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3.44  ·  Rating details ·  5,809 ratings  ·  478 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.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Walker Childrens (first published April 17th 2004)
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Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in family dramas and eating disorders
Recommended to Jaidee by: random pick
4.5 "harsh, stylized, visceral" stars!!

2016 Honorable Mention Read

Ms. Kaslik spares nobody in this family drama. A mother and two daughters grieve the death of the male figure (father/husband) and each are damaged to varying degrees. Mother is tired, lonely and unable to move forward.

The story though mostly revolves around the two daughters as they struggle with themselves and each other. The elder has had to drop out of med school as she has relapsed with severe (and I mean severe) anorexia
May 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shelby Anderson
Feb 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
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
Oct 29, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Nov 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Feb 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Yana Tretyakova

Chaotic writing and unexpected flashbacks made this book a bit hard for understanding, but I really liked the plot and idea which author had brought up.
Such an important issue as Anorexia should be talked much more about.

And I totally agree, that various diseases, mental and physical problems cause damages not only to you, but also to people who love you.
Michelle Moore
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This, for some reason, took me FOREVER to get through. I didn't really understand the ending, and the sideline topics didn't interest me, but it did portray how dangerous eating disorders can get.
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
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Kat Williams
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-library
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
Julia Marie
Jun 21, 2012 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
Rylie Hunt
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
dont read the doctor facts they have nothing to do with the book
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book when I was 13 or 14 and absolutely adoring it. I decided to reread it to refresh the memory of Skinny in my mind and to see if it is still as good as it seemed then. Boy am I glad I read this again. Skinny does not disappoint.

Written in the same vein as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Bell Jar, Skinny delivers the kind of melancholy mood that I crave in a book. Skinny is chock full of passion, trauma, and heartbreak, the story of a broken girl and the strong
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Skinny” is a story with the main focus being Giselle and her anorexia. The point of view alternates through chapters between Giselle and her younger sister, Holly. They both live with their mother, with no father figure as he passed a few years back. The story tells how anorexia can impact you and the people around you.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, it is very well written and has a good message, but I enjoy that it doesn't only talk about her eating disorder. It includes oth
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Anorexia had next to nothing to do with the book, which was the real reason i read it. very dissapointed. but overall, it was okay. the use of run on sentences was annoying, and made the book very hard to follow. i also felt like there should've been somebetter distinguishment between who was telling the story at what time.
Feb 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jasmine Diaz
May 26, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Aug 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Shehleen Rasul
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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,
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sisters, fiction
I first read Skinny several years ago when I was in high school, and I remembered liking it then so I decided to give it another read. Unfortunately, like many books I enjoyed in high school, I enjoyed it less as an adult. I really enjoy sisters and do think the book does a great job of exploring the relationship between Holly and Giselle. Those two characters are amazing, and rightfully the focus of the book.

Unfortunately, the book does have a few downfalls. The first, in my opinion, is Sol. So
Cheryl A
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: roadrallyteamc, ya
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
May 11, 2015 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
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Does Giselle dies?? 1 17 May 12, 2015 03:48PM  
Why does this seem to be a bad thing now??? 2 25 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.” 25 likes
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