Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
“We held hands when we walked down the gingerbread path into the forest, blood dripping from our fingers. We danced with witches and kissed monsters. We turned us into wintergirls and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone.”
Lia and Cassie were best friends--since they were little girls and they did everything together, sleep overs, vacations, school and as they got older they made an oath one day, a little competition, and life would never be the same....
"I swear to be the skinniest girl in school, skinnier than you."
Cassie's eyes got big. "I bet I'll be skinnier than you."
"No, don't make it a bet. Let's be skinniest together."
"Okay, but I'll be skinnier."
...fast forward a few years later and they are no longer friends. Carrie has stopped talking to Lia, months have gone by, and then one night she calls Lia 33 times. Lia, still hurt by being discarded, does not pick up the phone and the next day she finds out that bulimic Carrie has died alone, in a hotel room.
Lia tries to convince herself, her parents, her sister and her counselor that she’s okay with the death. But she’s really spiralling out of control. As a result, Lia has gone back to controlling her eating. Although, we soon realise she was never "over it" to begin with. As soon as she hits a magic weight number, then she knows she can hit an even lower one. She has become a master of disguise even though her eating habits are being watched carefully.
Cassie’s ghost haunts, her fellow Wintergirl Lia, and beckons her to come to the other side, but will she join her....Lia must decide what is it she really wants: to literally starve herself to death or rid herself of Cassie's ghost for good by rising above her eating disorder
This novel was amazing I loved how every character is so wonderfully fleshed out. Lia's loving, well-meaning parents are flawed and often say exactly the wrong thing, causing her to spiral further into anorexia's clutches; her little stepsister Emma idolizes Lia in private, but is embarrassed to see her at a soccer game; and her new friend Elijah, a lost traveler himself, is both kind and, ultimately, cruelly honest. Even Cassie's ghost is as conflicted a friend as ever. Each person here feels and behaves like an actual, complicated person.
The combination of realistic characters, atmospheric writing, and stark insight into one wounded girl makes "Wintergirls" one of the best, most compelling books a teenager could find. While this book is often difficult to read, mature readers will find it utterly engrossing and nearly impossible to put down.