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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.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2012

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About the author

Donna Cooner

25 books318 followers
Donna Cooner was born and raised in Texas. She is a three time graduate of Texas A&M University. A former teacher and school administrator, she now teaches teachers and principals at Colorado State University where she is the director of the School of Teacher Education and Principal Preparation. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her two labs and a cat named Stu. She’s a big fan of chocolate and laughing (not necessarily in that order).

Donna is the author of two novels for young adults, SKINNY and CAN’T LOOK AWAY. She’s also the author of over twenty picture books and was a founding member of the Brazos Valley Society of Children’s Bookwriters and Illustrators. She has also written children’s television shows for PBS and textbooks for future teachers.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,230 reviews
Profile Image for jv poore.
609 reviews204 followers
January 7, 2021
High school is hell. I remember the horror of being a teen-aged girl. Few of us were comfortable in our skin, justifiably so. We felt ugly. We had uni-brows, bad skin, horrendous hair and less-than-perfect bodies.

Ever Davies’ high school experience is worse. She has struggled with her weight for as long as she can remember, but she did it alongside her cherished mother. Five years after losing her mom, it is clear that Ever stopped fighting. She is 5’ 6” and weighs 302 pounds.

This is why people think terrible thoughts about her. Ever knows what everyone is thinking, the Goth fairy on her should (named Skinny), tells her. People are disgusted by her obesity. Her two step-sisters acknowledge her only when her assistance is needed. Jackson, a boy that was one of her best friends growing up, stopped speaking to her years ago. Ever wants him back, as more than a friend, but she knows her weight is the issue. Determined to reclaim Jackson, Ever has gastric bypass surgery.

Her other best friend since childhood, the one that didn’t abandon her as she gained weight, went through the surgery and healing process with her every step of way. That was Rat, always there, always dependable, and always, her Rat.

As the pounds melt away, The Beautiful People start to speak to Ever. Are they being kind, or calculating? With Skinny whispering in her ear, Ever can’t be sure. One thing Ever is sure about: Jackson has noticed. Clearly, the surgery was worth it. Now, she can have everything she’s dreamed of. As her “new friends” get closer, Rat seems further away. She’ll address that soon, it’s Rat, he’s always there for her.

Ever begins to hear things for herself, rather than through Skinny. Is it possible that her weight wasn’t an issue? If she appeared to be angry and hateful, it was only in defense………wasn’t it? Shouldn’t she be ridiculously happy right now, instead of feeling confused, as if something was missing? Being smart, Ever is quick to realize that she has lost more than just extra pounds, but is it too late?

Ms. Cooner perfectly captures teen angst, attitude and dialogue. Anyone that has felt left out due to a physical trait will relate to and root for Ever. The story is sometimes sweet, sometimes hilarious and sometimes very sad; but it is a fantastic story from beginning to end. The characters were very realistic. I quickly became attached to Ever—I wanted to yell at her, to hug her and sometimes, to shake her. I enjoyed this book tremendously, and I will certainly be looking forward to whatever Ms. Cooner writes next.
Profile Image for Wandering Librarians.
409 reviews48 followers
February 9, 2014
Ever is 15 and 302 pounds. She's been gaining weight ever since her mother died when she was ten. Ever has a voice in her head, who she calls Skinny, who tells her what other people think of her. She knows that everyone is disgusted by her. Her only friend is her childhood friend, Rat. Ever decides that with gastric bypass surgery, she will lose the weight, and Skinny, for good. Then she will be able to do everything she ever dreamed on, mainly trying out for the school musical and getting her old friend, Jackson, to fall in love with her.

I had a lot of problems with this book. I almost don't know where to start. Almost. I was on page seven of this book when I figured out that Ever was seriously depressed and was in need of counseling. Page seven. Her mother died when she was ten, she started gaining weight shortly after that, she thinks everyone is constantly looking at her and judging her, she has one friend, she knows she has a beautiful voice but can't sing and she's got this voice in her head telling her how worthless and ugly she is. This kid needs help, right now. You know what she doesn't need? Major surgery.

Ever weights 302 pounds and at 15 years old and 5'6" that certainly is a health issue. But the bigger issue is how tightly drawn into herself she is, and at the same time blames everything on everyone around her. She is totally blind to the actual perceptions and actions of people around her. All she can see is her weight. If only she wasn't fat, everything would be fine. She would get back the boy she loves, she would star in the school musical, etc., etc. These are totally rational things for a depressed, overweight kid to think. But you know what needs to not happen? GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY.

Ever does not want the surgery because there is a concern about her health. There's one sentence about how she's in danger for diabetes and heart problems. Nothing more, no details given. Ever goes in for gastric bypass surgery because she's convinced that if she loses weight, all her problems will be solved. And her father and her doctor let her. This is so, so wrong. There is no discussion of what actually happens when someone wants a surgery like this. The doctor that saw Ever should have his license revoked. He makes a comment about how obesity is becoming more of a problem with adolescents (true) and that children as young as 12 had had the surgery. WTF? Who is performing these surgeries? Where are their parents? It would have to be an pretty damn extreme circumstance I would think.

I have a friend who has just had a similar surgery. It was not gastric bypass itself, but very similar. She did it because she is an adult who has struggled with her weight for years, who is now experiencing back problems and other health issues. In order to be considered for the procedure she had to attend THREE informational sessions on the procedure. Ever's getting prepped for her surgery and saying things like, "Wait, I'm not going to be able to eat sweets anymore?" My friend needed to attend sessions with a therapist. A therapist probably would have spent five minutes with Ever before realizing she was depressed. You don't get to just waltz into the doctor, tell him you've tried to lose weight before and can't and they sign you up.

