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Book Review of Skinny

Author: Ibi Kaslik
Genres: Children's Books, Health, Fitness & Dieting
Book Type: Hardcover
GeniusJen avatar reviewed on + 7145 more book reviews

Reviewed by Allison M. Rotonda for

Giselle is an intelligent, over-achieving medical student who is self-destructive and tormented by her relationship with her dead father. Holly is a blossoming young track star that struggles academically for several reasons, including the fact that she is hearing impaired. Giselle has been hospitalized and forced to return home to recover from anorexia. SKINNY tells the story of the effects of Giselle's illness on these two sisters now that Giselle has come back to the family home. The sisters take turns narrating the story.

Each chapter told from Giselle's perspective is laced with medical textbook excerpts that hold keys to the story. Holly's chapters are often brief and yet very poignant. The book details both sisters learning their family history and struggling with its effect on their current lives. The dialogue between the sisters is very well written, as are their inner monologues.

This book has many subplots and some come together in the end and others are not tied up so neatly. At times it feels as though Kaslik has attempted to write two completely different books about the same characters and weaved them together and yet, overall, the story is incredibly moving and emotional. Each sister's words force the reader to empathize with them despite the fact that they often seem to be battling against each other.

Overall, Kaslik has written a remarkable book about the devastating effects of eating disorders on both the person suffering from the illness and those around them. This book is incredibly weighty and touches on some incredibly intense issues at times, and would likely pose a challenge to even some of the strongest high school readers. But their efforts would not be wasted, as it is an incredibly satisfying read. It is accessible on several levels, so if a younger reader were to read this book they would likely take something from it as well, but revisiting the book later would likely reveal a more complex set of issues and themes.

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