Wanda's Reviews > Skinny

Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
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Oct 05, 10

Read from October 01 to 05, 2010 — I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** This book is about a young woman who is destroying herself while those around her are helpless to stop and can only watch her slide into oblivion. The narration alternates, between Giselle, the anorexic older sister, and Holly, the better compensated (albeit still disturbed) older sister. Within the narrative that is Giselle’s, she carries on a dialogue with her inner demon – which presumably is her disease. With respect to an accurate portrait of anorexia nervosa as an obsessive condition, this is spot on.
Giselle blames her anorexia on her late father whom she claims never loved her the way that he loved her sister and she spends much of the book exploring the ostensible reasons for her perception. Spoiler alert – apparently the reason for his lack of feeling for her is that he believes that she is another man’s child. Parenthetically, I did think that there was far too much emphasis on blaming family for the genesis of this eating disorder. Although family dynamics are not optimal in these families, they are not the CAUSE of the disorder. Kaslik falls into the trap of too many pop-psychology types – i.e. that your family is the cause of your dysfunction.
This is where this author gets in over her head and feeds us a weird tale of a physician who should have known better, subjecting his daughter to repeated EEGs searching for clues to her parentage. Evidently the suspected father suffered from epilepsy. Now there are a few things wrong with this scenario. First, any physician should know that EEGs are not necessarily diagnostic of epilepsy; second, only a small fraction of epilepsies are hereditary; third, the child never had a seizure for goodness sakes.
I think the author wanted to somehow gross her audience out with visions of electrodes and a strange looking apparatus resembling (perhaps?) an ECT device. Who know, but the issue is that she could have used something other than epilepsy as a way to question and establish paternity. It just does not work.
This is a dark, often difficult to read book. It contains an awful lot of inner and outer dialogue that sometimes tends to tangent and rambling – as does real self-talk and conversation. I found it to be far above the level of Young Adult – for which it was designated. A non-young adult would have trouble with this book – it is not easy reading, nor for the fainthearted.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Merry (new)

Merry Good psychological insight Wanda!


Wanda Thanks Merry!


Joanna Karaplis I agree the electrodes part was weird. Her dad was a doctor--wouldn't he have just done a paternity test??


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