Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Excerpt: Danced with Witches and Kissed Monsters

Now Playing: Nine Inch Nails - Beside You In Time

[Introduction].

This book is really important to me. Maria Gabriela gave it to me for my fifteenth birthday because it was by the same author of Speak, and she'd given me that book a birthday before. I didn't know anything about Wintergirls, and Maria didn't either, she just knew I'd really liked Anderson's writing.

And I'm super thankful she decided to do that because this book's almost quietly become a favorite of mine.

I didn't know it instantly. I only came to realize it because I kept returning to it. I'd grab it from my bookshelf at random and read a couple of pages for no reason other than wanting to revisit it.

It was a bit difficult to pick a section that I liked the most. There's a lot of really beautiful sentences throughout the story, but this passage seems to have the most of them together.

Also...confession time--I am a bit squeamish when it comes to things related to eating disorders. I made the mistake of reading this book while I was already nauseous because of something else. (In the middle of my 10th grade English class at that).

When I got to this section, I think it pushed me over the edge because I had to ask my teacher to give me permission to go to the bathroom and throw up.

If that's not a sign of good writing, I don't know what is. (TW for eating disorders, btw, anorexia and bulimia).

It also does a title drop--I adore it.

She almost went to a doctor two years ago. The stuffing/puking/stuffing/puking/stuffing/puking didn't make her skinny, it made her cry. Her coach bumped her down to the JV soccer squad because she couldn't run fast enough. The drama teacher told her that she wasn't "shinning" bright enough so she didn't get the lead in the play. 
"I can't stop, but I can't keep going," she told me. "Nothing works." 
I totally supported her. I looked up the names of docs and clinics. I e-mailed her recovery Web sites. 
And I sabotaged every step. 
I told her how strong she was and how healthy she was going to be and how proud I was of her and I dropped in how many calories I ate that day, the magic number on the scale, the number of inches around my thighs. We went to the mall and I made sure we used the same dressing room so she could see my skeleton shine in the fluorescent blue light. We went to the food court and she ordered cheese fries, chicken nuggets, and a salad. I drank black coffee and licked artificial sweetener from the palm of my hand. She asked me to guard the door while she puked lunch into the dirty mall toilet. 
We held hands when we walked down the gingerbread path into the forest, blood dripping from our fingers. We danced with witches and kissed monsters. We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone.
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

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