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3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,474 Ratings  ·  183 Reviews

I'm telling you because if I don't, I will choke on it. Everybody knows what happened, but nobody asks. And Elvis the EMT doesn't count because when he asked, he didn't even listen to me answer because he was listening to my sister's heart not beat with his stethoscope. I w
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Margaret K. McElderry (first published January 2nd 2006)
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Spirit Hayter
Dec 16, 2013 Spirit Hayter rated it it was amazing
I picked this book because my librarian had recommended it to me. Since we have the same taste in books. I had read the summary and fell in love instantly.
'Skin' is a page turner from beginning to end. The flow of the sentences, to the pages to the chapters are all perfect. Through out the whole book i could not put it down. I was up reading the book most nights past 12 o'clock. I could never find a spot to put down 'Skin'.
'Skin' begins with Donnie, a eight grader moving on to ninth. High schoo
Hazel McHaffie
Jan 21, 2014 Hazel McHaffie rated it liked it
This one's more about bullying and poor family relationships than about anorexia. I found it rather bleak and hopeless.
The opening scene where Donnie discovers his sister’s body is good: she’s 16, he’s 14. But otherwise I wasn’t convinced by Donnie’s voice and didn’t like the depressing lack of any kind of resolution.
Donnie is the narrator. His family is totally dysfunctional, unable to deal with Karen’s eating disorder or see Donnie and his needs. Superficial focus is on anorexic Karen, but re
West Region,
Skin by Adrienne Vrettos

Donnie has become invisible. Since his sister has been in the hospital, Donnie has practiced floating through the halls like a ghost. He doesn’t touch anyone, and he imagines that the times he does brush up against their arms, it feels like a clammy, cold breath on their skin. Donnie sits in the back of his high school class and doesn’t raise his hand. He ignores everyone because it is easy, it is like they are not even in the same universe. Donnie’s goal is to get throug
Mar 13, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: q4-2009
In her first novel, Adrienne Maria Vrettos, opens her book hard and fast-paced, in a scene that you wouldn't expect to find on a first page. The fairly new author has only to novels to her name, Skin and Sight. Skin has won many honorable mentions and a few book awards including an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Though this book was only two hundred and twenty seven pages, I found myself devouring every page and hoping it wouldn't end.
This novel portrays life, nowadays, at it's lowest. A marr
May 31, 2013 Sierra rated it really liked it
Karen is sick. She refuses to eat and the only person she talks to is her friend Amanda. And Amanda listens. So when Karen ‘eats dinner’ over Amanda’s house most nights Amanda plays along. But this story isn’t about Amanda. It’s about Donnie and how he struggles to see his sister eat, his dad actually come home to see his family once and awhile, and to stay invisible anymore. Becuase he feels as if everything is up to him, and if anything changes his world will come crashing down.

Normally I’m mo
Jun 01, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I've had this book for many years now, it is one of my favourites. The story deals with 14 year old misfit Donnie and how he feels he is dissapearing. His home life has broken down, what with his dad leaving and his sister battling with anorexia. At school he is one of the most unpopular kids and his two best friends have ditched him.
The book opens with the death of his sister Karen and Donnie trying to revive her, which is quite an interesting opening, bec
Abbe Hinder
The beginning of this book really drew me in with the intense feeling of something bad yet exciting about to happen.

Told from the perspective of Donnie, this story was interesting. The idea was pretty interesting because it wasn’t told from Karen’s perspective, but from Donnie’s and how it effected him. Some of the characters were funny and easy to read about while others were boring. It felt like a toss-up between them and which one I would be reading and liking. The ending didn’t seem good to
4Q 2P JS
Donnie, at fourteen years old, feels it is his responsibility to save his sister Karen from an eating disorder and to solve the marital problems of his parents. In the process he gradually disappears and loses himself. He is a true outcast at school now that his “loser” friends no longer acknowledge him. His parents’ arguments have now resulted in them living apart in separate towns, although they instead claim the cause is his father’s job. Donnie and his mother are now at a loss at try
Rebecca McNutt
This is one of very few fiction books on eating disorders I've read that doesn't focus on a victim, but on the family member of a victim. The one person Donnie can truly trust is slowly dying, and this book follows his thoughts and his emotions, and eventually how he copes with it.
Jul 21, 2015 Cait rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so unbelievably good. Horrendously sad and gut wrenching and very realistic in the way it portrayed emotions. But so good.

