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Ibi Kaslik
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3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,189 Ratings  ·  429 Reviews

Do you ever get hungry? Too hungry to eat?

Holly's older sister, Giselle, is self-destructing. Haunted by her love-deprived relationship with her late father, this once strong role model and medical student, is gripped by anorexia. Holly, a track star, struggles to keep her own life in balance while coping with the mental and physical deterioration of her beloved sister.

Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Walker & Company (first published April 17th 2004)
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May 19, 2011 Ebehi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The writing was okay but my main problem with the book was that I couldn't really get a clear picture of anything. There was always this sense of detachment between the characters and their story from the outside world. It's hard to place their lives in the context of the rest of the world, and for a long time I didn't even know where they were. I don't know what they looked like, and I seriously can't picture much of anything. Some scenes also seemed like they were included just for angst - the ...more
Jan 13, 2013 Tassi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Skinny by Ibi Kaslik is honestly one of my favourite books in the entire world. I am going to make it clear that This Book DOES NOT promote Eating Disorders!

If you could not tell by the title, Skinny is about Anorexia Nervosa, a mental disorder typically categorized by an obsessive fear of becoming obese.

Kaslik's prose cuts deep. I have had anorexia for almost all of my life and this book was difficult for me to read because it is so in-detail. When I first read this book, I was in a very bad pl
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A sad and haunting tale about anorexia.. Battling another voice inside her head that tells Giselle that's she's fat and basically controls what she does and eats. It's quite disturbing that she had no control over her eating habits. Or one can argue that all she can control is her eating and this is why she's the way she is. Wanting to be as skinny as her sister Holly. I found her battle with anorexia to be very realistic and also very sad.

The dual point of views added a better dimension but at
Aug 05, 2011 Ellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Skinny is sad in a subtly haunting way. The passages from the medical-school guide really emphasized Giselle's mortality and complemented her muted, though persistent, voice. *SPOILERS* I commend the author for her willingness to experiment with character death, because I've always felt that too many eating disorder novels end with la-di-da, Disney-ending recovery or even "life is not perfect, but I'm getting there day by day" recovery. Statistics say that eating disorders this serious rarely en ...more
Oct 29, 2008 Drusilla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Drusilla Ollennu October 28, 2008
English 11, p.2 Independent reading project
S k i n n y

Skinny, by Ibi Kaslik, reveals the conflict of a young adult and her sister struggling with they’re own individual issues that are somehow connected. Giselle and Holly, both sisters, tell their story in their own point of view as it switches back and fourth in every chapter. While the current setting of the book is in Canada, problems erupted on the subject of their parents when they were in Hungary. Gisel
Oct 05, 2010 Wanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2013 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nov 23, 2015 Peaches rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone who doesn't mind green teeth
Shelves: entertainment
Frankly, this book was a total letdown. Gizelle seemed like a disappointing charade of what Kaslik read in a DSM of what an anorexic "should be." She definitely got aspects correct, but Gizelle was such an annoying (and hygienically repulsive character) that I could not feel badly for her. Moreover, her sister was equally as annoying and neither had any true characteristics other than obsessing over each other. Their bond was similarly as unbelievable as Gizelle reflecting anorexia, as Gizelle n ...more
Shelby Anderson
Mar 01, 2013 Shelby Anderson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’m surprised that I hated this book. When I read the back it seemed like it would be a deep story about one person's struggle with anorexia in the POV of Giselle and her sister, Holly. However, the book seemed to completely bypass her illness. It ran right over it several times. The focus that lies on Giselle is all about it, but no one seems to care all that much. She progressively gets worse throughout the book, both in illness and in personality. I hated Giselle. She’s always selfish and act ...more
Kim Barletter
I went into Skinny wanting to read an anorexia story. How one character was struggling with this eating disorder and her sister was struggling to try to help her get over it. And if that was all the story was about, I would've loved this book. Because the writing wasn't that bad. But only a tiny bit of this book was about Giselle's anoxeria.