And in a YA book, that's important. I know that Donna Cooner had gastric bypass surgery (as an adult). Her experience was probably positive and she wanted to share that. She also clearly wanted to write a happy YA book that involved a makeover. She didn't want to write a serious book about someone trying to figure out if surgery was the right decision for her. And when it comes to YA books about weight lose, I think you need to tread very carefully.

Ever has her surgery and begins to lose weight. A popular girl adopts her and helps her buy lots of pretty clothes and makeup and takes her for a fancy haircut. Ever thinks that everything is going to be great now, except of course it isn't, because the weight wasn't what the issue was at all. The weight was the result. Ever finally has her big realization that she's been listening to this voice in her head telling her everyone hates her and that she's ugly, when in fact she was the one shutting everyone out. And she realizes that her best friend has been in love with her the whole time, even when she weighed 302 pounds, and that she is in love with him. That's nice, of course. But Ever didn't need to have the surgery to get there. In fact, the surgery was a mistake, but Ever never actually says that. Nor does she ever actually deal with the root of the problem, the grief the death of her mother.

If this book was going to have a 15-year-old character have gastric bypass surgery, then gastric bypass surgery needed to be more of the book. Ever has the surgery over the summer, then we jump to several weeks later, than to the end of the summer. Very little about her recovery process, or what one has to do after a surgery like this. Nothing on having to sip a certain amount of ounces of fluid each hour so you stay hydrated. Nothing about the discomfort or pain. It's hardly there at all. Next thing we know Ever's lost a bunch of weight and Rat is getting her to exercise.

The way time past in this book was odd. I understand that it actually takes place over the course of an entire year, but it jumps a lot, and it doesn't feel like time is really passing. It seems like Ever loses a massive amount of weight in a very short amount of time, and now all the popular kids are talking to her and she's wearing pretty clothes and getting dates.

I can't think of a situation where I would recommend this book. If someone wanted a happy makeover book, there are better ones. If someone wanted a book about a girl learning a valuable lesson about herself, there are better ones. If someone wanted a book about a girl realizing she was in love with her best friend the whole time, there are a million options. And most of all, if someone wanted a book about a teen struggling with her weight, I would never point them toward this one.

Skinny comes out October 1, 2012.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,205 followers
September 20, 2012
Admittedly, books about weight loss and the challenge of living with extra weight have a lot to live up to when I read them. I know it's a bias. But there are also many thresholds that need to be met, regardless of my own bias toward them. Unfortunately, this one was not satisfying.

When Ever is 15, she's over 300 pounds. She grief eats as a way of dealing with losing her mother years ago. This is never really explained or explored and it's definitely not emotionally compelling. We just need to accept that she shovels down candy and that's how it goes. No further back story.

The real problems begin, though, when suddenly Ever's approved for gastric bypass. There's talk about how she has tried dieting before and tried working out except we never see this struggle. There's no counseling, no nutritional education, no keeping a food diary. It's straight from 0 to risky surgery. The surgery happens quickly, and in no time,

This book a very cursory exploration of the real issues of teen obesity and of bypass surgery. What worked for me was that Ever deals with a horrific internal voice. Skinny continues to tell Ever she's worthless, and that voice doesn't magically go away post-surgery. That said, everything Ever works for is done for the benefit of others and never herself. She gets the surgery because it would make other people happy. She wants the approval of a boy. She wants to fit in. It's not until the very, very end she has her own autonomy but by then, this book has laid stereotype upon stereotype making even that moment disappointing.

Full review here: http://www.stackedbooks.org/2012/09/s...
Profile Image for Sylvia.
280 reviews5 followers
May 23, 2012
Spot on about the issue of obestity among teens. Experiencing the interior monologues that go through Evers thoughts really creates insight into the mind of addiction. The book does not glamorize gastric by pass but presents the nitty gritty of the surgery. The book tackles bigger issues about self esteem and the self doubt that all teens experience.
Profile Image for Taschima.
855 reviews390 followers
August 21, 2012
You can find more reviews @BloodyBookaholic

It's s simple solution, really. Girl loves boy. Boy loves girl. Girl gets fat. Boy leaves. Girl cuts her stomach up into a little bitty pouch to get boy back.
-Ever, Skinny

The first time I wanted to read this book was in a Scholastic event where the author (along with some other helpers) played out the dialogue in the story out loud for the audience. From what heard from those few paragraphs I was intrigued. I got the book. Back at home, on a whim, I took it out off it's place in line in my TBR pile and read the back. The I read the first page, and the second page, and the third page... soon enough I was hooked.

The story undeniably has it's cheesy parts. From the predictable, Cinderella loosely based, overall plot, to the traditional high school experiences (being accepted into the "cool" crowd, going to the BIG dance, etc.), the cheese is deeply rooted. But then you get these glimpses into the characters souls and then you realize that they aren't as cookie cutted, they are more complicated than you might first think. My favorite character in the whole story wasn't Ever, the main character, it was her evil step sister Briella. That character alone was so complicated and it felt more alive to me than any other in that story. It seemed to me Briella wanted her story to be told as well, and even though she didn't have the spotlight she still manages to shine through. Ever is also a very complicated character that deals with a lot of issues, and although sometimes I found her unlikable as a person I could also appreciate the realness of the character. Being inside Ever's head was an experience I would not pass on though. Ever, Briella and Rat are the characters to watch out for here.

Also this isn't the kind of book that is trying to advise against having the gastric bypass surgery, I just wanted to clarify that because some books would take this as an opportunity to preach but Skinny does no such thing. I think the way it handled the whole thing was just right. It gives you all the needed information, but it doesn't feed it down your throat, nor does it try to sway you to think one decision is definitely better than the next.

