Thursday, May 8, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Book Review on Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I've just finished this book, Wintergirls, for book club next week. Weird that while I was reading it I didn't remember AT ALL that I'd read it back in 2009! But when I went to add it to Goodreads, it reminded me that I'd read it already! So I looked up the review I wrote then. Here's what I said:

Book: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: YA
Rating: A
For: Fun

I was a little bit scared of this book. The subject matter, anorexia and bulimia, is hard to read about. Very hard. Yet the whole experience was very enlightening, and it's totally amazing the way this author can get into the head of a girl going through this stuff.

The story follows Lia's struggles with food, something that began when she was just a very young girl. She and her friend bet each other about who could get the skinniest. Now, years down the road, it's all made worse when that same friend dies in the very opening chapter of the book. Lia feels the death is her fault, so she punishes herself even more. She tries to be "normal" for her little sister, but her parents make her crazy and she fights against everything they do to help her. This part was especially hard for me as I saw myself in the parent role and knowing that no matter how hard you, as a parent, try to help, the teenager struggles even harder to resist that help. 

I am a little reluctant to let my own kids read this one, but I'm not sure I can put into words why. Perhaps because this particular problem is more within the realm of possibility for them then some of the other teenage problems that we often read about, so I don't want to give them any ideas... or something. I don't know. I just know that it's scary.

But, it was a great book! 


And now that I've read it again, would I say anything different? No, probably not. But I wouldn't rate it as high as I did then. I'm not sure why, maybe because it made me even madder this time then it did then. I don't like how the parents seem so so helpless! And I guess this is totally one of the points that the author is trying to make, but it just makes me crazy! I want them to be able to DO something to help this girl and it sure seems like there is nothing they can do. That all is lost. That she has to hit complete and total rock bottom before anything can be done. Is this REALLY how it has to be? Is this the only way someone with such a big and terrible issue can start getting better? If so, than yeah, that makes me mad. As a parent with  a kid who struggles, that makes me really really mad and frustrated and sad know... all the things. 

Well, and so now that I've got that off my chest, and seeing that I already reviewed this book years ago, I won't necessarily update my review here again. We'll be discussing this book at book club next week. If we have anything really interesting to say then, I'll let you know!!


  1. I find I read from a parent's persepective a lot more nowadays, too. Instead of identifying and think: was I like that when I was a teen? how would I have acted? instead I'm thinking: will my daughter get into that situation? and what would I do?

  2. I'm not to the point where I can relate to parents of teens. I relate more the teen. When my parents pushed something hard, I wanted to do the opposite. It still happens now, and it even happens with my husband. I think some people have to hit rock bottom before they learn, or really realize that they need to change. As sad as that is, it's true.

    I hope I can make it to some of book club on Thursday!!

  3. I have this on my to-read pile for Bout of Books and I'm a bit scared of the subject matter too! Hopefully I'll also end up liking it, as you did on your first read.

  4. Oh, it's so true, we often have to sit back and watch as the person we so desperately want to help has to realize it for themselves. This sounds like a very difficult book to read, both on subject matter and as a parent now. I have sons with the opposite problem, they are trying desperately to gain weight. My oldest is on the small side of the scale and he definitely feels the peer pressure to be bigger. As much as he eats (and often more than his dad), neither of us can do anything else to make him gain weight. We just celebrate every pound he adds and inch he grows!

    Thanks so much for continuing to link up with our #throwbackthursdaylinkup! Hope you join us again this week!



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