I knew from Speak and Catalyst that Laurie Halse Anderson is the queen of the extended metaphor.  They weave through her books from beginning to end.  English teachers love it, I’m starting to find it annoying.  Maybe because I can’t stop the English teacher in the back of my mind.

In Wintergirls the title itself is part of the metaphor – the deadness of winter, the starving body, the lead in to the blooming of spring.  But there is also the vines that twine around her body anchoring Lia, the spider that spins its web.  Another anchoring to earth, her bed, her life.  But also a trap, catching Lia in her habits, her silences.

And then there is the green glass born in a volcano – green = spring = future = hope.

Lia is an anorexic, supposedly recovering but she isn’t.  And her friend, the bulemic, the one she shared everything with until Lia’s 2nd stay in rehab has died.  Alone.  After calling Lia 33 times.  Cassie is Lia’s ghost.  But Lia herself is a ghost.  And seriously what is up with Elijiah – I never quite figured that out, and I have BIG problems with his ending.  At first I thought it was inconsistent, but upon reflection – no it wasn’t.  He treats both Cassie and Lia the same.  Disposable.  Which is they’re problem – they are disposable, like accessories.  But they aren’t, they just haven’t figured that out.

I liked Twisted better, but I recognize this was better written.  The language, the way the text was written – words flowing into each other, the strong imagry, reminded me of Francesca Lia Block.


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