The love story is as well cheesy and predictable, but it's so cute at the same time! And real, ya know? The whole time I was like, oh I know how this is going to happen, I know how you guys are going to go about it, but I can't help it, let it run it's course! This book is like a regular chick flick. You know how it's going to go down but you still buy the movie ticket and invite all your girlfriends along for the ride.

Because this book has a heart. It really does pull at your heart strings, and it's freaking entertaining. Reading about Ever's journey is worth it, worth your money, and definitely worth your time. I am so not a YA contemporary girl, but I wouldn't pass on Skinny for the world. It's really a book any girl, or boy, could relate to, because we all have had that voice in our heads that brings us down. And it is oh so satisfying to see how Ever kicks the hell out of that voice down to the grown.
12 reviews1 follower
May 8, 2013
I loved the book Skinny. I think every teenage girl should read it. Skinny is the voice inside of Ever’s head. Ever is an obese 15 year old who just wants to escape high school. The voice in her head tells her everything she doesn’t want to hear. Skinny tells her what her classmates and family think of her. They call her a ”cow” and a “fatty.” She was skinny when she was young, but it when her mother died of cancer she figured she didn’t have a reason to stay skinny anymore. But when her stepsister, Briella, tells her about an overweight teen that went through a gastric bypass surgery and lost a lot of weight afterwards she starts to consider it. She decides to go through with the surgery. She thinks with her best friend, Rat by her side she can do anything. But the surgery is no walk in the park, Ever has to exercise a lot, she can’t have any sweets and she has to chew her food into tiny portions just to swallow it. Ever makes sure to never lose hope during her long journey and remember that she will love the outcome. This book was incredible and heart-warming.
Profile Image for Emma Caton.
3 reviews
May 25, 2013
The book Skinny is purely an amazing book as in how it describes the challenges Ever faced with her weight. This book helped me I feel because, I have always struggled with my wait and the voice of " skinny " in my head. With the realization of the voice in Ever's head always putting her down when it really blocked her view on life and the way people judged her, Evers realization was that it was not others who were putting her down, but her self. Rat, he loved her at 302 pounds and he still loves her at 179. Rat is one of the most supporting characters in this book, he pushes Ever to push herself to try out for the musical, to lose weight, and to find herself. I feel Skinny opened up a chapter that I had closed, the chapter contained on how I judged myself, and now with the book Skinny I have finally shut off the voice in my head judging me. Ever is truly amazing but it takes loosing weight, changing, shutting off the voice in her head and, the realization that people had loved her all along, " through thick and thin " she finally let herself become true.
Profile Image for Mia Siegert.
Author 2 books154 followers
September 13, 2015
I'm shocked that I have to give a review like this for a story I thought would be a 5-star... but this actually made me really upset. Borderline really angry. Actually, not even borderline. There will be a few tiny references in here that shouldn't be spoilerific but noting it here just in case.

Okay, starting with the good: the symptoms and description of gastric bypass surgery were on it. The psychological aspect as well as the physiological standpoint (I have several people very close to me who have had the surgery so this was relatable and sympathetic). It ends there.

No gastric bypass surgeon would agree to this surgery in that short amount of time without therapy. It wouldn't happen. Depression would have to be noted and other treatments and attempts would have to happen first. Not in, out, done, or pretty sure people would lose their licenses to perform this procedure.

Ignoring the name "Ever," because of the clichéness... just... what the hell? I was so excited to watch her journey. I felt for her with things I've done, such as eating healthy around others then physically hiding when eating junk. I was so stoked...

and then... she makes a comment about Kristen's mom. A derogatory putdown referencing her mother being a stripper. A line that was (paraphrased) as maybe Kristen would have confidence if she were hanging upside down on poles like her mother.

Seriously? Seriously, you take an AMAZING character then throw in a dig against people who strip for a living? Like they're lesser people? REALLY? For a book about becoming better, this happens? And there's never one moment of apology in terms of this? Character revelation that she's not-nice?

Maybe that made my review bias because, from that moment on, I actually loathed Ever. I didn't root for her. I didn't find any of her behavior as believable.

Maybe that made my review bias because I'm not borderline angry anymore. I'm actually seething.

This is setting aside the massive stereotypes throughout the novel--really? A character implied as gay because he wears nail polish? The popular kids as the skinny minnies?

While I appreciated the musical references, I would have preferred even more if they were consistent with a character's vocal range and a little less on-the-nose/more obscure than what people sing on Glee and The Voice.

So... I'm giving this a 2-star. The 2-stars come from the very accurate portrayal of gastric bypass surgery. But beyond that I found the book to be shockingly insensitive considering the issues.

And the conversation with Skinny at the end where it's all over within maybe a page? Really? The lead up was to that?

Disappointing. Would not recommend this book.
Profile Image for Andrea!.
54 reviews94 followers
October 7, 2015
I read this book a while ago and I'm just getting around to rating it lol whoops
Profile Image for Katie.
248 reviews69 followers
November 2, 2014
As someone who struggled with weight issues and social anxiety in school, Skinny really hit home for me. I spent years and years - and still do, occasionally - thinking that every person who glanced my way was judging me and putting me down. I've never known how to explain that before until I read Skinny. Donna Cooner put it into words and into Ever's story and she did a pretty damn good job.

I feel like Skinny goes above and beyond Ever's quest to lose weight. To me, the real story was Ever's quest to make that cruel voice in her head - named "Skinny" - go away. As the book progresses, pieces of Skinny kind of melt in a way that flows really well and doesn't clash at all with Ever's new lifestyle.

I loved the characters. I love how Cooner wrote authentic teenagers in high school. Not all of the pretty, popular girls are evil trolls (despite my issues, I was friends with tons of them in high school) and I appreciated the diverse personalities. I especially loved Rat. He's probably my favorite YA best friend ever. I was a little worried about where the romance was going after Ever had her surgery. I just wanted to smack some sense into her. But luckily, everything worked out in a cheesy yet incredibly adorable way.

