Book of the Day: Skin by Adrienne Vrettos

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Donnie feels himself disappearing as his sister starves herself to death.  Donnie and big sister, Karen, are both sick, literally, of their parents fighting.  We find out mid-way through the book that Donnie is on some kind of medication, and Karen doesn’t like to eat . . . ever.  But this books is not really about anorexia.  It’s part of the story, but there is not the usual focus that an anorexia book would have with lots of details about how a person with an eating disorder would think, act, and feel, like there is in say The Best Little Girl in the World by Levenkron.

Instead, this is told through Donnie’s eyes, and we see snippets of Donnie’s life.  The story is not told in a continuous way.  There are often large gaps between chapters.  This  allows the reader to get a wide lens view of what happens to this family.  This story is really about a little boy with no one that sees him.  His parents fight with each other and pick on Karen about her eating.  Donnie gets a scrap of attention when he is running a fever.  But most of the time, he feels invisible.  He turns it into a game where he tries to make sure no one speaks to him at school.  Everyone complies, except for a new set of twins from his school who insist on saying hi to him at least once a day.

As Karen’s body disappears and becomes just skin, Donnie feels himself disappearing into her disease.

Skin is a nominee for the Teens Top 10. To request it from the library, click here. If it’s your favorite, don’t forget to place your vote during Teen Read Week, October 14-20, 2007.

Review by Lindsey @ Eva Perry Library

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