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Book Review: Skinny by Donna Cooner

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Skinny by Donna Cooper is about an overweight teenager who hides behind all the extra pounds. Ever Davies has an amazing voice, but also a voice that silences her. Skinny talks to her all the time and tells her exactly what everyone else thinks of her. When Ever makes the hard decision to get gastric bypass surgery, she finally starts losing weight and gaining her life back. But will she ever lose Skinny?

The plot of Skinny is captivating enough for readers to have interest. I, along with many others do not know very much about gastric bypass surgery. However once I started the book I found the basic storyline messy and all over the place. I found things to be a little too rushed. Possibly if the book was longer there would be more time to elaborate on subjects such as the gastric bypass surgery and Ever’s singing voice, which appeared to be a big part of the book but turned out to be only mentioned a couple of times.

At the beginning of Skinny, Ever believes that everyone is pushing her away because she’s fat. This became annoying for me,personally, because it can clearly be seen to the reader that Ever is the one ignoring others. Thankfully, Ever realizes this soon enough for the book not to become frustrating. Cooner shows the growth of Ever outstandingly; readers will be able to watch as Ever transforms into a confident young woman, and that is a  refreshing thing to read about.

I found the turning point of this book to be very poorly done.  In the moment when Ever finally “confronts” Skinny, there isn’t enough emotional power, and there isn’t enough build up for the reader to be amazed and refreshed to see Ever finally face the voice that has been plaguing her for years. The scene overall lacked power.

The characters are alright, but I found myself disliking Ever. She is hard to connect to, and, as I mentioned, some of her views on people and society are quite irritating. I also feel like I need to know more about her; for example, the book says that she always has tried to lose weight but it just piles right back on again. I found myself wondering why, and I feel that Cooner could have delved in deeper on that.

The supporting characters are likable but not described or developed enough. I feel the need to know more about a lot of these characters’ pasts, such as Lindsay and Ever’s stepmother and father.  I’m still wondering if Ever’s dad could have helped her more or if he had the best of intentions but just didn’t understand.  I’m also still wondering whether her stepmom is truly a good person or not, however there is evidence toward the end of the novel that proves that theory.  I feel that if Cooner hadn’t rushed the plot along so much she would have been able to provide the connections that would have made this reader happy.

The writing of this book could have been better. There is lack of emotional connections among the characters and the situations in which they find themselves. It is also hard for the reader to relate to these situations. Most people in this world have never had gastric bypass surgery, for instance. The ability to relate to scenarios that might not apply to the reader was vital in this book, and Cooner unfortunately did not supply that.  However the descriptions are good, and the plot does move along; there is rarely a dull moment in the book.  There are also a lot of subconflicts in the novel.  Even if they aren’t all as detailed as readers would like them to be, they are still interesting.

Overall, Skinny by Donna Cooner was an interesting read, but the rushed plot, underdeveloped characters, and lack of relatable situations made the story confusing, frustrating, and not a book that a reader would think highly of. There are definitely a lot of flaws in this book, but it wasn’t a complete waste of my time. I’d give it a 7/10.

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About Rebecca Danielle

Hi! I'm Rebecca, and I'm the administrator of Good, Bad, and Ugly Books, found on Tumblr, a blog with almost 700 followers (and counting!) I've been reviewing for over a year now. I review young adult novels of all different genres. Please check out my reviews! If you have any questions about me or what I do, please check my contact info on my Tumblr blog. Enjoy!
  • Sam

    I read the comment and i thought it was helpful. I read the book and now i am doing a project on it because it is my favorite!!!!! The only thing i am wondering is what the theme is. I found multiple, but they don’t realte to the summary as much as i thougt they would… Please help!

  • Kylie

    I’m doing a book project on this. What is the plot, setting, characters, literary devices, theme, and critique of the Skinny by Donna Cooner?