The only thing that really bugged me was how gastric bypass surgery didn't seem like a last resort to Ever. The author mentions that she has tried dieting and exercising but I felt like that wasn't really executed well. I would have loved this book so much more if there were an extra chapter or two of Ever attempting to lose weight by herself before she made the decision to get the procedure done.

Overall, I loved Skinny so, so much. It was so easy to relate to Ever and her weight/confidence issues that I spent most of the time reading it blubbering like a baby. This is such a good book to read if you've ever had any confidence - not just weight - problems. I recommend checking it out!
Profile Image for Sofia Perez.
2 reviews
April 3, 2014
Overall skinny is a great book! It can be really slow at times,but at the end you kinda expect what happens.I think some parts are okay,but could use more meaning and add definition to the book. Her friend, named Rat was probably my favorite character in the story,because he was so sweet, and he seemed like a great friend to Ever.

As she goes through the gastric bypass procedure it seems like it was rushed,she lost a lot of weight in only a small amount of time.She went from 300 pounds to a stick..... I didn't like how her parents weren't there for her,and only making her feel bad about her weight.
11 reviews
December 15, 2016
This book is about a girl name Ever, who weighs over 300 pounds and is only 15 years old. Skinny is the vicious voice that lives inside of Ever. Skinny tells Ever what others thinks of her. One of her sister name Briella told Ever to get a surgery so Ever could lose weighs; at first Ever refused to get a surgery but one day something made Ever realize she should. One thing I dislike about this book is that the first couple of chapters the story got confusing but towards the end it got more & more interesting.
Profile Image for Marochka.
845 reviews
May 19, 2017
Сначала я не понимала, для кого и о чем эта книга.
15-летняя девушка, которая весит 150 кг, это вам не больная раком героиня, не героиня, например, у которой погибла вся семья. Это не героиня, проблемы которой никак не связаны с ней, которую жаль из-за сложившихся обстоятельств. 150 кг (пусть и набранных из-за нервов в результате смерти матери) в 15 лет – это решение самой их «обладательницы». Во всяком случае, так будет считать 90% окружающих, остальным 10% будет ее жалко.
Именно об этом и думает почти всю книгу героиня. Ее внутренний голос по имени Скинни нашептывает ей эти мысли (как она считает, мысли других людей) в ухо к��углые сутки лет с десяти, когда она и начала набирать вес.
Такая книга не может быть бессмысленной, в ней просто обязана бать некая мораль, которая поддержит подростков… Вот только в чем. Поначалу я никак не могла понять: в чем же суть? В том, что чтобы стать счастливой и успешной, героине надо «съежится» до стандартных размеров? Или все же в том, что ее должны любить такой, какая она есть?
Но, пожалуй, автор выбрала абсолютную верную золотую середину: 150 кг – это не дело, но и внутренняя красота важна.
Так как сначала я была растеряна и не понимала, о чем вообще книга, да и развивался сюжет медленно (несмотря на то, что книга совсем крошечная), мне было не слишком интересно. Кому понравится читать о героине, которая так ненавидит себя, что весь рассказ (буквально) именно об этом (о том, как она плавает в слоях жира, это ее слова, не мои), а так как повествование от первого лица, ты вообще вместе с героиней утопаешь в этом самом жире.
Но ближе к середи��е мне начало очень сильно нравиться.
Я должна отдать должное автору: я часто в рецензиях пишу, что в книгах (особенно от первого лица) мы видим мир исключительно глазами героев. И чаще всего видим его правильно, даже если герой сам не понимает этого. Нам сообщается о каких-нибудь многозначительных взглядах или еще чем-то, каких-то нюансах, которые герой не замечает, но мы-то делаем выводы. Тут автор постаралась на все сто, чтобы мы видели мир исключительно глазами героини (и у нее это реально хорошо получилось), и именно потому поначалу я ничего не могла понять. Просто к концу героиня начала разбираться в том, кто друг, а кто нет, в том, что не все, как она думала, считают ее «жирной уродиной» (о чем мы, может, и догадывались, но из-за мыслей и восприятия героини, не верили в это), что, по большей части, она сама всех отталкивала. И только один друг у нее был самый преданный, упорный и важный.
Мне понравилось, что, несмотря на то, что в книге история как бы переплетается со сказками (в основном с Золушкой), с семьей у героини вышло все не так печально: мачеха и сестры вовсе не злодейки.
И вообще все очень логично и мило в конце стало. Понравилось, что история ее похудения правдоподобна: чаще всего худеть начинают не для себя, а для кого-то. Но результат - он всегда для себя. И вообще - жизнь для себя.
Я не пожалела, что прочла книгу (за 3 часа, не преувеличиваю), язык очень мне понравился. Рекомендую.
54 reviews7 followers
May 30, 2013
Skinny by Donna Cooner made me seriously re-think all my ratings for this blog, because it is definitely worth the top mark I can give it perhaps more so than some of the other books that got a 5. I conclude I shall create a new top rating even higher than the 5 and it shall be called the Skinny rate...... (a 5.5 - 6 in technical terms!). It was incredible - Cooper tackles the issue of obesity so well through Ever, a 15 year old girl who weighs 302 pounds (21.5 stone). Ever has a tinkerbell goth girl in her head who whispers to her what people are thinking 'Look how fat she is'. 'Kill me if I ever become like her', I found this incredibly sad and I admit this is one of the places where I cried. Her mum also died from cancer which is one of the reasons Ever became fat, she didn't end her mother and Ever's tradition of eating chocolate at bedtime and she quickly gained weight because she was now doing it all by herself.

