"Tell us your secret," the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
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 this way - thin, thinner, thinnest - maybe she'll disappear altogether.
In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrical book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl's chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.
©2009 Laurie Halse Anderson; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Laurie Halse Anderson is a phenomenal story teller. I read her book Speak in 1 day, one of her best. This story was intriguing, disturbing, and heartwarming.
The one thing I didn't like is how they audibly handled what I assume are cross outs in the written from of the book. There are beeps and odd volume adjustments. I think I'd rather hear a vocal change rather than an "editing" change. I think Jeannie Stith could have acted the "cross outs" without the annoying beeps. I personally don't like that directorial? choice. I'm curious to see how other audio productions handle that challenge
Well written book. Definitely enjoyed it. My concern is the message it sends to others- really shames bulimics and almost romanticizes anorexia, or at least makes it seem like the "better" disease, that people who have it are more love able, angelic, etc... Fact is more people have bulimia than anorexia.
Beware - I had to listen to from beginning to end.
If you have read L H A, you know the power of this writer and her attention to honest detail. Wintergirls will not disappoint.
The beeps were annoying as heck and crossed out sections
find a different way to represent that besides beeps
used something else or a different voice to represent those weird sections
no because she got over her disorder
I found Laurie Halse Anderson when studying to become an English teacher and taking my first class called Young Adult literature. Previous to this my idea of YA was Sweet Valley High. I didn't even know this was a genre and Anderson, I believe, was a pioneer in making it what it is today. Speak was the novel assigned and I had never read anything like it. I was 21 and close enough to my high school graduation to remember exactly what it felt like, and often still felt like, to be a young adult girl and all that meant. Anderson's voice was spot on in Speak and she once again has captured the pain of adolescence in Wintergirls. As a mother now, I read this story through that lens and it shook me. Cassie or Leah could be my daughter. They could be one of my students. This novel was incredibly disturbing in the most important way. Thank you Laurie for your voice and the effort you take to conduct research on order to bring authenticity to your characters, especially in novels such as Wintergirls which tackles such difficult topics that plague so many of your teenage readers. I highly recommend the audible version of this novel which includes a Q & A with Laurie at the end and her reading a poem she wrote to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Speak. It is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
This is a novel which very effectively communicates what a teen with an eating disorder goes through. You share her pains and struggles and understand her relationships. She speaks directly to the audience. You get to feel the complex nature of her emotions and root for her as she struggles between life and death. You care about her and that's what ultimately makes any novel worth reading.
It's a bit young also drawn out it would do best with an audience that can relate
Maybe with a big more speed
Making the world better one review at a time.
At the beginning of this audiobook, I wondered if something was wrong with the recording. I asked myself, “Why are the chapters formatted this way?” I quickly realized they were formatted like numbers on a scale, and this was an appropriate choice for a book about a teenage girl with an eating disorder.
“Just eat!” her loved ones demand.
But for Lia, it isn’t that simple. She is broken, and no one seems skilled enough to put her pieces back together. Her mother, a surgeon, treats her like a case study. Her father, newly married, is too busy. And her best friend Cassie, who also struggles with an eating disorder, has just been found dead. The most helpful person in the story seems to be Elijah, a young drifter who works at the hotel where Cassie died. Lia tells herself to stay strong by staying empty. Her weight keeps dropping.
In the end it is Elijah who most effectively pushes Lia toward life.
Author Laurie Halse Anderson writes about an eating disorder with the intimacy of someone who has experienced one. After a little while you realize that there are two ways the story could go. Lia could get better. Or she could die.
Narrator Jeannie Stith brings Lia, in all of her brokenness, to life. Her voice conveys every feeling that Lia experiences – guilt, sadness, anger, loss, hunger, hunger, hunger. And then,
in the end, hope.
“Wintergirls” is a stunning piece of young adult fiction. It is raw and real. It isn’t pretty. It is, in fact, rather ugly. And painful. But if you’ve ever loved someone with an eating disorder, or someone with a touch of madness, you should listen to this book. It will open up your heart even while it is breaking it.
"Good, but style and audio issues"
This book provides a good description of the anorexic / bulimic experience. I have read other reviews which state that it is inaccurate on this front, but there is no "one" experience of any illness - every individual's experience is different and Lia's experience is certainly not inaccurate. I don't think it either glamorizes eating disorders or moralizes on the issue, and is responsible about showing consequences.
If you are reading for an insight into what it's like for these girls, then this book will do the trick. But if you are suffering from an eating disorder, or ED thinking and emotional patterns, this book will not help and may act as a trigger.
Personally, I found the style irritatingly over-written and I probably wouldn't read another Laurie Anderson book. Her writing style is chock-full of so many mixed metaphors and similes (sometimes several in the same sentence) that I think it gets in the way of the story. It draws attention to the writing, and distances you from the characters. Does anybody (let alone a teenager) truly think like this?
I found the ending wrapped up too quickly, and not entirely plausibly.
My main issues were with the audio-recording, however. The reader is good, but for some reason, certain phrases/memories are recorded with a muffled voice. Probably in the print version, these phrases are in italics or something, but the audio technique is just annoying. You find yourself reaching for your iPod to check your headphones before realizing that it's that audio effect again. In the meantime, you've been yanked out of the story and lost a few lines.
Also, and I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a sound effect or if it's just some recording noise that hasn't been scrubbed from the final version, but there's an occasional "booooop" tone every so often, playing over the narration. If it's intentional, then I am stymied as to what it's supposed to signify, because I can't make out a pattern. If it's an error, then it's just not acceptable.
"I love the book."
The book is brilliant, it has an actual story to it and is well written.
The reader for this book however, is boring and does the story no justice.
I expected a much better reader from this service.
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