Author: Donna Cooner.
Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies’s head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she’ll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it.
But there is another voice: Ever’s singing voice, which is beautiful but has been silenced by Skinny. Partly in the hopes of trying out for the school musical—and partly to try and save her own life—Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over.
With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own. (Published summary.)
I think Skinny is supposed to be very inspirational, and I understand it is sharing an experience the author has gone through herself, but I just found the situation very unlikely. Ever talks about how she isn’t able to lose any weight, but we never see her actually working with adults to try various solutions. She hasn’t talked to a nutritionist before, she doesn’t seem to have tried a workout plan, her father suggests she try to lose weight but doesn’t offer specific ideas – the operation just doesn’t seem like the last resort it should be. This is never addressed by all the adults who allow her to go through with it despite the danger.
The ending (her conquering Skinny) felt trite, too-perfect, that in one moment and realization she can overcome such a long-standing difficulty. Still, I thought Skinny was the best part of the book. Ever’s struggle with her own self-critical voice is relatable to anyone, no matter their weight, and it is after all good to see her realize in the end how she’s the one who’s been distancing her friends.
Sexual content: Mention of cheer-leaders wearing short-skirts and tank-tops that don’t reach the waistband. Fellow student’s Mom is a retired stripper – mc has heard she gives free pole-dancing lessons. One kiss.