Happily ever after? Or never ever, Ever. Ever's mom loved fairy tales, but at fifteen-years-old and weighing 302 lbs, Ever Davies is sure that "happily ever after" was never written for her. She lives under the constant scrutiny of everyone around her, and "Skinny" - the voice in her head - makes sure she never forgets how fat and ugly she is. That is, until Ever decides to take drastic action. With the help of her long-suffering friend Rat, Ever embarks on the risky, terrifying journey of gastric surgery. But while Ever's body gradually changes on the outside, she soon finds that changing the person on the inside is much harder. And silencing Skinny is the hardest task of all.

Ever is really interesting to follow as you can literally see how she changes, both on the outside and inside. She starts off isolated, unhappy and alone apart from her best friend Rat. After a talk with her stepsister Briella where they insult each other, Briella calling her fat, and so she embarks on gastric surgery. Following this and her drastic weight loss she begins to see how fickle people can be and how she has perceived everything, what she wanted she actually already had.

Rat's a science geek, pure and simple, but he's also really sweet and cares a lot for Ever. He doesn't mind she's fat but she doesn't realise this instead Skinny convinces her it's because he pities her and doesn't know how to tell her. Rat supports Ever through her gastric surgery helping her draw up charts etc to map her progress.

Ever's stepsister at first Briella and Ever don't get on, Ever always being jealous of Briella's skinny body and gorgeous looks. Ever can't see past the physical attributes of people and with Skinny whispering in her ear over reads situations and can't accept compliments or offers of friendships when they're offered. Finally Briella and Ever get on and Ever discovers they have a lot more in common than she previously thought. Briella's cute, spunky and caring, though she feels quite insignificant next to her glamourous cheerleading sister Lydnsey.

I really loved this novel - it made me laugh, cry, sigh and fall in love with it. Cooner portrays the struggles of obesity and the pain and hardship Ever has to go through as a result of the gastric surgery. Her personal experience adds a credibility to this novel and I really enjoyed the breath of fresh light and the realistic nature of this novel. Skinny wasn't written to be a love story or a portrayal of school life instead it is a honest account of a fat girl attempting to become thin in order to fit in and be happy with her body.

I give Skinny the Skinny rating, 6 out of 5. It was great, eye-opening and loveable in three words. It's coming out in paperback on the 4th of February 2013 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.co.uk for £5.24. I really really do recommend this, it's an amazing insight into the turmoils of a teenage mind, one whose is insecure and struggles to cope with her body image, even if you're not overweight I promise you can relate to it and this is one of the reasons I strongly suggest it and the main reason I loved it. It's published by Electric Monkey an imprint of Egmont Publishing UK.

En Bon Lu!
Profile Image for Hannah.
499 reviews
July 27, 2012
There are two things I consider when writing my reviews: What I felt while reading and how I feel once I've finished the book. But I'm not sure what to do when these two feelings don't fit, like with Skinny. I really liked it while reading, but now that I think about it, lots of it is pretty bad. And I still can't decide which of those things is how I really feel about Skinny.

If you hate everything predictable and cliched, Skinny is definitely not for you - it is Cheese Central. Skinny has all of the typical high school scenes, like Ever being accepted by the popular crowd and abandoning her loyal but nerdy old best friend - we all know exactly what's going to happen. It doesn't get much cheeiser than all of these Cindarella references, or the whole storyline of Ever finding her voice on stage, complete with an excessive load of musical references. The family storyline is cliched, too, and very underdeveloped - I wanted much more depth to Brielle's character, not to mention Lindsay, the other stepsister, whom we never get to know.

The body image message is a little weird. I didn't notice while reading, but now, it bugs me how much it seemed like weight loss solved all of Ever's problems. Ever's self-worth is based pretty much only on other people's opinions, and I wish the character growth had focused more on Ever learning to take care of her body for herself, not just to make people like her. It also frustrated me how Ever losing her mom was never really explored we never got to feel her grief, how that was only used as the motivation for Ever's overeating.

But while reading, I didn't mind most of that, and that's because of the writing. Donna Cooner's style is very honest and it flows so nicely. The writing has an addictive quality to it, making Skinny a very quick read - I didn't even notice the time passing while I was reading. I enjoyed reading about Ever's weight loss and the gastric bypass surgery. It was fascinating to read about something like that, something I wouldn't normally be confronted with.

If you're expecting deep emotional investment, you will probably be disappointed by Skinny - we would have needed much deeper exploration of all the issues for that, instead of just cliches. But I did enjoy reading it, so if you're just looking for a cute, quick read with a more serious subject matter, you should give Skinny a try.

One more thing I have to mention, though, is the cover. What is up with that!? Couldn't they have chosen a model at least somewhat non-skinny? That girl weighs less than Ever ever will, and I hate that covers can't be more diverse and accurately portray the characters.

Reviewed at http://www.paperbacktreasures.blogspo...
Profile Image for Amy.
109 reviews
July 17, 2015
I have no idea why I decided to read this book. Really. I don't usually do the whole weight loss storyline, but for some reason I picked up Skinny and felt drawn to it.

Skinny is basically about a fifteen-year-old girl called Ever, who weighs 302 pounds. She picked up a lot of weight when her mother died, and has been trying to lose it but eventually gave up because she couldn't do it on her own. She is constantly taunted by Skinny, a negative voice in her head who she believes tells her the thoughts of all those around her. Skinny is constantly telling her she's too fat and will never be as pretty as anyone else. The only person who Ever feels close to is her friend, Rat. Eventually, she decided to get an operation where they make your stomach smaller so that you can lose weight easily, because you can only consume three tablespoons of food. "Skinny" is about her journey through her weight loss and how Skinny (the voice in her head) affected her relationships, self-image, and others' perceptions of her.

