Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skinny by Donna Cooner

Title: Skinny
Author: Donna Cooner
Publisher: Scholastic Teen
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Reviewer: Maggie (13)

“Skinny” tells the story of Ever, a 15 year old girl who has to deal not only with being over 100 pounds overweight, but also with a voice in her head that tells her she won’t ever be good enough – a voice called Skinny. Ever loves musicals, fairy tales, and singing, but doesn’t enter the school musical because she doesn’t want people to judge her. After Ever accidentally breaks a chair at a school function, she decides to undergo gastric bypass surgery, which basically cuts down the size of her stomach permanently so she won’t eat as much (and will therefore lose weight).

The book is mostly about Ever’s life after the surgery, and how her life at school changes when she loses weight and gains some confidence, therefore defeating Skinny. However, there’s a subplot where Ever chases after a guy, Jackson (who hasn’t noticed her since she started gaining weight) only to realize that her best friend, Rat, has been in love with her the whole time.

“Skinny” was pretty well written – I really liked the scene near the end when Ever realizes that Skinny doesn’t actually know anything about her, and all Ever needs to do to move on with her life is ignore the little voice in her head. The book had some funny bits, and it showed that losing weight isn’t always as easy as dieting and exercise. That said, Ever wasn’t always a really sympathetic character to me. She obviously had good reason to be upset – besides her problems at school, her mother died of cancer when she was ten, and she doesn’t really get along with her stepsisters that well at the beginning of the book. But that’s kind of Ever’s fault – she’s so busy feeling sorry for herself that she kind of assumes her stepsisters hate her, and she’s pre-emptively mean to them. That goes for most of the people at her school, as well – whenever Skinny tells her “Oh, those people think you’re a waste of space,” Ever gets annoyed at them even if they never actually said anything.

In the end, I think this is a pretty good book, but I think it’s definitely geared more towards teenager-ish girls than boys.