Lia and Cassie are best friends competing to be the thinnest. Then Cassie loses, not just the game, but her life and Lia is left with a haunting memory of her friend and a guilt that she can't get over. Lia struggles on a painful journey of recovery and the loss. Told in first person point of view, this sometimes graphic young adult novel has 278 pages. The main focus of the novel is Lia's eating disorder. Alright, it's basically the only conflict other than Cassie's death, but they're actually related so...no subplots, just all Lia's problems all the time. Which wasn't a bad thing...until her problems got boring. I liked her hallucinations though. her constant visions of Cassie were interesting and it'll leave you wondering if this is a ghost novel or is Lia just crazy. My favorite characters are Elijah, a strange hippie-esque guy Lia meets, and Cassie's ghost. They are both sarcastic and call for funny, sometimes lighter moments in such a dark and painful novel. I had to force myself to drudge through this when I reached the halfway mark and still nothing moving had actually occured. Not only that, but it took me a long time to get into the book because of the strange way Lia thinks and the lack of expostion until much farther in. Despite all that, the ending came through with a quick series of events that definitely put the novel back on track for me. The actual last chapter, which is something like an epilogue didn't jive with me, but I suppose it was necessary. The language was lyrical and beautiful, something I enjoyed, although it did bring the reader out of the story and makes it a little hard to get back to focusing, but still, a plus point for the novel and the strike-out text helped to show the way Lia's brain works. For example there will be a sentence like this:
I am so hungry
followed by a sentence like this:
I don't need a muffin
Wintergirls discusses the issue that is so common now; eating disorders. A scary problem, after reading this you'll want to eat and spill your feeling all over the floor. It's painful to read and the emotions are there, but a reader can be easily distracted or frustrated by the format and sometimes dull situation of it all. Worth the read if you dig on drowning in the problems of others.
Level of Romance: Lia doesn't have time for romance with the ghost of her best friend haunting her, too many family problems to count on her fingers and toes, and an eating disorder that's slowly killing her.
Liz is Photogirl; able to sum up everyone in a nickname and knows that what she sees through her camera lens is truth. She loses her best friend, Kate, after Kate accuses Liz's older brother, Mike, of a crime. Liz can't see the big picture anymore like the old Photogirl, the one who was "foreverbest" with the Mistress of Modern Dance(Kate) used to. Told in free verse, the hardcover edition of this 2011 young adult debut has 288 pages.
I went through stages in my liking of this book. I was excited to read it, went into reading it with a lot of hope. But when I, as an attentive reader, was able to figure out the secret some 50 pages before Liz, the narrator was able to, I began to grumble and the hope of a good verse novel died. As I drudged through, I grew to love it again. The characters and events felt so real; the emotions searing. Liz's journey from having a great life to having nothing and her reaction and coping with that was amazing, flawless even. There was family tension, character growth, and a great resolution. unlike some verse novels, the events are chronologically ordered and make sense, with a minimal of random side stories from the past and the such. Once you get over the whole secret thing, the novel actually becomes quite gripping. Level of Romance: None; it's mostly about the family tension and Liz's burdens of the situation as well as how she deals with it. Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"Meet Jenna Boller, star employee at Gladstone s Shoe Store in Chicago. Standing a gawky 5'11'' at 16 years old, Jenna is the kind of girl most likely to stand out in the crowd - for all the wrong reasons. But that doesn t stop Madeline Gladstone, the president of Gladstone's Shoes 176 outlets in 37 states, from hiring Jenna to drive her cross country in a last ditch effort to stop Elden Gladstone from taking over his mother's company and turning a quality business into a shop-and-schlock empire. Now Jenna Boller shoe salesperson is about to become a shoe-store spy as she joins her crusty old employer for an eye-opening adventure that will teach them both the rules of the road - and the rules of life. "