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Publisher's Summary

"Dead girl walking," the boys say in the halls.

"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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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Haunting

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Well written however...

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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adored it

Such a great, addicting novel. You become so engaged in the madness. Would definitely recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Held me Captive

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Could have been better

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The beeps were annoying as heck and crossed out sections

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

find a different way to represent that besides beeps

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

used something else or a different voice to represent those weird sections

Do you think Wintergirls needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no because she got over her disorder

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A good story read by Siri

I liked the book. It's a very interesting and detailed insight of what an eating disorder really feels like. The only problem was that it was read by the most monotonous narrator I've ever heard (I had to check twice that it wasn't Siri reading). I don't know if it was intentional, to reflect how the protagonist was feeling, because it certainly got better at the end, but I struggled to keep listening at first. I almost ditched the book because of that, but I'm glad I didn't, because, as a future psychologist, it gave me a further understanding of eating disorders and depression. I truly think this will help me in the future.

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The prose took some getting used to, but...

This was great. The writing style was unique and it was hard to get used to on Audible. But once I did, it was a really cool way to tell a story.

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Beautiful and Haunting!

Any additional comments?

Wintergirls is the perfect mix between the gripping and terrifying life of someone suffering from anorexia with a haunting and beautiful story. It gives the reader a beautiful insight into the world an anorexic may be living in all while fully enveloping them in a wonderful story

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Boring

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The listening experience was fine the book wasn't interested.

What could Laurie Halse Anderson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I've read a lot of eating disorder books but this book was repetitive and plain boring. It started off when her friend died, then it progressed to her being haunted by her friend's ghost and her relapsing from recovery. It didn't really keep my attention. It would've been more interesting if the book explained in better detail how her disorder started from the beginning and went into more depth about Cassie and Leah's friendship. Everything was in past tense. The book also mentioned Leah being a healthy 104lbs at 5'6 which is completely unrealistic.

What didn’t you like about Jeannie Stith’s performance?

When she spoke for masculine characters the voice change was just weird, and awkward.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Totally disappointed.

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every mother who has a daughter should read

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.

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  • Elinor Dashwood
  • 08-10-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma
  • 07-25-12

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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