Book - 2009
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Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Viking, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780670011100
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Anderson, L 2009
Characteristics: 278 pages ; 22 cm
Audience: Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.1 9.0 128927


From the critics

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Feb 27, 2018

As someone who has suffered from anorexia nervosa for about sixteen years, this book definitely helped me put a lot of things into perspective after the fact. Wintergirls is a very real, very accurate look at the damage eating disorders cause and what sort of mental jumps people make in order to justify their disorder.

GCPL_Teen Jun 27, 2017

This book touches on many difficult topics: loss, grief, eating disorders, and addiction. Because of this subject matter it may be disturbing to some readers. However, it is also a gripping mystery with relatable characters.

May 25, 2017

This book is extremely damaging. I am a library tech student and abhor the act of censoring books, but I wish upon the grave of my dead baby that this book would never be read by anyone, and it never have been written. As an anorexia-nervosa survivor, I actually hate this book because it helped me get sick, over and over and over again. I was down to 77 lbs more than once, and almost died on multiple occasions, including at least one official suicide attempt. Wintergirls was inspiration, it was my comfort, it gave me permission to hate myself and starve myself. It gave me a character that I could relate to, and try to beat. I've given up years and years of my life to eating disorders and I would highly recommend this book be taken out of circulation because every single person I've met who has or had an eating disorder has read this book and treats it like a bible. This book is literally killing people. Not just teenagers, I know of a mother who has spent over ten years of her life in treatment, and has battled with her eating disorder in multiple forms for over half of her life. Please, if you have a heart, take this book out of circulation. It kills.

Jun 30, 2016

Excellent book that documents the struggles and dangers of an eating disorder from a first-person perspective. One of my favorites; I've read it many times.

cmlibrary_aghilton Feb 01, 2016

Excellent book about the physical and emotional effects of eating disorders.

Dec 29, 2015

Lia has a lot of issues: with her parents, with friends, with herself. She deals with them by starving and cutting herself. Although she has been through inpatient therapy and promises to be better, her world comes crashing down once again when her former best friend is found dead in a hotel. Lia did not know that Cassie tried to call her (33 times) the night that she died, and that knowledge crushes Lia. She stops eating and starts cutting herself again in a desperate attempt to gain some control over her life and make her problems disappear. But, everything quickly spirals out of control. Laurie Halse Anderson tells the story from Lia’s perspective, confronting the topics of anorexia and “cutting” in this gripping novel.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Oct 29, 2015

In eighth grade Cassie and Lia make a New Year’s Resolution that they will be the thinnest girls. By the time they are seniors in high school they have gone to extreme lengths in order to fulfill that resolution. Wintergirls starts with Cassie’s death, and Lia’s desperation as she is overwhelmed with grief and confusion. Lia narrates the novel, giving readers a distressing view inside the mind of someone who can’t stop starving herself. Lia sometimes recognizes how destructive her eating disorder is and how it is hurting everyone in her family. Still, she can’t seem to let herself heal, and so she remains a wintergirl, a girl trapped between life and death.

May 23, 2015

This book made me cry, and gave me mpre light on ED this book is all raw and no lies. also if you read this you become lia.... and might make you hungery

This book is very hard to put down once you start- Lia immediately draws you into her downward spiral. I think everyone can relate on some level to her desire for control in her life and I feel like I gained some insight into the struggles of people coping with an eating disorder by reading it.

PimaLib_MiraD Feb 26, 2015

So dark and compelling, I couldn't help but follow Lia as she spiraled down towards self destruction.

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RobertELPL Mar 05, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 23, 2015

clary_fairchild thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

AmandaVollmershausen Oct 06, 2013

AmandaVollmershausen thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 17, 2013

Chloe_427 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

navy_dog_183 Jun 25, 2012

navy_dog_183 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

LocketLibrarian Sep 12, 2011

LocketLibrarian thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

MikeinShaker Jul 13, 2011

MikeinShaker thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 10, 2011

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Feb 11, 2011

illusions_court thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 02, 2011

Red_Lion_65 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 45

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Add Notices

GCPL_Teen Jun 27, 2017

Other: This book could be a trigger to those suffering from an eating disorder.

May 23, 2015

Violence: cutting

May 23, 2015

Coarse Language: cussing

May 23, 2015

Frightening or Intense Scenes: pain, starving, graphic almost dying scean,drinking,purging,graphic cutting scean

Jan 18, 2013

Coarse Language: Swearing that is it

Oct 23, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Decline, despair, loneliness, cutting, purging, and a whole lot more.


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Jul 13, 2013

“I believe that you've created a metaphorical universe in which you can express your darkest fears. In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves, and sometimes we do such a good job, we lose track of reality.”

Ambiii143 Jun 05, 2012



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Oct 23, 2012

Senior HS girl Lia and Cassie were best friends, but Cassie just died a bulimia-related death in a dirty motel room. Cassie's ghost haunts anorexic Lia, who - after 2 stints in rehab - has sewn weights into her bathrobe and sets sight on 90 lbs, maybe 85. Decline, despair, loneliness, cutting, purging, and a whole lot more.

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