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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  3,004 ratings  ·  222 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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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  3,004 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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Jay G
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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3.5/5 Stars

14 year old Donnie is struggling to keep his crumbling family together. His sister, Karen, is sick with an eating disorder, his parents are constantly fighting and his social life at school is non-existent Donnie decides that by becoming invisible is the best way to keep everyone else from falling apart.

I really liked that this was told from Donnie's point of view rather tha
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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
Spirit Hayter
Dec 16, 2013 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 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
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos is a story about a family who is going through a rough patch in their lives. This book begins with Donnie, an eighth grader who is experiencing his parents going through a divorce and his sister who is drifting away from her family. Donnie is a person who is trying to keep his family put together and trying to disappear so his parents can focus on his sister who is struggling with a disease. Throughout the story, characters are introduced who became important roles ...more
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Wow. Is it possible to like a book and be deeply disturbed by it at the same time? Adrienne Maria Vrettos has a unique and personal writing style and I was caught by the subtle flow of her work. This book circulated around a boy growing up in a difficult family while his sister deals with an eating disorder. This book had a deep honesty to it that made it hard to put down. I feel like I can't say I enjoyed it, because it was fairly perturbing, so I would only recommend it to readers who feel lik ...more
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
Jun 01, 2011 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
Mar 13, 2009 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 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
Apr 17, 2017 added it
I was drawn to this book from the second I started reading it. The intense beginning engages the reader and instantly makes them hungry for more. At first, I was drawn to this book because I find stories about eating disorders interesting. I quickly discovered that this book is much more than the battle of a girl, it is told from the perspective of her brother and the affects his sister's disorder has on the family. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in finding out more abut ...more
Dec 04, 2008 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
Anna Motteler
Dec 24, 2008 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
Mar 28, 2011 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. ...more
Christine Gaza
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Goodreads for suggesting this book. The narrator is Donnie, an unpopular boy, who is living in the midst of his parents fighting, his own image, and his sister's anorexia. I loved that this was from a teenage boy's perspective. I really felt connected to some of the language and the feelings regarding death. This book broke my heart beautifully. ...more
Maryam Asif
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loved
This is an amazing book that literally will break your heart. I LOVED the perspective of this book, especially since it's different compared to others. It's so sad, messed up, relatable, real and upsetting that made it more appealing for me. Great great great read! ...more
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.
Cait S
Jul 06, 2015 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.
Tracy Lisiecki
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
After reading the 1st 2 pages I was anticipating a good read. I found the book to be - choppy - did not have a nice flow. Also, thought it focused more on the dysfunctional family than anorexia itself.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 stars!
TW: Anorexia, Death of a loved one, Self Harm

In the past, I've been very open with my struggles with both anxiety and depression, and my journey to seek recovery; anyone who knows me well enough to call me a friend has probably dealt with my numerous panic attacks, cry sessions and self-doubts, it's not something I try to hide, since it's simply a part of me.(if you can't love me at my worst then you can't love me at my best am i right?) However, what most people DON'T know is that
Hana Peterson
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I chose to read the book Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos. This book is about a boy, Donnie, who considers himself to be a nerd and on the lower end of the scare. During the book, his parents are getting a divorce and his sister, Karen, starts to get an eating disorder. Donnie keeps all of this from any of his friends at school. He finds himself alone and is determined to fix his parents marriage and his sister's illness. Karen always seems to be going away to get better but when she comes back, n ...more
Susanne Moseid Bryhni
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone over the age of 9
Shelves: deep, ungdom
The best book I have ever read. It is funny and touching and everything you could ever wish from a book. It brings up various important topics without shoving it down your throat, and gives you a perspective on other people's lives. I once read that booklovers are more empathic than non-readers, and I think books like this is the reason for that.

In my opinion, this book contains one of the most powerful and touching paragraphs ever written. A paragraph on page 128-129 is so depressing, though op
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
As someone who has battled with an eating disorder, read this book but be cautious. What I liked about this book was that it wasn't glamourizing an eating disorder. It tears apart families and leaves a hollowness that is hard to repair, a factor that is written perfectly in Skin. This book shows the dynamics of how it affects the family, specifically the brother, Donnie, who goes through the motions while her sister battles anorexia. Because it is in Donnie's point of view, we never really get t ...more
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
i cant remember how many years ago its been since I first read this book. I've read it multiple times since (though it's been a while since the last time). I LOVE this book. As i've said i've read it multiple times & despite the fact I now know what's coming, I still cant help but cry. It's so emotional. But through the tears there's laughter as there is a slight "realism" humour throughout. it's refreshing to have a story written tackling a sensitive issue such as eating disorders but written f ...more
Jazmine Woode
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really like this book so far. I love how it starts with the present time and then starts with flashbacks to explain what is happening. In the first chapter, or even the first few paragraphs, the main character Donnie’s sister dies. She died from her eating disorder that based on the flashbacks started during the summer. I thought it was a little harsh to start the book off this way but it actually made it a better read. Karen, Donnie’s sister, was fairly close to Donnie but when the new neighb ...more
Kimberly B.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I chose the book "Skin" by Adrienne Maria Vrettos to read. I found it to be an interesting read. It was a pretty well kept pace book. I found it to be a bit on the predictable side. Karen's problem is evident and the book doesn't really come out to actually say what Karen has until close to the end. I found sad the relationship the father has between Karen and Donnie. I feel as if no kid should hear their parents verbally fight all the time. It is something unpleasant and it most certainly affec ...more
Tomi Adenekan
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
14-year-old Donnie has an okay relationship with food but he is one of the all too common victims of anorexia. His sister's anorexia. Amidst their parents' unhappy marriage and eventual sort-of separation, Karen and Donnie find ways to cope. Karen with the added load of protecting her little brother. Her friendship with Amanda seems a happy diversion but only ever temporary. She still has to go back home. As does Donnie, as lonely and isolated in school as increasingly at home. But as Anorexia g ...more
Samantha Waitz
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My novel, Skin, by Adrienne Maria Vrettos is about Donnie, a younger brother of a girl that struggles with anorexia. Karen, Donnie’s sister, starves herself because she thinks she’s fat. Her parents begin arguing a lot because of her. I gave this book a 5 star rating because I really enjoyed it. I can not relate with having an eating disorder, but a friend that does. Her parents argue sometimes because of her and her mistakes. I feel very bad and just want to give her a hug all the time. I would ...more
Sydney Lohr
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book and at times it was hard for me to stop. It showed a bunch of different characters and explained the personalities of everyone. It showed me a perfect picture in my head and in my opinion that shows a good book. I would definitely recommend reading this because it gets you thinking in ways you've never thought before. The author pieced together everything at the end and its just one of those things you say "oh" to. Throughout the whole book, Donnie (the younger ...more
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