WinterGirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Before this week it had been a long time since that book has blessed my brain. I revisited the ‘dangerland’ of Lia and Cassie over the weekend and relived the scenes and sentences of these tragic teenagers. It is heart breaking. That is the only word that I could think to truly describe the tortured world inside their calorie-counting heads. What makes it so heartbreaking is that this is a real thing that happens to real people. I would like to dedicate this review to ED awareness, but because I have a small blog that like four people see the best I can do is to provide some stats and the warning signs.

Most people who are affected by eating disorders are female, like Lia and Cassie, but men also experience eating disorders.

Lia and Cassie develop their disorder during a middle school summer and it follows them through high school and it completely takes over their life. Lia had been to an inpatient hospital twice and the book only starts when Cassie dies. Those two fictional girls are in high school, they should be having fun, not spending hours exercising or being in funerals. This book follows Lia as she struggles with her disorder and losing her friend.  Lia’s disorder follows her around like Cassie’s ghost and everyone she loves doesn’t know what to do with her. How do you help someone who only wants to destroy themselves?

I love this book. The characters seem real, like they could be a neighbor or someone you go to school with. It’s a great look into to the mind of a struggling teen, which is often just cast aside. I would recommend Wintergirls because it is crazy, and sad, and so very, very real.

To wrap up my book review I am going to give you the warning signs in case you, or someone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder.

You can look for starvation and weight loss, being afraid to gain weight, refusing/restrictive eating or continuous dieting. There may also be over-exercising, being very cold, strange hair growth, or hair loss. That’s what to look for if you are worried about the problem being anorexia. Bulimia Symptoms include a preoccupation with or obsession with food, binging and purging, laxatives, diet pills, etc.  Physically you may notice the salivary glands may be swollen or they may have broken blood vessels in the eye. There may also be similar symptoms to Anorexia. Get help.

Statistics and Symptoms found on  www.anad.org

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