Skinny by Donna Cooner | Rating: ★★★☆☆
“It’s like being on a tightrope stretched tightly between two skyscrapers - the past and the future.”
As a note, a finished copy of this novel was sent to me by the
publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my
opinions in any way.
Skinny follows the story of a teenage girl who is overweight and struggling with a lot of things that include but are not limited to the typical hormonal worries of a young persons mind. She is only 15 years old and she weighs 300lbs; most of this weight coming from stress, sadness and boredom related eating habits. In part this definitely has to do with the unfortunate loss of her mother — the weight is doing quite a bit of harm to her physical health but her mental health as well.
It’s never fun to be the fat kid in a class full of cruel teens. And to make matters worse, she has a nagging voice in the back of her mind — she calls the voice, Skinny — that keeps telling her she’s never going to be worth it or beautiful. And all of this is stopping her from letting her true self, her voice, shine through at the end of the day.
Not that far into the story, Ever decides to have a surgery to help lose the weight and with the help and support of her best friend, Rat, she embarks on this new chapter of her life to make something more of what she has. But the voice doesn’t go away. And although the pounds are shedding quickly, Ever still has a lot of progress to go in staying on balance with her weight as well as maybe — maybe — reaching out to old friends and one of her step sisters.
First I’d like to note that my actual rating of this novel is 3.5 and that although it is a low rating for me, I didn’t hate the book. I did quite enjoy it and related in many ways to our lead character. I also really liked getting into her mind — it’s a rare moment when fiction becomes so relatable to you, and for me — well, I see a lot of 15 year old me in 15 year old Ever.
I really, really couldn’t help but to root for her and worry for her.
I thought the story was solid and had a lot of promise and heart. I liked that Ever was able to make a little bit of peace with herself when she finally began to see who she was — and who she was becoming. I liked that by the end of the novel, she’d realized she hadn’t been treating her step sister fairly and have strong hope for the two girls becoming sisters. They were a lot more alike than what meets the eye at first and I think they genuinely need each other.
And I thought Rat was a sweet addition to the story. I liked that he was there for Ever and always had been. I can’t see anything coming between a bond like theirs and I just genuinely liked their scenes.
My only complaint of the novel was that it felt short. All sorts of possibilities were there and I just felt like it was, well, rushed. And I felt like more needed to be touched base on Ever’s mental health — beyond what is shown.
However, I think this is a great novel that could do a lot of good among younger kids — not just the ones who are overweight. It had its flaws but I think that it could touch a lot of hearts and maybe help those struggling with their weight or show bullies a straight forward look of the life of kids who struggle with body images. And I would recommend it — if you’re under 16 years old, check it out! If you’re looking for a great present to buy a younger sibling or cousin, this is the book for you.
I can promise you there are parts you’ll relate to.
There are parts that will touch your heart.