Because most of this book was about the 20 other angst-y problems that were added. To list some of them: their dead dad who didn't like/ignored Giselle, Holl
Eleanor Ambrose
I picked up Skinny at the bookstore because the writing style didn’t seem awful, which is often the case with YA reads these days. You’ve got to hunt for the gems amidst the junk. I am an avid YA fan and love the well-written novels in the genre. That being said, what seemed like a promising read turned out to be a messy, tangent-prone dud. There were redeeming moments in the book, but the author had too much going on to accomplish the mission at hand. At the end of the book I was left with a so ...more
Feb 02, 2010 Aly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: whiny teenagers
Have you ever seen a reflection of yourself and fought to recognize the person staring back at you? Have you ever let yourself slip so far into the darkness that you thought there would be no way for you to propel yourself out? The inability to function, to care, what brings a person back from that?

This book isn't all rainbows and sunshine. I respect it for that. The story of Giselle's anorexia wasn't necessarily familiar to me, and at first I struggled to see any reality in it. It must be so sw
From November 2006 SLJ
In her first year of med school, twenty-two-year-old Giselle Vasco seems to have it all together. But a lifetime of bitter relations with her deceased father is slowly catching up, and she falls into a downward spiral that her mother and her younger sister Holly are powerless to stop. Skinny, though, is much more than a study of one young woman’s battle with anorexia. What starts as the story of Giselle quickly develops into a rich and powerful tapestry of a whole family. W
Julia Marie
Jun 21, 2012 Julia Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, kindle
There are merits to this book: one being that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Admittedly I was expecting a more shallow tale, judging by the cover and title. However the book deals with much heavier themes making me wonder if young adult is even the appropriate genre for this book, and would make me consider a different title even. It is also about the disability and coming of age of Giselle's younger sister, immigration, father issues, reconciling parents failures, and has some pretty int ...more
Intentional Jen
This book is hard.

And f-ed up.

On so many levels.

I don't even really want to talk about it. I just want to put my middle finger in the air and never think about it again.

Not because of the writing...It's well written. But, the subject matter is disturbing. The kind that makes your stomach hurt.

I invested a good three days into this book and for it to end like it did is heart-breaking.

Now I will go back to thinking about rainbows and butterflies.
Apr 28, 2014 Paige rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was probably one of the worst books I've ever read. I had to force myself to get through this book, since I'm not one to just abandon them. The book switches POV from Holly to Giselle, but their stories are horribly connected. Little attention is payed to the girls problems, and when it is focused on it's done for plot points, not to see them handle it. Few descriptions were given for important moments in the book that it's hard to understand what exactly is going on. In the end, I wouldn't ...more
May 14, 2015 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a heavy book, the kind that digs its way under your skin and sticks there long after you’ve finished it, leaving you feeling lead-limbed and melancholy. With its gorgeous writing and complex characters, Skinny was far more than I expected it to be.

Based on its simple, Summery cover, and straightforward title, I assumed this book would be a short and sweet story about eating disorder recovery, as told by a teenage girl. Instead, it was the story of two sisters, one about fourteen and the
Rylie Hunt
Sep 01, 2011 Rylie Hunt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
dont read the doctor facts they have nothing to do with the book
Shehleen Rasul
Dec 29, 2014 Shehleen Rasul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book a 4/5 stars.

What I really liked was how different both the girls were, so I was never confused over who was narrating that chapter, which is usually what happen to me when I read a book with more than one perspective.

Giselle, for example, being a medical student, got medical textbook extracts to describe what the mood was of that chapter/passage and to go between past and present tenses.

The way mental illness was portrayed in this book was excellent. It showed how difficult,
Sep 23, 2011 Demitassedream rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing is punctuated with metaphors which are sometimes poetic, sometimes long winded, sometimes brutal. A fan of Dostoevsky's twin themes will enjoy this book. The writer integrates the beauty and ugliness of life (placing a beautiful sunset and a child bleeding from a head wound side by side, for example), in parallel to the two personas that battle inside Giselle. In addition, the story is alternatively narrated by Giselle and her sister Holly, providing two distinct perspectives and two ...more
Cheryl A
Jul 03, 2013 Cheryl A rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, roadrallyteamc
Skinny is the epitome of the adage “you can't judge a book by its cover”. Even with the description of a love-hate relationship and a battle with anorexia, the lime green popsicle cover leads one to think these subjects would be handled with a light touch.

Not so much.

