Expected publication: October 1, 2012 by Scholastic
Goodreads | Amazon
Find your voice.
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.
I am so very torn on how to review this book.
On the one hand, I felt it was a great insight into the mind of a young girl who is struggling with her weight, and an eating disorder.
On the other hand, I felt it was an eating disorder, and the solution—gastric bypass surgery—doesn’t send a good message. Ever is an emotional eater. She needed psychological help. This should have been explored before she was thrown into the operating room. It’s claimed that she has tried dieting and exercising with no success, but never in the book do we see her practice any self-control. Jumping straight to gastric bypass surgery at such a young age, when she wasn’t doing anything to manage her weight herself, doesn’t sit well with me. I’m not saying everyone can lose weight through eating well and exercise, I understand that gastric bypass is a last resort for some people. But Ever claims to have tried every diet in the book, and yet we never see her pick up anything healthy—only sweets. The way the doctor convinced her father to allow the surgery—through asking Ever how many calories were in a few foods—seemed absolutely ludicrous. People struggling with anorexia can also tell you how many calories are in everything, that doesn’t mean they need surgery, does it?
I feel like this book reinforces the stigma that anyone who struggles with their weight is just looking for a quick fix, and hard work and effort aren’t necessary. There was a lot of potential here. It could have given insight into gastric bypass in a way that may have opened some eyes. But to me, it was more about Ever’s quest to be skinny rather than healthy. Linking a book about a girl’s quest to be thin with such a controversial procedure just doesn’t seem like a great idea to me.
When I was reading Skinny, I enjoyed it. Don’t allow my review to keep you from giving it a shot, as you may feel differently. It wasn’t until I sat and stewed on the book that all of these things started to bother me.