Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review of Skinny by Donna Cooner

By Donna Cooner
3 Scribbles
To be released Oct 1, 2012
Any time Ever sees her father, her gorgeous stepsisters, her stepmother, her classmates, or anyone else for that matter, she knows they are thinking about the elephant in the room—and that elephant is Ever. She weighs 302 pounds and is 15 years old. Will gastric bypass surgery help Ever win her crush, Jackson, and stop the embarrassment and isolation she feels every day?

Ever is a difficult character to embrace at first. She is plagued by a constant inner voice she dubs her fairy godmother, Skinny; Skinny’s voice is brutal, nagging and mocking Ever’s weight with hateful insults on a constant basis. Thus, Ever is also hateful, slinging snarky comments and sarcasm in her path wherever she goes, even to those who don’t deserve them. However, as the novel progresses, the reader begins to realize that Ever’s bitterness is all a front. What she really wants is to find friends, find love, and to fit—whether that be in her clothes or in her school—and right now she doesn’t fit anywhere. With the support of her dad and her best friend Rat, Ever chooses weight loss surgery, and through that experiences she begins to discover where her pain comes from. Without the band aid of food, Ever must now begin first grieving her mother, and then grieve food. Only then can her soul’s true beauty shine. Although Susan Vaught’s My Big Fat Manifesto presents an outside perspective of weight loss surgery, Cooner’s novel explores heretofore untouched territory of a teenager’s personal journey with gastric bypass. And while the humor falls flat in some places, and the romantic angle is predictable, teens struggling with personal overweight, or teens supporting a friend with these issues will enjoy the book. It is a timely story about the definition of true beauty, and for those who hate fairy tale retellings, no worries here, this tale is only loosely based on the Cinderella original.

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