If your definition of a great read is one that takes you places you've never been or causes you to have an unusual vicarious experience, then you'd agree that Wintergirls is great fiction. The "place" author Laurie Halse Anderson takes us is not an exotic setting in a distant world, but instead deep into the mind of young Lia, who suffers from an eating disorder. Lia's first-person narration is so authentic it's hard to believe it's fiction and not an actual memoir.
Eighteen-year old Lia's voice is often beautiful in its raw honesty, but more often disturbing and frightening. Her negative self-talk caused me great anguish, as it reminded me of the pressure many girls feel to be thin. To be perfect. A female reader might even recognize herself to some degree. I did, as I recalled my teen years and the jeans I needed to fit into, the prom dress, the bathing suit in yet a smaller size...
School Library Journal published an extensive Q&A with Laurie Halse Anderson in their June 2009 issue. At the time of writing it is available to all visitors.
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