In alternating voices of sisters Giselle and Holly, author Ibi Kaslik tells a harrowing tale of sibling love and rivalry, ghosts of their parents' past and the all-consuming battle of anorexia. Giselle was a strong role mode and top
Feb 13, 2012 Racheld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“– Are you really going to put that in your mouth?
When I gazed at her in the mirror, her judging feline-eyes reminded me that I was not good enough, that everything I had –school, body, and life –I had to maintain, work twice, three times as hard as everyone else to keep. She terrified me into spasms at night when her great pumping heart sucked all the excitement from my veins and turned it into criticism.”(13) I chose this quote because it really explains clearly about Giselle’s anorexia and h
Jasmine Diaz
The main character is Giselle she has to problems one is she is a compulsive studier and to she is anerexic. She first decided she was fat and discusting when she first did drugs after dat she keepd hearing voices in her head telling her she is gross and to starve herself. She went to a clinic for a while until she started to gain weight and eat more. When she got out she ate alot. Her sister Holly is nothing like Giselle she is very healthy and athletic as well but they both have one thing in c ...more
Feb 14, 2010 Jamaica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
Raw & real-down to to the bare bone~

Skinny is a read that encompasses the same story told through two-different sets of eyes: one from Giselle (a 21-year old former-med student whose life spirals out of control with an anorexia problem) and her younger sister Holly (16-17ish)who is strong emotionally and physically. Giselle's the smart one, and fairly pretty...maybe, and Holly is the tom-boy: competitive, gorgeous, and fun, with a strong-head on her shoulders; she was always daddy's favorite
very small interesting differences when you realize that this in set in canada, and that the medical system is different there.

two sisters tell the story - gizelle and holly, daughters of first generation hungarian immigrants. a tale of how people deal with trauma, adolescence and being different, close to everything i know in this strange way. (at one point, gizzy is looking at potatoes and thinking how much better they would be with sour cream and butter - oh, eastern european food!) the alte
I finish this book and I'm not sure what do I think about it. It was straight reality, crude and very painfully to read. I wouldn't read it again. I couldn't understand all and even less, the end. I'm telling it isn't good for your mental health (if you know what's good for you).

You know what? After a few weeks thinking about his book... I'm thinking that it wasn't that bad. It was bad, oh yeah, but not over the top. It had an impact on me, and that's art. I didn't understood or like the end, bu
Jul 10, 2013 Elise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the biggest problems with young adult books about eating disorders or mental illnesses is that the authors use too poetic and pretentious metaphors and images in the narration. Skinny manages to use beautiful language at parts where it fits, and realistic thoughts in other parts. It blends the poetic with the realistic to create the best contemporary mental illness book I've ever read. The only downfall is that Skinny can be seen as romanticizing the eating disorder, which is difficult no ...more
-the writing was really nice
-the topic was handled pretty well
-I found the story about the main characters parents pretty interesting and added more to the story

-the love interest "sol" is a shitty person, and for some reason he was allowed to be shitty and everyone was just ok with this. Also the fact that there even needed to be a love interest in this??? Stop! Not everyone needs a guy to save them
-holly, the main characters sister was like 5 different people at once. I couldn't fig
May 22, 2016 Lauren rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
this is bad
nothing much really happens
why did I read this
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Does Giselle dies?? 1 10 May 12, 2015 03:48PM  
Why does this seem to be a bad thing now??? 2 23 Mar 08, 2013 08:56AM  
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Ibi Kaslik is an internationally published novelist and freelance writer. Her recent novel, The Angel Riots, is a critically acclaimed rock n’ roll comic-tragedy and was nominated for Ontario’s Trillium award (2009). Her first novel, Skinny, was a New York Times Bestseller and has been published in numerous countries. Ibi teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing ...more
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“Heart lesson #3: post-heartbreak survival.
The heart is resilient, I mean literally. When a body is burned, the heart is the last organ to oxidize. While the rest of the body can catch flame like a polyester sheet on campfire, it takes hours to burn the heart to ash. My dear sister, a near-perfect organ! Solid, inflammable.”
“You can never get to a person's mind. You cannot know the different deeds and missions of happiness; you can't tell a screm of pleasure from one of pain. Sometimes, we can barely read pain. Neither a barometer nor a guide, pain can mislead us. Even in the body, the laws of chain reactions can be false. This is why people always want a second opinion.” 23 likes
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