Skinny by Donna Cooner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This could have been a really good book for girls who are overweight - instead it's too obvious, too facile. As someone who has struggled with weight all her life (ranging from "stocky" to "obese") I was hoping that this would really speak to my teen self. It didn't even whisper.
First, it's a rare person for whom the weight is the only issue. There are deep psychological concerns behind the gain (and it's touched on here - the death of Ever's mother and her weight issues) that need to be dealt with; here, once the surgery happens and weight loss begins, suddenly those issues vanish? Not likely.
Second, I have a cousin who had the exact surgery Ever has. Pre-surgery was filled with so many tests, physical and psychological, that it was virtually a full-time job for her (my cousin). Post-surgery there were daily check-ins with a nurse, personal training with a qualified trainer and bi-weekly group support sessions. And seeing a psychologist? Required both pre- and post-surgery. Ever apparently skates through the process with none of that, which is either a really bad medical plan, or unrealistic writing/sheer ignorance on the author's part.
Third, the characters surrounding Ever are so slightly drawn compared to Ever. The love triangle between Rat, Ever and Jackson is obvious, as is Ever's obliviousness to Brielle's actually being nice and possibly a friend. For all Ever's issues, that she is all too ready to believe that Whitney is suddenly a BFF rings false. This is where Skinny's voice should have been heard loud and clear, but nope.
The author's note about having been through the gastric bypass surgery was interesting, but her portrayal of Ever's journey is just unbelievable.
ARC provided by publisher.