This book was incredibly well written. I absolutely couldn't put it down. In a way, I think I could relate to it. Obviously, I don't weigh three hundred pounds, or have had any operation to lose weight, but I am a teenage girl, and I think all teenage girls know what it's like to have a Skinny who whispers horrible things into your ear. We all know what it's like to feel ugly and fat at times, even though we aren't. We all know what it feels like to look at somebody and think, "I wish I was as thin as her," or, "Why can't I have eyes like that?" and then spend the rest of the day moping around, because we don't look as 'beautiful' as we think they do.

I think it's important that we learn to show the Skinny inside us that we are all beautiful. After all, Skinny is blind, and can't truly see us for who we are. In reality, there will always be somebody 'prettier' than you, but it's important for us all to make sure that instead of thinking, "Why am I not as skinny as her? It's because I'm ugly," which doesn't even make any sense (I mean, really brain? I'm fatter than her because I'm ugly? Oooookayyyy...), we should focus on what's beautiful about ourselves, because no two people in the world are exactly the same.

I think that all teenage girls should read this book. No matter whether you have self-image problems or not, and ESPECIALLY if you're that girl who insults others to feel better about yourself. Seriously. Even if it isn't that good, even if you'll never read it again, you should do it to learn how to shut that Skinny in your head up and lock her away in a deep dark corner of your brain.
Profile Image for Jess.
382 reviews242 followers
June 21, 2018
A cloying story brimming with stereotypes.

Essentially this depicts an insufferable teenage girl who somehow thinks that if she were skinny then all her problems would be solved. These problems ultimately stem from grief - although this backstory is never actually explained so it's certainly never emotionally compelling.

So in order to render her life all hunky dory once more, said insufferable teenage girl (called Ever, "named for the fairy tales her mother loved so much" - oh, puh-lease) decides that a potentially life-threatening gastric bypass is the way to go. She's instantly approved for the surgery and it all goes ahead without her batting an eyelid.

What I found the most irresponsible was the fact that Donna Cooner made it clear that Ever was not undergoing surgery for her health (there is one transient mention of high blood pressure), but to win the approval of her peers, specifically to "win back" this one boy. I hate anything where a girl changes herself to appease someone - think Sandy in Grease or Mia from The Princess Dairies. What's more, the gastric bypass never felt like a last resort. Ever has supposedly slogged through diets and various 'fat camps', but there was no insight into this apparent struggle, nothing to justify such drastic action. Had her whole journey been explained then the novel would've at least felt credible.

Another thing that infuriated me was how ambivalent the descriptions of weight were. One of the mean girls is described as being no more than 125 lbs, as Ever looks on in salivating envy. Later, when Ever has undergone her magical transformation, she announces that the mean girl in question is actually at least 20 lbs overweight. I hated the judgement. I get that this is a book about weight and that weight is a touchy subject and whatnot, but there was no need for that comment.

This broadcasts such a bad message - it should encourage impressionable young girls that they have a right to feel comfortable in their own skin no matter what the scales or their peers proclaim.
18 reviews
March 15, 2017
This book was really amazing, I would like to read more. This book was about a girl named Skinny. She would always get bully at her school. Once her mother died, she got out of control to her health which she turned really fat. which she wiegh about 300 something pounds. once she met a boy name Jackson. They started becoming closer and thats how she started working out everyday. Then she started getting more fit. Also they both had relationship. One thing I liked about the book is that she is complimenting other people. One thing I didn't liked about the book is that it doesn't continue with another book in the same author.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,526 reviews
June 18, 2014
Weight has always been a sensitive topic. Society has an ideal image of what a person should look like. Being overweight, obese or even just chubby is often viewed negatively by a lot of people. I should know, I have never been the poster girl for hourglass figures. But unlike Ever I was never exactly bullied for being chubby.

So I was very touched by Ever's struggle and her courage to conquer her fear of a new image and her low self-esteem. The story was shorter than I had expected but I was happy the ending. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Profile Image for Cal Armistead.
Author 1 book74 followers
October 10, 2012
I really enjoyed this book...it tackles an important and timely topic--morbid obesity in teens. Ever,the protagonist, is over 300 pounds, and at age 15, she gets gastric bypass surgery. Cooner does a great job describing the pros and cons of this procedure, the negative voice of "Skinny" that taunts Ever's thoughts, and the ways people respond to her after she loses weight. I thought the ending (and the "boy" situation) was a little predictable, but I would still recommend it.
Profile Image for Greis.
189 reviews
December 1, 2018
This wasn't bad but this also wasn't,,,,,,great. I had a lot of problems with this book so let's get started shall we.

The characters in this book didn't have personalities. The one trait that they all had in common was that they all seemed to hate fat people and then some other characteristic to define their entire being. The only one who had any sort of depth was Rat (which wasn't saying much because everyone else was as deep as a kiddie pool).

Ever was actually,,,,,kind of a bitch. I mean I get it, she kind of gets a pass I guess because of the fatphobia but she was just a huge bitch. And really self-centered, this girl constantly thought everyone was out to get her and maybe there are a lot of big-bodied folks out there who also feel this way, I don't know, I can't speak for a group I'm not a part of, this is just the way it came across to me. I would say she thought everyone was making fun of her but everyone,,,,,was being quite verbal about it so I can't say she was being paranoid. The one person I couldn't forgive her being an asshole to was Rat because this man did nothing but put up with her bullshit and chauffeur her around and she had the audacity to yell at him and develop an attitude after she lost a few pounds (and even before her surgery).

