Sunday, November 18, 2012

Skinny by Donna Cooner

Skinny by Donna Cooner.
Publisher: Point.
Pages: 272.
Release Date: October 1, 2012.
Source: Publisher.
Find your voice.

Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies’s head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she’ll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it.

But there is another voice: Ever’s singing voice, which is beautiful but has been silenced by Skinny. Partly in the hopes of trying out for the school musical—and partly to try and save her own life—Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over.

With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own.

As someone who struggled with weight issues and social anxiety in school, Skinny really hit home for me. I spent years and years - and still do, occasionally - thinking that every person who glanced my way was judging me and putting me down. I've never known how to explain that before until I read Skinny. Donna Cooner put it into words and into Ever's story and she did a pretty damn good job.

I feel like Skinny goes above and beyond Ever's quest to lose weight. To me, the real story was Ever's quest to make that cruel voice in her head - named "Skinny" - go away. As the book progresses, pieces of Skinny kind of melt in a way that flows really well and doesn't clash at all with Ever's new lifestyle.

I loved the characters. I love how Cooner wrote authentic teenagers in high school. Not all of the pretty, popular girls are evil trolls (despite my issues, I was friends with tons of them in high school) and I appreciated the diverse personalities. I especially loved Rat. He's probably my favorite YA best friend ever. I was a little worried about where the romance was going after Ever had her surgery. I just wanted to smack some sense into her. But luckily, everything worked out in a cheesy yet incredibly adorable way.

The only thing that really bugged me was how gastric bypass surgery didn't seem like a last resort to Ever. The author mentions that she has tried dieting and exercising but I felt like that wasn't really executed well. I would have loved this book so much more if there were an extra chapter or two of Ever attempting to lose weight by herself before she made the decision to get the procedure done.

Overall, I loved Skinny so, so much. It was so easy to relate to Ever and her weight/confidence issues that I spent most of the time reading it blubbering like a baby. This is such a good book to read if you've ever had any confidence - not just weight - problems. I recommend checking it out!

Other reviews for Skinny:
Anna Reads.
Alice Marvels.
For What It's Worth.

4 comments:

  1. Awesome review, Katie! And thanks for sharing a little bit of yourself in it! I appreciate that!

    1) SO agree with you about how the author didn't show all the popular girls as super evil! I didn't point that out in my review or even think about it but now you brought it up I'm like OMG YES! Its funny because, obviously there were some really bitchy popular girls, but I had the same experience with most of them being nice and I was friends with some of them. But the whole time I honestly kept waiting in this book for them to do something super evil to Ever. GLAD they didn't but I'm just sooo used to that being the norm that I was just waiting. I mean, yeah, they were annoying about how they were like "look at the makeover we did" but I think they were just oblivious. lol

    2) I also pointed that out in my review about the surgery not seeing like a last resort! It's SUCH a big deal that I would have liked for us to know that she had done some serious work trying to lose weight, it didn't work so now she wanted to go to this. I also wanted her emotional issues to be addressed to because it was clear to me that a lot of her eating was super emotional and as a result of her grief.

    But other than that...I thought this was a WONDERFUL book! So happy I read it!

    Great review!

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  2. Katie, this is a fabulous review. I am so sorry that you went through anxiety and weight issues in school. :-/

    I also love it when books show diverse characters and don't paint everyone into a box, like not all popular girls are mean and not all unpopular girls are nice, etc etc.

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