Skinny by Donna Cooner: A Review by Lucia Chen

skinnybycooner-coverThere is a voice in 15-year old Ever Davis’ ear that whispers to her constantly. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Skinny,’ the voice tells her of the cruel comments directed at her, and Ever’s 302 pounds haul in quite the thoughts. . Frowned on by society, her classmates and even her own family, Ever hides her true voice under layers of fat. She knows that if she just acts mean enough, no one will try to bring her back out. But after an embarrassing public event, Ever is ready to change, in order to sing and be loved by society again. For about 5 years, Ever has only felt shameful about her weight, so when her step-sister introduces her to a weight-loss surgery, Ever can’t resist.

Ever goes through with the surgery and is determined to produce miraculous results, while her step-sister Briella, best-friend Rat, and conscious Skinny accompany her every step of the way. Her rapid weight loss increases her athletic ability and her circle of friends, even bringing back long-lost relationships, but it doesn’t bring back her voice she’s kept hidden. Instead of being sung-out on stage, Ever’s voice starts to push her closest friends away,  but even then Ever won’t stop the craze she’s started, because being skinny is all Ever’s wanted. Or is it?

Ever Davis, the main character and heroine of the novel, has a solid character but undergoes a lot of character development throughout the novel. In the beginning, Ever is portrayed as a fat, mean, loveless girl who doesn’t socialize much and goes out minimally. Her only hobby is singing, but many more are included once her character starts to develop, such as running. Just like the fairy tale this book is based on, Ever has two step-sisters, the younger one being the more important one to the plot. Briella is Ever’s younger step-sister, and she along with Ever’s best friend, Rat, both undergo quite a bit of character development as well along Ever’s story.

I personally like the book just the way it is. It’s a short, simple, fun read perfect to pass time. It does however contain a few dark psychological themes. The writing style is a relaxed first-person narrative told from the perspective of the heroine, Ever Davis. I would recommend saving this novel for a specific time slot, as it will be hard to put down once you start reading. It would also be best to read this book with a clear mind, because the content gets you thinking.

This story is perfect for book recommendations, interpretations and other work as it shows the struggles of modern society and mental illnesses caused by its influence. I would rate the content to be available for all ages, as the plot not only appeals to young adult fiction readers, but to young children curious about health disorders as well.

All in all, this is a great novel with a beautiful story.


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