taken from Goodreads:
"“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.
In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery. "
I think Anderson is one of the most talented YA writers working today; her novels tackle important issues, and they do it with a poetic rawness that really hits you right in the gut. This novel is no different -- it's disturbing, it's heartbreaking, it's impossible to put down. The story is told from Lia's point of view, which is a perfect choice because it allows you to see just how warped her perspective has become. As a parent, this was probably the most disturbing part of the book -- seeing what Lia thinks of her parents as they struggle to keep her alive.
Anderson uses several stylistic devices in her novel, and that's probably been the most contested aspect of this book, based on the reviews I've read. I think they work, but a lot of readers seem to think that they are unnecessary and something of a pretentious affectation. To me, though, they add another layer to the story, another way of seeing all the ways in which Lia' thinks her world has changed and the ways in which her illness has changed her world.
I'm the mother of two girls, and reading this novel just broke my heart. I can't imagine watching my daughter go through something like this, and being helpless to help her until she decided she truly wanted that help.
I think this ranks right up there with Speak, which I believe is one of the best YA novels written.