Laura L. Smith writes a truthful picture of a shifted focus that has effected many teenage girls. Her young adult novel centers around Melissa Rollins, a freshman striving to be on the leadership of her dance team. With school and practice and the up and down social life she begins to use food, and the lack of it, to control her world. There are tons of books out there for and about teens and their struggles with eating disorders and weight related concerns. Skinny stands out from the crowd in that it addresses a disorder that many other books ignore. O.C.D. or obsessive compulsive disorder is often the core root of eating disorders. Its like focus on steroids. Try as she might she cant ever seem to escape the agonizing thoughts that always center around the same issue. These overactive thoughts quickly morph into behaviors that become habitual and more dangerous as time progresses. Its not always a desire to be thin or derived from media images of Hollywood twigs. Sometimes its just a control strategy for teens and adults who feel off balance and crave some power over themselves, even if it is counterproductive.Skinny doesnt glamorize the choices Melissa is making in the story. With Anorexia and Bulimia such a buzz topic in teen circles, some teenagers will read these types of books like a manual for how to do it better. Lisa L. Smith focuses on the thoughts going on in Melissas head and what is driving her to make these dangerous choices, rather than focusing on the action itself and the methods of accomplishing it.Melissa loves God very much, but her understanding is clouded. She journals her prayers and reads the Word. She goes to church and shes on her way to heaven, but this struggle is warring inside of her. Who cant relate to that battle, right?Skinny is a quick read and a worthy book that I would happily recommend to teenagers.
This is a great little book. It is intended for young adults and I am slightly older than the target audience but I still like it. The main character struggles with her weighting, thinking she needs to be thinner to fit in. This is a thought every woman has had in the past. This book is super easy to read, it is easy to identify with the main character, a freshman in high school. The author, Laura Smith, wrote a real story. The author really gets into the mind of Melissa. It is really aimed at 14-16 year olds but it would help an adult see into the minds of young adults. The build up of the eating disorder seemed very realistic, the thought process was clear and easily displayed through the text. The recovery process seemed very quick. I would have liked the see the book continue for another week in Melissa's life. I think better understanding the treatment process would be beneficial for teenage women. I really enjoyed the Christian aspect of the novel. It is important to show that even Christians struggle with things like eating disorders. Melissa took a verse out of the bible completely out of context to support her eating disorder as many people do. It was great to see that resolved through truth!Overall it's a good book.
It's frustrating to read about girls who have eating disorders. You want to tell them, you don't need to lose weight, you're fine just the way you are. It pains you to see someone hurt themselves. However as uncomfortable as this topic can be, it's a serious issue that needs to be brought into the open. This book perfectly captures the life of a teenage girl with an eating disorder. Melissa is your average teenage girl who just wants to fit in during her high school years. I liked how the author made her likable and modern without being too trendy. The dialogue between the teens was realistic and perfectly captured what life is like for the average teen girl. However as the story progresses, the reader soon learns that Melissa is facing a battle with herself and her body. What I thought was most interesting about Melissa's situation is that she doesn't try to lose weight because of a boy. Her real reasons were more with trying to maintain control in her life, and this was the only way that she could. Side effects of eating disorders are shown to be very painful and unpleasant so hopefully girls who read this book will get the impression that extreme dieting is not the way to go. My only qualm with the book is that I felt Melissa's recovery happened much too quickly. She goes from barely eating anything to being able to choke down a whole piece of pizza. From reading other accounts of recovering anorexics and bulimics, it would have taken her a long time to adjust to eating food again and keeping everything down. I just felt that it seemed a little rushed and not that realistic. However the book is a really great read. I, myself, couldn't put it down. The writing is engaging, entertaining, and realistic. It may be a short read but it packs quite a punch. Any teen girl who's even thought about considering that not eating would be a good idea, needs to read this book.
I read Skinny from start to finish while on the plane to New York. It's an easy read and geared toward young teens, which the "voice" definitely fits. It's a bit young for me, but I can see young teens loving it. The stress young teens face is very well reflected in the theme and emotion of the story. I had a cousin and several friends with eating disorders and the author portrays a realistic scenario with this story. However, the character in the book actually recovered fairly quickly and usually that is not the case. But God can do amazing things when people are willing. I was surprised that main characters had such a warped perspective regarding food, dieting, and the Bible, but then again it made sense that she would see things through that twisted lens. Sometimes young people learn bad behavior from reading these types of books, but I don't see this book as promoting unhealthy eating, but doing just the opposite. I applaud the author for communicating that well.