Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Skinny by Donna Cooner

Title: Skinny
Author: Donna Cooner
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: October 1st 2012
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: NetGalley
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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.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

There are two things I consider when writing my reviews: What I felt while reading and how I feel once I've finished the book. But I'm not sure what to do when these two feelings don't fit, like with Skinny. I really liked it while reading, but now that I think about it, lots of it is pretty bad. And I still can't decide which of those things is how I really feel about Skinny.

If you hate everything predictable and cliched, Skinny is definitely not for you - it is Cheese Central. Skinny has all of the typical high school scenes, like Ever being accepted by the popular crowd and abandoning her loyal but nerdy old best friend - we all know exactly what's going to happen. It doesn't get much cheeiser than all of these Cindarella references, or the whole storyline of Ever finding her voice on stage, complete with an excessive load of musical references. The family storyline is cliched, too, and very underdeveloped - I wanted much more depth to Brielle's character, not to mention Lindsay, the other stepsister, whom we never get to know.

The body image message is a little weird. I didn't notice while reading, but now, it bugs me how much it seemed like weight loss solved all of Ever's problems. Ever's self-worth is based pretty much only on other people's opinions, and I wish the character growth had focused more on Ever learning to take care of her body for herself, not just to make people like her. It also frustrated me how Ever losing her mom was never really explored we never got to feel her grief, how that was only used as the motivation for Ever's overeating.

But while reading, I didn't mind most of that, and that's because of the writing. Donna Cooner's style is very honest and it flows so nicely. The writing has an addictive quality to it, making Skinny a very quick read - I didn't even notice the time passing while I was reading. I enjoyed reading about Ever's weight loss and the gastric bypass surgery. It was fascinating to read about something like that, something I wouldn't normally be confronted with.

If you're expecting deep emotional investment, you will probably be disappointed by Skinny - we would have needed much deeper exploration of all the issues for that, instead of just cliches. But I did enjoy reading it, so if you're just looking for a cute, quick read with a more serious subject matter, you should give Skinny a try.

One more thing I have to mention, though, is the cover. What is up with that!? Couldn't they have chosen a model at least somewhat non-skinny? That girl weighs less than Ever ever will, and I hate that covers can't be more diverse and accurately portray the characters.


  1. This is a good review, as usual! I really like that you have pointed out that it can still be enjoyable to read the cliches and the same things we've read a billion other times in other books. One writer might do a good job keeping it somewhat interesting, and that's always good to know.

  2. I was somewhat interested in this, but I was worried that it would seem a bit shallow. And based on what you said about Ever's weight loss seeming to solve her problems, I don't think this book is for me. Great review.

    -Kait @ YA Vixens

  3. gr8 review. sorry to hear that it was not a 5/5

  4. Gahh I hate cheesy, cliche and predictable books so this probably isn't for me. :P I'm glad you ended up enjoying it though. :)

  5. I can't see myself reading SKINNY. I think I enjoyed your review way more than I would the book.

  6. I'm not very much in love with the cover either, I like the left side, but the model is.. nah. I don't really like cheesy books, but I was interested - until you've mentioned how her weight loss seemed to solve her problems. I don't like it when a book gives ideas like that. Great review.

  7. I don't mind the cheese but when it's overdone it becomes gag worthy. Like another commenter I'm also turned off from reading this book because of weight loss solving all her problems.


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