WINTERGIRLS BY LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON

Realistic YA fiction has always interested me immensely – my second year blog revolved around controversial YA fiction and my dissertation was realistic YA fiction. On my quest for it, Wintergirls has popped up numerous times on recommended books to read and the concept of it was one that intrigued me. When I spotted it the other day, I just knew I had to read it. And now I have, this emotional, tough and insightful journey needs to be read by as many people as possible. A must-read for anyone.

Lia and Cassie are best friends. Both of them striving to be the skinniest they can be. When Cassie succumbs to her demons, Lia is left on her own. She is determined that she is strong enough that she can carry on their legacies, despite being convinced that her parents are drawing her back, and dealing with the guilt surrounding Cassie’s death.

I couldn’t wait to read this book. It was interesting from the start. Lia’s mind frame takes over and there is no room for any other perspective in this novel. It gives the story such a unique twist, emerging the reader right into Lia’s position. It makes for painful and raw, but it means that the subject is tackled in a way that isn’t soft or gentle. A direct and focused look through Lia.

The structure and tone of the book reflected this as well. At times it was hard to get into and carry on, but other times meant that you could understand reactions and consequences from her doings. Using a multitude of supporting characters, with all different roles and attachments the knock on effect is displayed in a powerful way. And with Lia’s distorted view, this makes for an even more interesting read on perspectives.

The subject matter is not that I have really read before. I haven’t explored YA fiction with eating disorders so this book was a real eye opener. It paved a path that was very detailed and at times painful to read, but perfect for what was being portrayed in this novel. Cassie’s death was a well woven in starting point, and the effect as well as the way she died made such an impact on my read from there.

Although quite a hard hitting read, this realistic YA fiction ticked all the boxes. Definitely a recommended read for all.

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