Friday, October 26, 2012

This YA Debut Touches On Some Hot Topics For Today's Teens

A powerful topic that is both timely—and timeless.

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 always been silenced by Skinny. Partly in 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.

Listen to the author talking about some of her insights about the book HERE.

Lisa C says:
"Skinny by Donna Cooner is her debut YA novel which I'm sure will become a crossover to adults. Ever, who attends high school, is morbidly obese. Trapped under 302 lbs. of fat, she is smart, can sing like Cinderella, but has no sense of self-worth. She is plagued by Skinny,  a negative voice in her head who constantly tells her how fat, ugly, worthless, friendless, and unimportant she is. Ever believes Skinny. (I think we call can relate to some sort of negative voice in our lives.)

While she certainly hears the usual fat jokes and mean comments from some at school, Ever has a wonderful friend in Rat. Once she decides to have gastric bypass surgery, Rat is on the job. He cheers her, drags her out, makes weight loss charts, talks her into a weekly playlist, and encourages her. He is always there. After Ever loses the weight, her life changes. How is she going to handle being a new person with new friends, old
friends, family, an overall change in attitude, self-acceptance? These are the important themes that run through the novel.

Cooner has been through gastric bypass surgery. I think she did a great job explaining how it is done, and what a person undergoes after the initial surgery. I think this was probably a challenging novel because she lived it - maybe not in high school - but we know with all the media and news focusing on healthy versus over-weight children, teens and adults, this is a hot issue. I would recommend it for teens, teachers, and parents, anyone who would like to read an inspirational story. Donna is a wonderful storyteller and she is a Colorado author!

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