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.
Donna Cooner brings warmth, wit, and startling insight to this unforgettable debut.
About Donna Cooner
Donna Cooner lives with her goat dog, Roxanne, in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she also works as a professor of education. A former gastric bypass patient, Donna was inspired to share some of her experiences with readers. SKINNY is her debut novel. You can visit her online at www.donnacooner.com.
Her beloved, ever-dieting mom died five years ago. Now saddled with a beautiful stepmom and two gorgeous stepsisters, Ever, a sophomore, is pretty, smart, musically gifted and 302 pounds. Former buddy and long-term crush Jackson ignores Ever. She’s taunted by classmates, but her own self-loathing eclipses their slurs—she’s even given it a name, Skinny, and mostly ceded her identity to it. Skinny prevents Ever from taking up drama or accepting friendly overtures from stepsister Briella and takes Rat, science geek and loyal friend, for granted. Desperation drives Ever to gastric-bypass surgery. Her agonizing self-awareness, imprisoned in a body under severe stress, is compelling. (Author Cooner, who’s had the surgery, doesn’t sugarcoat its risks and considerable downsides.) As Ever loses weight, the story loses its grip on reality, avoiding tough issues, like the power assigned to appearance. A stylish classmate takes Ever under her wing, and enhanced by a designer wardrobe and hair, Ever’s loveliness turns heads. Surgery’s magic wand has opened doors for her that only the beautiful and gifted may enter. – Kirkus Reviews
‘Skinny’ Starts A Conversation For Overweight Teens
NPR Book Review – October 10, 2012 (Excerpt)
Young Ever Williams hears a negative voice every day in her head, telling her just how fat and disgusting she is. Ever is the heroine of Skinny, Donna Cooner’s new novel for young adults — and “Skinny” is the name she gives that awful voice. Navigating high school is difficult for most kids, but Ever has an additional challenge: She weighs 300 pounds. Her classmates taunt her cruelly, and the boy she likes ignores her.
Even members of Ever’s family don’t appear to be all that interested in her and her struggles. They don’t provide much comfort and support for her. Ever apologizes for the very space she occupies because of her weight, and like many who struggle with obesity, she tries every possible diet in an effort to be thin, so sure that being smaller is the only real way to happiness.
Ever reaches a crisis point at a school ceremony — she’s there to receive an award, and onstage, in front of her entire class, her chair breaks under her, and she crashes to the ground. Full disclosure: I’ve been there. I felt for Ever when that happened, because I too have broken furniture publicly, and I know all too well the horrible feeling of shame and the nasty comments people make. [Read the full article...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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