27 March 2010


by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Text Publishing Company. Young Adult. Paperback rrp $19.95

‘You’re not dead, but you’re not alive, either. You’re a wintergirl, Lia-Lia, caught in between the worlds. You’re a ghost with a beating heart.’
Lia and Cassie were best friends but the friendship fell apart and then Cassie was dead. The night Cassie dies, Lia receives 33 calls from Cassie. Why didn’t she answer Cassie’s calls? How did Cassie die? Who will rescue Lia from the same fate?

Both girls wanted to be the skinniest girl in high school. Cassie could eat anything but a finger down the throat sacrifices her body to a mindset that says food is bad. Lia can’t use this method so she invents ways to deceive others into thinking that she is eating.

The girls lie. They lie to their families, to each other and to themselves.

When Cassie dies, it appears Lia will be next. Cassie’s ghost haunts Lia, inviting and encouraging her to join Cassie on the other side. Can Lia save herself? No-one else can.

Wintergirls is a book that both teenage girls and their parents should read – for enjoyment and for education. Tales of anorexia always seem so clinical but Laurie Halse Anderson has looked deeper into what drives a healthy, happy girl to such senseless destruction. It isn’t only about Lia but the families and friends who are also affected. It is a heart wrenching book to read but one you cannot put down.

Editor’s Note: The cover’s hauntingly beautiful artwork was done by Melbourne high school student, Belinda Jenkin.


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