Well, its been a while.  After getting sick with pneumonia and the craze of after holidays, another wonderful adventure fell upon me: my computer crashed.  It failed and wouldn't start up.  Major virus attack, so I brought it to a local computer repair place and paid $125 to have them retrieve my files and tell me what was wrong.  They JUST called me last week, and I have to decide whether or not to pay big bucks to get it fixed.  Fortunately we had some extra cash from the holidays, so we got a cute little net book by Acer.  I love this thing!  Now that we have this I'm back in action!  I haven't been reading as much though- work has been insane and I've been stressed.  I didn't go to books this time around, I felt like I needed to work with my hands so I have been crafting a lot again.  I created some sweet jewelry and I've been painting.  It feels great to get creative again, although I feel like I never have enough hours in to day to teach, grade papers, cook, clean, create and read.  So, books fell to the back burner for a bit.  Plus, I just couldn't get in to Rat Girl.  I swapped it out and I'll try again later.

WintergirlsFor those of you in upstate New York, or who watch the weather channel and see the dumping we got would be correct to assume the past 2 days have been snow days!  I don't get snow days off because we're inpatient so I was up at work yesterday.  But, on snow days the kids sleep in late giving me about an hour to read while they're waking up.  I brought Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson with me, knowing it'd be a quickie read.  I've had Wintergirls floating around for a while, but haven't grabbed it off the shelf because I know her books are those that I want to read in one or two sessions.  Fortunately for me, I asked my boss if we had a snow day I could use a personal day today and avoid a {normally} 20 minute drive in on a sheet of pure ice.  She said yes, so I stayed up late last night and read the rest of the book through.
I gotta say, I have always been in LOVE with Speak and thought nothing would ever come close to the power of that novel.  Wintergirls did.  It blew me away.  The writing was pure genius- typical of Halse Anderson- it was like reading heart wrenching poetry.  Written in a journal-type style, the story follows Lia in the months that follow the death of her former best friend, Cassie.  Both girls were friends for years, and both carried each others dark secrets.  They were to be the skinniest girls in school.  While Cassie binged and purged, Lia restricted food.  Both were dangerously sick- playing with fire for years.  After Lia passed out and crashed Cassie's car, her parents forced her into treatment and Cassie 'dumped' her and found her own way out.  Or so everyone thinks.  Both girls continue to play with fire, although this time they're doing it alone.
When Cassie winds up dead and alone in a motel room as a senior in high school, Lia falls into a deeper hole than ever before.  Her eating disorder progresses into the danger zone and her life begins to fall {even more} apart.  Lia has struggled with her family for years and has always felt alone.  Now seemingly without a soul in the world to talk to, Lia begins to regress.  In need of help but unwilling to accept the hands offered to her, Lia succumbs to the demons and attempts to rip herself open- more than once.
What becomes of Lia?  Does she reunite with Cassie as her Wintergirl status progresses into the deep hole of death?  Or does she fight her demons and make it out alive- unlike Cassie?
Wintergirls is powerful.  Just like Speak moved me to tears, so did Wintergirls.  It is a lesson to every woman out there, from little girls growing up in a world where beauty and size 0 is more important than an A to the adults who look in the mirror in disgust at the 10lbs of holiday weight.  We are not a number.  I suggest that every mother, daughter and professional read this book.  Not only does it portray the very real struggle of body dysmorphic disorder, it also shows that there is hope.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

1 comment:

  1. I just finished Speak this morning (hope to review it tomorrow) and was blown away by it. I already knew what happened before I started reading it, but that didn't make it any less powerful. I'm going to add Wintergirls to my to-read list now.