Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Book Review: Skinny, by Donna Cooner @donnacooner

Skinny takes a tough issue - a morbidly obese teen - and tackles it realistically, but with sensitivity and a touch of romance.

Ever is fat. She's over 300 pounds, and as you can expect, takes a lot of abuse at school. She is also embarrassed. Skinny makes you think about school from the perspective of someone who suffers from being overweight. They don't fit in the desks. They can't fit down the aisles. When you set up folding chairs right next to each other -- they don't fit on them. It really is a very discriminatory situation. And school isn't the only place.

Ever has tried everything. Diets, counseling--everything you would expect. She also has an invisible voice in her head that keeps her down. The voice, which she calls Skinny, constantly reminds her of her condition, and her stupidity, and her ugliness, and anything else to keep her feeling really low.

Ever decides to look into gastric bypass surgery. She goes through with the procedure, and I really don't want to say any more about the plot, because you need to read this. Let's just say Ever changes -- and not just in the weight category. That was a really great part of Skinny. Cooner makes Ever a pretty mean person. She's mad at the world, and I'm not saying that isn't justified, but Ever doesn't realize how it affects her interactions with other people.

I was a skeptic going into this book. I've known too many adults who have been unsuccessful after undergoing major surgery to help them lose weight. I'm just totally against teens undergoing this procedure. But....

It was handled really well. Her father and one friend were very supportive. Her doctor was intelligent and did the right things. The only thing I wish Cooner would have added was some psychiatric counseling. I really think that after the surgery, there would have been a lot of check ups and counseling sessions to make sure Ever was handling this drastic change.

There are so many other aspects of Skinny that added to my love of this book. Ever is a great singer, but no one knows. She wants to be in the musical, but she can't. Rat is a great, supportive friend. Ever has two stepsisters that also affect her feelings about herself. I could go on, but for a book that's less than 300 pages, Skinny packs a punch.

You could add this one to your anti-bullying books list, but I think any fan of teen contemporaries would find a lot to enjoy in Skinny.

Published by Point, October 1, 2012
ARC obtained from the publisher

Rating: 4/5

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  1. Great review! You've definitely made me want to read this one.

  2. This sounds excellent. What ages do you think it'd work for? Any content that would be questionable for younger YA readers?

    1. There's no sex. I can't remember any language -- although I don't always notice that. I would give it to 7th or 8th graders -- the subject is appropriate.


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