Book Review: Skinny by Donna Cooner
In 1963, approximately 1 in 22 teens were considered obese. Today, 1 in 6, or 22%, are considered obese. More and more teens are turning to weight loss surgery to help them lose and control their weight. This is the story of Ever Davies and her quest to control both her weight and the vicious voice inside her head that she calls Skinny.
|Skinny by Donna Cooner
Coming from Scholastic Point in October of 2012
Ever Davies weighs 302 pounds and she has a voice inside her head that she calls Skinny that likes to torment her. You know how something is happening in the real world and inside your mind you are thinking something else? That is what happens to Ever. But in Ever’s case, the voice of Skinny has become so real that she has taken over Ever’s life. Here are just a few of the encouraging words that Skinny whispers in Ever’s head:
Ever herself is an interesting character; full of self-loathing at times she definitely stands in her own way. There is a scene towards the end of the book that is both cheesy and awkward where Ever finally stands up to “Skinny”. It needs to take place, of course, for Ever to move forward, but it has both a literalism and a dream sequence feel to it that makes it almost seem out of place in the context of the rest of the story. It is, however, interesting to learn how much of Ever’s issues – and her perception of her relationship with others – was misunderstood and brought about by Ever herself as opposed to coming from those around her. In the end, Ever learns that she was so wrapped up in herself, and Skinny, that she had closed herself off to the feelings of those around her.
In Butter (by Erin Jade Lange), the parents have withdrawn and are having difficulties dealing with their child’s obesity. It is not talked about and there is some indication that the parents are complicit in both the emotion and the “feeding” of Butter’s weight issues. In Skinny, it is indicated that Ever’s overeating is an emotional response to the death of her mother and the father takes a much more supportive, hands on approach to helping his daughter. Even though he himself is concerned about surgery, he goes with Ever to the appointments and supports her decision. I thought that both books did a good job of discussing the emotions involved in obesity and body image in their own unique ways.
Every Day by David Levithan, a book review
Butter by Erin Jade Lange, a book review
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, a book review
A Second Opinion: Every Day by David Levithan
10 Titles that deal with Obesity and Body Image (with links to some good articles)
Discuss: Is Fat the Last Acceptable Prjeducie in YA Lit?
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
SLJ Blog Network