And the characters in this that had all of 2 personality traits and were asshole suddenly developed more traits like halfway through the book? Briella was literally such a bitch to Ever for most of this book constantly fat-shaming her and getting her to do her homework and doing absolutely nothing to understand that she was being a raging bitch.

And then all of a sudden she's nice and defending Ever when someone calls her lard?????? This doesn't make any sense like you basically shamed your sister into getting surgery.

And what was even more infuriating was that after the surgery Ever refused to exercise,,,,,,but also kept complaining about not losing enough weight like GORL.

Not to mention Ever kept glorifying Jackson and was still stuck on the way they used to be when they were children. This girl kept asking him about things they used to do when they were children and he didn't remember any of it, and for good reason because they were, ya know, nine?????? Even I don't remember what the hell happened when I was nine. (But also at the end he did remember the stuff they did as kids so I don't know what narrative the author was going with). And also it was kind of creepy, imagine someone you haven't spoken to since you were children asking you about shit you liked and thought when you were nine, it's not just me who finds it weird right?????

What I guess I did appreciate about this story was the acknowledgment that weight is complicated and that someone can do everything right and still not lose any weight. Everyone wants to act as if losing weight is a simple matter of eating right and exercising but not all bodies are built the same, not all bodies store fat the same or metabolize it the same. There are over 100 factors that interact in over 300 different ways to control weight. Being skinny doesn't automatically mean that you're healthy in the same way that being fat doesn't mean you're unhealthy (I could go on and on I feel very strongly about this).

And lastly, I think probably my biggest problem with this book is that it kind of seems to be selling the message that gastric bypass surgery will fix all of your problems (even though I'm sure that's not what the author intended) and forgets to acknowledge the psychological impact that comes with it. Ever's biggest problem in this book wasn't her weight, it was the way that she thought of and saw herself and the fact that she was having an auditory hallucination. What this girl needed was a therapist to help her through her self-esteem issues and borderline anorexic issues. Ever was literally hearing voices and at the end of the book, she had a physical manifestation of her hallucination, WHAT SHE NEEDED WAS A THERAPIST.
Profile Image for Kara.
140 reviews13 followers
March 17, 2021
I really liked this book. It was a little boring for me in the begging but then it became so interesting. Skinny though, wow was not expecting that. This was amazing I loved this book. It had great meaning and It really helped me think of some things. I really liked this book, the theme was amazing and the book was great. I really think you should read this book it was amazing. The book also isn't too long its only about 200 something pages.
(Spoiler kinda)
I loved what she said on stage it was so powerful and it was great.
Profile Image for Emma Wilson.
49 reviews
October 17, 2020
I really liked how the author portrayed the character's inner thoughts and seeing Ever battle with the voice in her head even when her biggest "problem" in life was solved. At some points, I could really relate to the themes because I feel like a lot of girls go through body dysmorphia at some point in their life and I really liked how this book brought awareness to that. I also absolutely LOVED the ending!!! The ending gave so much justice to Ever and her family and friends, and I just adored this book
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews63 followers
October 6, 2012
I judged SKINNY by it's cover for a long time. The publicist who gave it to me was very enthusiastic, but I wasn't sold enough on the cover to even crack it open. I assumed it was similar to Laurie Halse Anderson's WINTERGIRLS, and would be about some girl dealing with anorexia or bulimia. There's nothing wrong with stories involving anorexia or bulimia, but I've read several - and reviewed several. It's an important issue but not one that resonates much with me. But that's not what SKINNY is about. Ever Davies is fifteen and weighs more than three-hundred pounds. She is not that slender girl on the cover of her story.

Ever's a tough protagonist to like. She is a mean girl. She's very aware of her weight and constantly on the offensive so that she can hurt others before they hurt her. She believes that she can hear what everyone thinks of her. She calls that voice in her head that calls her ugly and unlovable and other terrible things "Skinny." But while it may be hard to like Ever due to her abrasiveness, she's an easy character to understand and you do feel for her. Plus, her inability to see her the problems of those around her can partially be chalked up to the fact that she's fifteen.

SKINNY mostly focuses on why Ever chooses to have gastric bypass surgery and what her life is like in that first year after the surgery. Donna Cooner has had gastric bypass surgery herself and does not dismiss it as an easy fix. Ever often struggles with her new diet and exercise requirements and wonders if she made the right decision. Losing weight doesn't instantly fix her self esteem either, nor does getting a makeover from a popular girl. Ever has to learn to accept and love herself, which isn't easy for anyone.

I also liked that SKINNY comments on the Cinderella story. (The book is very obvious about this fact, from having Ever tell Cinderella to children to Ever trying out for a part in the school's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.) The girl who has nothing becomes the girl who has everything, including a prince to dance with her at the ball. But stepsisters are people too, and few people find their prince in high school, and maybe being comfortable performing in public is more important to you than having a bunch of friends.

Cooner's debut novel is a striking one. It's slight but heartfelt. Fat girls and women aren't represented much in media, and when they are they're rarely the protagonist of the story. Some may have issues with the emphasis SKINNY puts on weight loss, but I think it was well done. Ever over ate due to emotional issues and was decidedly not healthy at her size. And, as I previously mentioned, the weight loss is not a quick fix. She needs more than just a surgery to love her body, but the surgery does help her. I think it's an interesting story that will hopefully reach its audience despite the obviously not fat girl on the cover.
Profile Image for Shoshana.
619 reviews51 followers
February 4, 2013
Second star earned because Cooner picked a very interesting topic - not the weight issue, per se, but the gastric bypass surgery process. It's not something you see in teen fiction very often.

Beyond that, though, this book is very Angry Fat Girl Loses Weight And Becomes Happy. It's hard to write an unpleasant character who still manages to be sympathetic, and unfortunately Cooner missed the mark. Ever isn't just defensive, or moody, or angry: she's a mean bitch.

