By Daeja Conner
“Skinny,” by Donna Cooper, is a novel that explores the aspects of true beauty, bullying, and romance. The book follows the life of an unhappy, fifteen-year-old girl named Ever who weighs over 300 hundred pounds and is trying to make it through high school.
Ever believes that she will never be loved in her current state and her companion, Skinny, makes sure that that thought will never go away. Skinny is the voice in Ever’s head that tells her all the negative opinions about her appearance.
“He feels sorry for you.” “She thinks you’re pitiful.” “There aren’t parts for fat girls like you.” These are some of the repulsive things Skinny keeps in Ever’s mind.
However, this is not the only voice within Ever’s mind. Her lovely singing voice also resides there but has been silenced by the harsh statements that Skinny makes daily.
This book follows the intense journey of Ever trying to take control of her life after getting weight loss surgery. This difficult task that she must endure is to lose weight but not lose herself in the process as she tries to shed pounds and Skinny along with them.
Reading this story as a seventeen-year-old female began to trigger emotions near and dear to my heart because of the relatable emotions of Ever. Ever’s struggle with body image and anxiety during school is something that most high schoolers can relate to. The book was able to cause me, as a reader, to shed some tears, laugh, and reflect on how to deal with issues at school all within its 229 pages.
The book is told through Ever’s perspective and is the story of how she views the world and events within her life. With her best friend, Rat, she strives to become thin and something that she can bear to look at in the mirror. Struggling with eating ten times less than she is used to and running difficult routes everyday in order to shed the pounds, she finds her escape through music.
The novel includes Ever’s daily playlists and the songs she is listening to while running, causing a reader to feel one with the book and experience the emotions she is experiencing throughout the day.
The twists and turns throughout the novel keeps the readers on their toes and the end is not something that any reader can prepare for. With its entertaining and heartfelt storyline, the book is a must read for any teenager who may or may not be struggling with insecurities.