Another Review at MyShelf.Com


by Laurie Halse Anderson


Lia is a wintergirl; her own self-destructive anorexia leaves her with too little body fat to keep her out of the deep freeze. On top of that, she's being haunted by her ex-best friend, another winter girl who managed to purge herself to a lonely death in her fight with food. Lia struggles to hide her slide toward absolute zero, the only weight she'll finally accept for herself. But at the bottom is death, joining her friend—is that what Lia really wants?

Lia's struggle to decide between life and addiction drives this powerful and haunting novel. As starvation twists Lia's mind as well as her body, she brings forth something sharply, painfully poetic in her writhing first-person narration. The book can't help but affect the reader—sometimes you want to yell at Lia for what she's doing to herself and her family, and sometimes you want to hug her and help her stand. Throughout all of it, it felt bluntly real, softened only by the blurring between reality and delirium in Lia's own head. In the end, we don't get set explanation for why girls begin to war against their own bodies, but we at least feel we're beginning to ask the right questions.

The Book

March 2009
Hardcover, reviewed as ARC
978-0670011100 / 067001110X
Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
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The Reviewer

Jan Fields
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Jan Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
© 2009