The aspect of "Skinny," the discouraging, taunting voice in her head rang true to me - we all have that voice, and when you're in a position like Ever's, it's easy to see how it could be so constant and all-consuming. As someone with high anxiety as a kid, I had a Skinny of my own. I didn't love how it was dealt with in the end, though.

But on the whole, my BIGGEST problem with this book - though Ever's awful personality came as a close second - lay in character relationships. The only person Ever seems to have a normal, healthy relationship with is Chance, who we see for about twelve seconds. Oh, and the little kids at the community center, who she apparently dumps after she loses weight. SORRY, KIDS. I can't really hash over the other problems without spoilers, so:

With some editing, and some serious work-over, this book could have been great. As it was, not so much.
Profile Image for Sasha.
66 reviews15 followers
January 13, 2013
I could relate to so much of Ever's struggle in this book. However, I found myself really sad as to the lack of realism in several parts of the book.
First, Ever's social and emotional isolation was solely self-induced and all of the popular kids were just waiting around for her to stop being so angry so that they could have the chance to be nice to her. Anyone who has ever grown up looking less than perfect in American society knows that this is unequivocally untrue. This really bothered me. It also bothered me deeply that Ever was so angry with herself that she lashed out everyone around her and that THIS was what kept everyone at bay. Growing up overweight and now working with 8th graders every day, I find this so unrealistic as to be insulting. That's not to say Ever's anger is unrealistic - of course it isn't. However, structuring the book so that we eventually learn that no one had a problem with Ever, except Ever, did not ring true to me.
Secondly, she had a suddenly dreamy best friend who loved her through it all and became her boyfriend at the end. I love the companionship between Rat and Ever, but I wish Ever could have been fulfilled in and of herself, without having to add in the romantic twist. This whole book was about Ever realizing that she was her own worst enemy - in the form of Skinny . I wish she could have been her own salvation, also. But instead, part of her fulfillment came from her magically, suddenly romantic relationship with Rat.
Third, the scene where Ever confronts Skinny felt incredibly out of place. It seemed to attempt to add some element of fantasy into an otherwise painfully realistic setting and just felt forced and unnecessary.
Finally, and I mentioned this before the book came out, I was incredibly annoyed that they couldn't put an actual plus sized girl on the cover. This is an issue with YA in general, where characters of color are replaced on the cover with white people and now plus size characters are also replaced with someone who in NO WAY looks like they weigh 302 pounds.
Even though it may not sound like it, I did enjoy this book for the most part and except for the few minor flaws that I mentioned, I found Ever and her internal dialogue to be incredibly realistic and moving.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Abiraami.
11 reviews
April 12, 2018
I really liked this book because of its message of self-acceptance. The story was really interesting, and when Ever finds out the truth about Skinny, it really opens her eyes to who she's been fighting this entire time. This book really reminds me of one a poem I wrote, titled The Shadow. Both talk about the realization that both Ever and I experienced when we finally understood who our biggest enemies were. For these reasons, I really enjoyed reading this book.
Profile Image for Shira.
32 reviews1 follower
July 14, 2012
Skinny - the story of a 300 pound high school girl who undergoes gastric bypass surgery and loses half of her weight - is sloppily written and cloying plays on all of the stereotypical insecurities of high school girls. Ever, the protagonist, is not a sympathetic character nor any kind of positive role model. The author insinuates that Ever's weight gain is due to her grief over her mother's death, and yet Ever never actually deals with that loss. This book had so much potential to explore the loaded issue of obesity but instead glorified weight loss as a solution for all of Ever's insecurities.

I wish that there was a stronger message in the book that it's Ever's classmates who are wrong for taunting her, not Ever's fault for being fat. Being fat in this book is presented as being unequivocally unhealthy which is an overwhelmingly negative message to be sending to impressionable youngish girls (--what I imagine the target audience to be). Granted, Ever's weight gain actually is unhealthy, but it's Emotionally unhealthy as the audience is led to believe that her gain gain is a symptom of her deep emotional distress over losing her mother. If that's true than the solution to her problem shouldn't be life altering weight loss surgery, it should be therapy.
And, on the subject of surgery, in this book it was posed as a normal "no big deal" solution for a girl who's 16 (...I think) years old. To me, this is irresponsible writing because it teaches girls to accept external pressure to look a certain way and that it's acceptable to undergo irreversible surgery in order to fit into a socially acceptable mold.

November 24, 2015
Goodness no. This book was such a let down. I'm sorry. I loved this book until I realized what it was actually saying. Then I just got pissed off.
While the writing was good and it kept you interested, the story isn't very uplifting.
Girl likes guy, guy liked girl. Girl gets fat, guy gets popular. Girl still likes guy, guy ignores her. Girl gets skinny, guy sees her again.
typical right? Yeah, I thought so too. Now, lets go a little deeper into this story. No one ever told her she was beautiful, they weren't really there for her, so of course when everyone called her fat and ugly, she believed them. So, just to make the teasing stop, she got surgery done. Which I think sends the wrong message to kids reading this book. Kinda like saying "no one will EVER like you unless you do it this way."
Then of course, she actually does loose weight, but then and only then do people notice her and want to talk to her. Which pretty much shows that what I said before is true.
Then all the sudden you find out a certain guy has always liked her... yeah freaking right! Where was you when she was getting bullied?! Where was you when she was at her lowest?! Where were you when she needed to hear how beautiful she was when she was still fat?! Why is it you only said this AFTER she got skinny?!
This book just sends the wrong message to kids.
I wouldn't recommend this book. If you want to read a book that is meaningful and uplifting, read Entertaining Angels by Emerald Barnes.
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