From a personal perspective, this is a book I've wanted to read for a very long time. As someone whose close friend has been battling anorexia for more than ten years, I was keen to see if this book would be accurate in its portrayal of the eating disorder and its effects on not only the sufferer, but also on the people around them. Whilst this is a `young adult' book, I would not hesitate in saying that this is a book that takes an unapologetic, no holds barred approach in showing the true pain that this illness can inflict, and as a consequence is a must-read for both teens and adults alike.

Eighteen-year-old Lia is apparently recovering from anorexia. `Apparently' as from the outset it appears she is willing to get better- only she's fooling herself and everyone around her- including her family and her doctors. Lia's only goal in life is to be thin- the less she weighs, the more in control she feels.

After Lia's former best friend is found dead, alone in a motel room, Lia is haunted by the turn of events and it only affects her behaviour more. Cassie had phoned Lia 33 times on the night before she died; only Lia never answered the phone. In order to stay strong however, Lia knows that she needs to keep control of her life- but the only way she can do that is to be as thin as possible...

I cannot stress how accurate this book was in portraying the traits of anorexics, from the tricks they use to suggest they have eaten meals (crumbs on plates, sauce around mouths etc), to the exercise during the night, to the habit of trying to fool the scales into believing they weigh more than they do and the constant excuses they make to try and avoid eating- though like Lia they try to be around food to merely punish themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading it again. 17 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Already had read the book from the library but it was so good I had to buy it to read it again. Unlike most books about eating disorders which do an account on there life's with an eating disorder this is actually a story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 17 Feb 2013
By Holly
This book is the best I have found about anorexia. Anderson is able to get into the mind of an anorexic, and I have no idea how she does it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am thawing 24 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am fast becoming a huge fan of Laurie Halse Anderson. I started off reading Speak and had several books of hers
on my wish list before deciding to read wintergirls next. I loved it. I have never had an eating disorder, but as
a teenager remember going through that faze where I cut meals sometimes if I was feeling a bit fat or if someone
had said something negative. I can only be greatful that my faze didn't turn into something much worse because
reading this shows just how awful it is for someone suffereing with an eating disorder and how awful it also is for
their family and the people who love them. It's gritty and doesn't for one second glamorize the reality of it.

This author has an ability to really get inside of her characters and write about things that most people would never
want to write about. She raises the issue and I can imagine that her books have really helped people. I am next going
to read Catalyst by the same author when I have read my already far too large pile of books to be read! Definitely one
I'd recommend, not to be missed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous insight into the minds of two girls suffering from ...
Tremendous insight into the minds of two girls suffering from eating disorders. Not exactly sure about the ending, but that does no matter. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Fliss
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
one of the best books i have read on EDs
Published 14 days ago by Ella
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Loved it, so addictive I couldn't put it down. It's quite Sad but gripping story that I totally recommended to anyone.
Published 15 days ago by KJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a nice book but a powerful one
Not a nice book but a powerful one. On the surface it is about eating disorders but really it is about so much more; friendships gone wrong, guilt, remorse, and coming to terms... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hullabaloo22
4.0 out of 5 stars Very disturbing
I found this book very well written, however I was disturbed to read about what the illness makes you think about your self and how you see your self, it is horrid. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential
This is a brilliantly written, delicately researched and thoughtful rendering of two girls gripped by a deadly illness. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Megan Reads Books!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Good read, worth the money paid. Tackles the problems with eating disorders and is very interesting to read, would recommend
Published 2 months ago by jas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A story of hopes and wishes and strength.
Published 2 months ago by zheng lu
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
my daughter really enjoyed this book....recommended! I bought her this as a gift for excellent results in her exams. she was well pleased.
Published 3 months ago by michele
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperately sad, hardgoing but very important read
This was a very hard book to read in places and not for the fainthearted. Shining a light on the secretive world of eating disorders, Anderson challenges the various myths and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bang2write
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