Thursday, April 23, 2009

YA Review: "Wintergirls" by Laurie Halse Anderson (rated 4 stars)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

The phone kept ringing that night. Ring. Ring. Ring. Lia picks up the phone from underneath the pile of dirty clothes, it rang 33 times. Earlier, her stepmother told her that Cassie, her best friend, was found dead in a motel room. Dead. And alone. “33 times” the number and the word plays over and over in her head. They were supposed to do this thing together. They were each other’s support and then she was dumped and now Cassie is dead.

“Wintergirls,” like “Speak,” is another intense realistic portrayal of how girls struggle to maintain expectations that society places on them as well as they place on themselves. Lia is sick but she is not ready to acknowledge it. Her best friend is dead and she didn’t help. Anderson takes us on the downward spiral of Lia’s mental state as she tries to deal with the loss of her friend, her parents divorce and her own insecurities.

It is a work of fiction but this novel gives readers a glimpse of how people can self-destruct and how difficult it is to get out of whatever abyss someone in is mentally and physically. Definitely, worth reading but I had to temper it with some light-hearted movie watching when I finished.

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