I picked it up about a couple hours ago and didn't put it down until I was finished.
Dec 04, 2008 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
14-year old Donnie narrates this book about his sister, Karen, and her bout with anorexia. A self-professed nobody, Donnie depends on his sister to be his friend, but his homelife and especially his parents' relationship is shattered as Karen's disease spirals out of control. Thinking that it will somehow help his sister, Donnie "disappears" into himself, and what results is a powerful narrative on what it's like to be the "other" child--the sibling often forgotten in the wake of family tragedy. ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Mscheetz30 rated it liked it
‘They were both dying to survive’. This is a main topic in the book Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos. In this book many things happen. The main characters, Donnie and Karen, are two loving siblings. In the book Karen gets a best friend named Amanda. They do everything together and Donnie always tries to join in. These friends try to conquer the difficulties of life. One major action happens in the book that deals with Karen. This book keeps you on your feet and creates suspense along the way.
Lizzy Baldwin
Oct 06, 2015 Lizzy Baldwin rated it it was amazing
I’m not sure whether you would class this as YA but it’s a book I have read so many times. It sings to the reader in me as to the characters, the writing style and the feel of book. Yes, books have feels. The plot follows Donnie as he reviews the life he has lived so far, carefully pulling apart the seams of his family to find out when everything went so wrong; his parents’ marriage derailing, his sister slowly slipping away from him, the sudden rejection from his so called friends. Donnie attem ...more
May 24, 2014 Flowerchild rated it it was amazing
Skin was probably one of the best books I have ever read in the world of books. And even though I have already read it, I really wanted to analyze the perspective of this book, what makes it 3-D. I went in thinking that Donnie's events would shape the book, but instead, it was the events of the book and the underlying problem that contributed to Donnie's uprise in the book. Which is weird to think about because Donnie is such a flat character, although he goes in with problems of his own. So at ...more
Lucy Martinez
Mar 18, 2014 Lucy Martinez rated it really liked it
**Spoiler Alert**
What if you had to experience your sibling having an eating disorder? Knowing she hadn't eating all day? In this realistic story Donnie had to deal with his anorexic sister and his separated parents.

Donnie wanted his life to come together to be happy but his parents always fought and sister developed an eating disorder so everything was falling apart he was also becoming "invisible" in school and to make everything worst his sister was getting sicker then after her being in a
Anna Motteler
Aug 21, 2010 Anna Motteler rated it it was amazing
I think that this is the best book dealing with anorexia that I have ever read. You are reading this from Karen's brother's point of view and usually in the books that I have read, you are seeing it through the person suffering from anorexia, not their family member's point of view. I loved the ending of this book, I never expected it to happen and it honestly made me smile when I read the last few pages. Great read about the disorder and what it does to your family if you suffer from it. A must ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Sesana rated it really liked it
There aren't that many books about eating disorders that focus on the aftermath. And when this books focuses on Karen's fatal anorexia, and the chaos she leaves behind, it's very, very good. This was a needed voice, and it makes for a good companion to Wintergirls. But... the main viewpoint character, Karen's brother Donnie, is obnoxious. I found him to be totally unlikeable. He's the big weakness in the book.
May 28, 2010 Emma rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Eating disorder suffers, teenagers
Shelves: mental-health
Skin is not just another book about anorexia, it is a very different story.

This book really opens your eyes to how eating disorders tear apart families and friendships. The story of Donnie and of Karen work so well together, the book is heartbreaking and very funny at different times.

I would recommend it to ED sufferers and anybody else who likes an emotional read.
Skin is a book about a boy called Donnie who has a sister suffering from anorexia. I recommend it because it's beautifully written and a very fresh angle on the usual 'girl with eating disorder' story line. Also, I feel not enough people know about it.

It gets me every time.
Rachel Rose
May 23, 2014 Rachel Rose rated it it was amazing
I finished this book a week or two but I decided to write a review on it now before I forgot. I went to the library trying to find Vampire Academy and I couldn't. I was looking through the shelves through all of the books and saw this one. I read the first couple of pages and decided to give it a chance given I don't usually read stuff like this. Boy am I glad I gave it a chance. This book is so good. Donnie is literally me. I could connect with his character. This book is so touching and I'm ha ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Megan rated it liked it
This book was way better than I thought it would be. Skin is told from the point of view of a brother whose sister is anorexic. It was different then a lot of other books with the same main topic, because the voice makes it so you can see how her anorexia effects the rest of the people in her life, not just her. Although the book could be a little dry at parts, it was still very good. I ended up reading this book in 2 sittings, and towards the end I had to take a break because I was crying so ha ...more
I picked this book up from my school's library back when I was 12. I didn't know much about mental health at the time. People didn't talk about it in my country. It's slightly better now - they do talk about it, but people still don't get it. They don't get how hard it is; how helpless it feels. They don't get how crippling it can be and how it crushes you emotionally and physically, draining your energy and enthusiasm. They don't understand that it's a chemical imbalance, not a choice.

