One of the perks of working at a bookstore is that every now and then a promising Advanced Reader’s Copy falls into my hands. Yesterday was such a day. Nestled in the middle of a stack of books was Laurie Halse Anderson’s newest book Wintergirls. With this novel, it seems she has returned to her stream of consciousness style which appealed to the readers of Speak. Chains and Fever, while both well-written, seemed to sort of miss the mark with her teenage audience, but Wintergirls seems to hit that mark dead-on.
Battling anorexia and the death of her friend, Lia takes us into the darkness of her world, one which is filled with secrets and pain. She is plagued with the guilt that she didn’t save Cassie and uses her anorexia to gain back some control of a life she feels is spinning out of control. With the ghost of Cassie cheering her on, Lia attempts to starve herself and join Cassie on the other side.
Anderson’s lyrical stream of consciousness forces her readers to enter into the mindset of an anorexic as we struggle with Lia and her journey back into the living. I have no doubts that this one is going to receive the same kind of attention as did Speak.