October 24

‘Skin’ by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

“…I put the heels of my hands, one on top of the other on Karen’s chest. I can’t feel her ribs under the thick of her too-small sweater…” 

Donnie, a young 14 year-old boy has a dysfunctional family. His parents are constantly yelling at each other. His sister, Karen, who is 16, is anorexic and is forever storming around swearing. Donnie is feeling more invisible as each day passes by. He suffers from ear infections and is the outcast at school. I recommend that students from the age of 14 and up should be allowed to read this novel.

This book is rather interesting; once you start reading, it’s quite hard to stop. Although the story is truly hard to understand, reading it twice can really get your head around it. I personally think this novel has a moral to it, that going through the disease anorexia can be somewhat challenging, but there will always be someone with you by your side through every step to get you better. This novel is demonstrating reality; that some families truly are like Donnie and Karen’s. This type of drama actually happens in real life.       

Maryann, Year 9

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I have not yet finished ‘Skin’ by Adrienne Maria Vrettos, but from what I have read, it is the type of book that makes you want to keep reading in anticipation to find out what happens next. It is a good book- well written and planned out, although I wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers. I would more recommend this bookf or readers of ages 13-16, as the idea of anorexia- although very real- may frighten younger children, and some older readers may find it a little under their reading level and not as interesting as for young to mid teenagers.
On a scale of 1-10, based on what I have read so far, I would give Skin a 7. There are a few things missing from the story which I generally like in a book. If I don’t like a book at first, I generally tend to slacken off with reading it.
The beginning of the book was very complicated to understand as it came out of nowhere and had no beginning or no end. This could leave a reader not wanting to read more, because generally, if you don’t understand the first part of the book, you get lost thinking about it all during the book.
So far in the book, my judgments tell me that things are not going too well with Karen, as she struggles with accepting her body image, which makes the book more appealing to teenagers, as eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are very real and more common in female teenagers. Jessica, Year 9

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Brothers and sisters can be annoying, but when you start realizing their life is slipping away you will do anything. Donnie is the brother of Karen, who suffers from anorexia. No one notices until it gets to a fatal state. Donnie is in his first grade on middle school and is facing issues with bullying and exclusion from his two best friends. Karen shares an unbreakable friendship with Amanda who just moved in across the street. Amanda has to face humiliation after Donnie spread around rumours about the freaky summer. I was enthralled in the pages of this book and therefore unable to put it down.    Kelseigh, Year 9

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13-year-old Donnie has a hard life. His parents are always fighting and he is losing his friend, so he creates a major rumour to keep them close. On top of that Karen his sister has an illness, anorexia, and is slowly slipping away. As time passes by poor young Donnie seems to think that no one cares about him anymore and he seems to become more invisible by the minute.

I think this book is very interesting. It has a good topic and shows all different people’s perspectives on dealing with anorexia. The book keeps me captivated because I know that there are families out there dealing with this as well. It’s directed at the age group from 12-17.  Kayley year 9

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Posted October 24, 2011 by marjk in category Girls Read, Realistic fiction, Student Reviews

About the Author

Teacher-librarian at Aquinas College, Southport, Gold Coast, Australia

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