Back then
Jan 12, 2009 Jaemi rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
aren and Donnie have a less than pleasant home life. They occupy the front steps during their parents' fights often enough that they keep provision hidden behind a loose stone. And it's on one such afternoon that they meet her. Amanda. Donnie is immediately smitten, Karen has an immediate best friend. But while Amanda becomes and easy out for Karen, Donnie finds himself left behind. Suddenly the fights are his alone to ignore.

Their happiest time comes the following summer, on their vacation up a
Apr 21, 2013 Sandy rated it really liked it
Donnie’s life is falling apart at lightning speed. His mother and father fight constantly and Donnie and his sister retreat outside to hide from the noise. His friends at school, well can we really call them friends if they use him and abandon him? His mother and his sister are his only life-lines and the tension there is mounting. His sister has anorexia and she is literally disappearing before his eyes. His mother is wound tighter than a drum and is on constant guard. His father ends up moving ...more
Ringo The Cat
Jun 08, 2011 Ringo The Cat rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, young-adult
A few days ago I talked about how Joanna Kenrick didn’t really stake the right stance towards her (sensitive) writing topic in Red Tears. Coincidence threw Adrienne Maria Vrettos’ first novel Skin (about anorexia, self-esteem, loss and survival) in my lap and if this book proves anything, then it’s that Vrettos succeeds where Kenrick failed.
Skin also deals with one of those traumatic and tragic (teenage) topics – anorexia – so it could easily have been another complaint ‘I can’t deal with life’
Ajali Harrison
Oct 03, 2012 Ajali Harrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Skin is about Donnie, a fourteen year old boy with many problems. The thing about his life, though, is that he doesn’t have much time to worry about pimples or girls like other boys his age might. What he is constantly worried about is his older sister, Karen, with an eating disorder. On top of that he has to worry about his parent’s struggling marriage and his new school role: class loser. He’s more preoccupied with wondering if his role model has eaten that day more than anything. Donnie decid ...more
Leah Canel
Oct 12, 2012 Leah Canel rated it liked it
The book I just finished is called Skin. It is written by Adrienne Maria Vrettos. It is a realistic fiction book. This book was recommended to me by Mr. Rusch and it is about a boy named Donnie and his sister Karen, and her best friend, Amanda. Donnie is a freshman in high school and his sister and her friend are juniors. The story is told from Donnie’s perspective. In the first couple of pages, Karen collapses on the floor and dies. She is anorexic. The story is a flashback. Donnie and Karen’s ...more
Lisa Benenati
Sep 21, 2012 Lisa Benenati rated it liked it
Adrienne Maria Vrettos' Skin is a gripping account of a 14 year old boy caught up in a dysfunctional family and his sister's battle with anorexia. The opening pages show Donnie as he tries to revive his sister, Karen, but to no avail, beginning with a bang and then backtracking to show the year leading up to her death. Karen and Donnie's parents fought often, bringing the children closer together as they drifted apart, and the two developed a system of hiding outside whenever the arguing began. ...more
May 18, 2012 Hayley rated it liked it
Recommended to Hayley by: Goodreads
WHAT THE BOOK WAS ABOUT: Donnie's sister Karen is dying to be thin. She has anorexia. But on top of that, his parents are fighting and his dad moved out "to be closer to his job." Everything is a mess in Donnie's eight grade life, his friends at school are ignoring him and all he wants to do is go back to that summer at the lake. Where everything was perfect. Except for his parents fighting. That's when it all started.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: There was a lot of swearing. And for some reason I didn't
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Hellooooo there!
It's me, Adrienne. I'm the author of the just-released YA novel BURNOUT, as well as THE EXILE OF GIGI LANE, SIGHT, and SKIN.
This author picture is *exactly* how I look, ALL the time. I travel with a special lighting team to make me look dark and dramatic and like I'm always coming out of (or going in to?) the shadows.
Thanks for visiting my page!

More about Adrienne Maria Vrettos...

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“The way to get people to love you is to show them that you love them.” 16 likes
“Nothing about us is right. We’re the wrongest kids you’ve ever seen. Our faces are wrong with zits, we have the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, and I think we might be ugly. Our families are wrong because none of us are rich, our bodies are wrong because we suck at sports, and there’s something really wrong with all of our personalities, because nobody likes us, not even the teachers. Teachers make fun of us too, and think we don’t notice.” 15 likes
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