This book by Laurie Halse Anderson is the best YA novel ever written about anorexia. This is a book that is both beautiful and painful at the same time. The book has a few disorienting moments, but this is in keeping with Lia’s mental state. Additionally, she’s dealing with grief and the loss of a friendship that she once had. The body of a young girl has been found.
The author’s intention, I believe, was to make the reader feel unsure and uncomfortable, which I believe was the point of the story. It’s easy to understand Lia’s shame and anorexia. An eating disorder is depicted in Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing in a way that is both beautiful and eloquent.
If you enjoyed Wintergirls, check out my reviews of these other young adult novels.
Hollow Beauty by Khristina Chess
Fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before will enjoy this romantic love triangle that explores insecurity and the power of words to hurt and heal.
Olivia is overjoyed when tall, handsome Brody asks her to the prom, but she quickly becomes disappointed when he suggests that she lose weight in the two months leading up to the event.
Isn’t it a matter of personal preference?
Olivia’s weight loss spirals into anorexia as a result of Body’s comment. At work, she develops a close friendship with the diner’s new prep cook, Ross. When it comes to her low self-esteem and inability to look in the mirror, he doesn’t have it; he has no problem with it. When she and Ross go dirt biking and cave-hunting, she doesn’t feel self-conscious about her appearance. Brody, on the other hand, makes her feel like a frightened rabbit that he intends to eat.
When the unthinkable happens, she’s almost thin enough to be beautiful for the prom.
This heartwarming tale of body image and self-esteem will not be one you want to miss.
The Stone Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel
Insightful exploration of anorexia, other eating disorders, and insecurities related to weight loss and body image.
The heroine, Sethie Weiss, has a super-skinny figure, and the book’s diminutive size seems to reflect this. She’s a difficult character to like because she’s so disconnected. She’s ice cold, as if she were made of granite, and completely detached from herself. She makes poor decisions. It takes some time to realize that Sethie’s pain and the things she does and says are linked to her illness.
Shaw is the object of Sethie’s affections, but he is an unsuitable partner. Her health and weight both decline as the relationship goes south. In keeping with her aloof demeanor, she uses a third-person narrative voice.
I was rooting for her in the end. I yearned for her to reclaim her femininity.
If you’re looking for YA books that are similar to Wintergirls, Hollow Beauty and The Stone Girl are excellent options.
The Merry Recluse, Appetites: Why Women Want, and Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
Caroline Knapp, a memoirist who has won numerous awards, stands head and shoulders above the rest. The Merry Recluse, Appetites: Why Women Desire, and even Drinking: A Love Story are all examples of her writing about anorexia. You won’t be disappointed by what she has to say. Overall, I’d rate her work as 5 stars and would gladly recommend it to others:
“What’s behind this desire to lose weight, look better, or dress better? It’s hard to tell who this other person is based on the jacket she’s wearing or the food she’s avoiding. Who knows what we’d be up to if we never gave a second thought to our self-image?” She’s Caroline Knapp
Caroline Knapp eventually overcame her anorexia, adopted a dog, and went on to write the fantastic book Pack of Two.
When it comes to food and body image issues, don’t wait until you’re 40 to realize that you’re enough. There is no reason why you can’t do anything you set your mind to. The number on the scale has no bearing on who you are or what you will become in the future.
The Impossible Knife of Memory
Laurie Halse Anderson
As her father Andy Kincaid has tried to overcome the demons that have plagued him since his return from Iraq, Hayley Kincaid and her father have been on the road for the past five years. They’ve moved back to his hometown so that Hayley can go to school there. A normal life for the first time, perhaps even a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who is obviously infatuated with Hayley but has his own secrets to hide. Will Andy’s PTSD improve now that he’s back home, or will his traumatic memories and subsequent drug use push him over the edge? Her best is on display in “The Impossible Knife Of Memory,” a novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. The book is engrossing, surprising, and impossible to put down
Every Last Word
Tamara Ireland Stone
Best-Seller on the New York Times You wouldn’t be smiling if you could read my thoughts. All the popular girls in Samantha McAllister’s junior class look alike to her. Underneath the perfectly styled hair and flawless makeup, she’s hiding something that her friends will never know: Sam suffers from Purely-Obsessional OCD, which causes her to dwell on dark thoughts and worries that she can’t stop thinking about. To make things even more difficult, her long-term friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a mismatched outfit, a misplaced lunch, or a misplaced crush. Even so, Sam is aware that she would be making a huge mistake if she left the safe haven of the school’s most popular girls behind. The first thing that must be kept a secret when Sam meets Caroline is her refreshingly no-nonsense sense of humor and her lack of sense of fashion. Poet’s Corner is a secret room full of outcasts that the rest of the school has chosen to ignore. Caroline shows Sam around and introduces him to the people who live there. A guitar-playing, verse-writing guy is what first draws Sam in, and she discovers a whole new side of herself in the process. .. until she discovers a new reason to doubt her sanity and everything she holds dear. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd Each and Every Word Is Applauded. Finally, “Clueless meets D.P.S. with a massive final twist.” in a review by Kirkus It’s clear that readers will identify with Sam and root for her throughout the book. “This book is highly recommended.” Voya’s “A thoughtful love story with a strong message about one’s own identity”