Skinny by Donna Cooner
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.
Skinny by Donna Cooner was a book that caught my attention right away, because I have never read a book about someone undergoing gastric bypass surgery, much less a teenager. While Skinny was not exactly what I had hoped it would be, it was an interesting YA debut and something that will stand out in the market.
Ever, the main character, weighs over 300 pounds at age fifteen and struggles to fit in both at school and at home. I felt for her at first, but her selfishness and lack of self respect soon became grating. I wanted to root for Ever, but it was hard when she was not that likable. There were a lot of characters introduced in Skinny, but Rat, Ever's best friend, was the only one that was very developed. I liked Rat and his dedication to Ever was admirable and I enjoyed his passion for science. I could not stand Ever's family, but I think that was because we saw them through Ever's eyes. Briella was actually not a bad person, but Ever had a very bad attitude towards her from the start, so we did not really get to know her until the end.
The plot of Skinny was very unique and I have never read a novel about this issue. I also have never really known what gastric bypass was, but it is apparent Cooner knew what she was talking about and gave the reader a good overview of what was going on. I admire Ever for making such a big decision at such a young age, but hopefully other young people won't think this is the only option they have if they are worried about their weight.
Things moved rather quickly in Skinny and the Ever from the end of the book was a completely different person from the Ever we first met. There were a lot of secondary plots weaved into the overarching one, but it was an overall very quick read.
I love contemporary YA and while this was a unique and brave story, I never fully connected with Ever which made me like this book less. Of course I understood her frustration with being so overweight at such a young age, but her personality and attitude were very frustrating and it never seemed she wanted to lose weight for herself, but for others, which should not have been why she got the surgery-- which is a very personal decision. Overall, while Skinny was not exactly what I had been expecting, I will be checking out Cooner's next work because Skinny was very well-written and I enjoyed certain aspects of it, but I just could not connect with the main character.
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
October 1, 2012/Point/272 Pages/Young Adult
Source: Publisher (Hardcover)