Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

From Goodreads.com:

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.

 

Imagine living in a world where all you do is count calories. Lia, the main character of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, does, and no one wants to live there. When she was thirteen, she made a bet with her best friend that she would be the skinniest girl in school. While Lia succeeded, Cassie was found dead before she could reach her goal. While all of this kept my nose glued in the pages, I mostly loved it because of its organization, the dialogue between the characters, and the setting.

One thing I loved about this book was its organization. It was organized in scenes, not chapters, which I found very interesting. Some of the scenes were several pages, while others were several sentences. They were numbered in the order that they came, and were written as weight measurements, like 44.00. All of this made it easy to read and was a creative way to organize the book.

Another thing I loved about Wintergirls was the dialogue between the characters. The way they talked described their personalities, which could help the reader understand the characters better. There was a wide range of people who talked to Lia, and whatever they said was clearly stated. Any writer could use this technique to grab the reader’s attention.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was the modern setting. Lia talks a lot about her cell phone, and how Cassie called her before she died. Modern technology was like the backbone in this story, because of the computer sites Lia visited, her cell phone that she pretended to loose, and the car she was scared to wreck because she wasn’t heavy enough to hold down the gas pedal. This particular setting improved the story more than you could think.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the best novels I’ve read. The story was great, but the way it was written grabbed my attention. I liked the organization, the dialogue, and the setting because of the way it assisted this book. I would recommend this novel to all teenagers because of the theme and the quality of the story. It is truly amazing.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

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4 responses

  1. Hi Lindsey.
    What a great opening paragraph! You gave some really good details that pulled me in as a reader. I love the way that you summarized the book but made me eager to read it and find out more all in one paragraph. Great transition from the opening paragraph to the first body paragraph.
    The organization of the book is something you don’t often see. Some students like it, some don’t. You gave a great example of how the scenes were labeled, however it would have been a bonus to have had an example of a few of the scenes in that paragraph too.
    Paragraph two discusses the characters dialogue; this would have been a great opportunity for you to add an actual clip of a conversation that really touched you. You are making a great point about writers using the technique to draw a reader’s attention. Words have power. To be able to draw your audience in with your words gives you, the writer, power. Good point made!
    Now, your next paragraph talking about the “modern setting” is mainly focused on the technology that was used in the book between the characters. Tell me how the technology played an important role with an example or two. You made a great and strong statement about how it was the backbone for the story, now give me an idea of why you thought that. It’s always good to give details.
    Your final paragraph gives a good wrap up of your overall review. I think that by just adding a few details your writing could be even better than what it already is. Good job.

    1. Thank you for giving me this advise. I will try to write my next essay with more details and examples. I’ll admit my review needs some work, and I really appreciate that you found my flaws.
      When you said that I needed more examples and details, it reminded me of what my teacher has been saying. She always tells us to be more specific about our topic and to give examples. I guess it’s just one of my weaknesses.
      About how many examples would be enough to make my review more interesting? I really want to make my essay better, and I believe that descriptions and examples will help. Is a lot of quotes and details good, or too much?

  2. Lindsey,
    I love the way that you started off this piece! Anytime that you can grab the reader with commands or questions at the beginning of a piece is a great way to start. When you tell the reader to ‘imagine’ we instantly want to know what we are going to be asked to imagine and that gets us hooked. I also enjoyed your phrase about ‘my nose glued in the pages’, what a great image! You also have a strong thesis in your introduction.

    Your body paragraphs do a good job of showing why you enjoyed the book as much as you did, the reader gets a strong sense of main plot points that intrigue us and help get us interested in the book. Adding in some quotes directly from the book might help to prove your points even further. I also see some literary theory coming through in your body paragraphs- talking about the author’s intentions or what effect they wanted to create for the reader. That is excellent insight and something that really shows how much you thought about the material that you were reading.

    Your conclusion connects back to your original thesis and makes a lasting impression on the reader when you tell us how much you enjoyed the book. You also make a good recommendation of who would like this book and why.

    I think that if you were to go back and add in some quotes and maybe a few more details about the story or how you personally connected with it, you could make this an even stronger piece. The reader gets a strong sense of your passion about this book and the creativity of the author. Great job!

    1. I really had no clue my review was this great! Thank you for your comment, and i hope to be even better on my next book review. It really excites me to know that you liked my essay.
      When you said i needed more quotes and details, I remembered when Mrs. Baisden told me the same thing. Adding details os my worst weaknesses.
      What kind of details are you, as a reader, specifically looking for? I know that I need help in that area, so this is really important. I want to make my essay very descriptive, so i was wondering what kind of descriptions you would look for.

      Thank you,
      Lindsey

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