“You don’t have to be thin to feel small”.
Donnie is a regular thirteen-year-old boy; apart from the fact that his sister, Karen is withering away into nothing and the pressures of his sister’s illness are crushing his parents’ marriage. A typical teenage trouble story, except not so typical.
As Karen slips into the abyss of the anorexia that could claim her life at any moment, Donnie starts to feel more alone then ever. His parents don’t see him anymore; they only see Karen and Donnie starts to feel like he is walking on this Earth for no particular reason. He starts to feel like he is worth nothing and that no one will really miss him if he leaves. However, things starts looking up for Donnie when he meets some of the best friends he will probably ever have: Sheila and Rodney. Unfortunately, Donnie can’t appreciate their friendship while his sister is about to snap.
The story is very engaging and keeps you on your toes, not knowing what will happen next. However, by reading the book, you begin to understand Donnie and think up advice for him, spending almost all of the time in his thoughts. You want to help him solve his problems as a friend would.
The storyline is quite difficult to follow in the beginning, where the author changes the time setting quite frequently, but as the plot progresses it becomes a very effective and unique way to lay out the story. Donnie continues to struggle along and tries to pick up the pieces of his somewhat broken life and begins to realise there is not much he can do to help his sister – she is the only one who can help that.
If you have previously enjoyed teenage drama novels you will most definitely take something meaningful away from this book. Personally, I believe it is a story that all teenage girls should read. Skin, four and a half stars.
Anna. A, Year 9.
She was dying to be thin. He was struggling to survive.
The novel Skin written by Adrienne Maria Vrettos is a story about a family that is afflicted with many problems: health, relationships and even in this case, life.
Karen, a 16-year-old girl, has an eating disorder because she has been verbally bullied at school, being called fat. Donnie, her younger brother, who isn’t very popular at school, is struggling with the situation that Karen is in. Donnie and Karen’s parents are also struggling with not only keeping their relationship alive but also they are worrying that both their children are slowly slipping away. Can their family survive? Can Karen start eating again? Can Donnie find his true self again?
Since the day at school where Karen was called ‘fat’, everything changed. She did anything to be thin. Every day Karen just fell apart more and more, and every day she ate less and less. She was dying not only mentally but also physically and no one could do anything about it. Donnie was really struggling with Karen’s illness. He was not only losing his big sister; he was also losing himself. He tried to do the only thing that he knew he could do and that was to try to fix things, but in the end he tried so hard to help Karen that she started to push him away. Then Donnie couldn’t even help himself. Karen got worse; she made several trips to the hospital and each day she got thinner and thinner.
I really liked the book Skin because it relates to teenagers these days and it’s a very interesting and enjoyable read. It’s a book that once you start reading you don’t want to stop because you want to find out what’s going to happen to Karen. Skin really gets you thinking about how to treat people and it leaves us with the thought that one little word can affect somebody’s life in so many different ways. It doesn’t just affect the one person — it affects their whole family. Skin is probably most relevant to the ages of 13-19 as they are the ages when some girls or boys go through anorexia or mental illness. It’s so easy to read and I think that people should read it as it relates to quite a few people and perhaps people might learn a lesson and watch what they say. Karleigh, Year 9.
“She was dying to be thin, he was struggling to survive”.
Do you desire reading a book that will twist your emotions, a book that will continue to have a twist around every corner? Then it is highly recommended that “Skin” by Maria Vrettos is the book for you!
Young 16 year old Karen had the burden of needing to feel thin, with many people telling her that she was “fat” and out of place. The novel is told from the perspective of her younger brother, Donnie. Donnie and Karen had their ups and downs in their brother and sister relationship. The tragic event of Karen’s anorexia, and the state that Donnie finds her insends Donnie into shock and takes the reader on a journey through his imagination and memories of him and his big sister.
I enjoyed the book “Skin” by Maria Vrettos because it relates to today’s society and there is so much intensity with problems occurring throughout the book. The reader is always kept excited and the tension grows as the chapters go on. This book will keep you wanting to continue reading and never stop. With its twists and turns, “Skin” is definitely one book that will be enjoyed greatly.
It is recommended that the book “Skin” by Maria Vrettos would be enjoyed by all readers but in particular teenagers, both boys and girls, as anorexia and self doubt are extremely common to12-19 year old girls such as Karen. These are the age groups that are told they need to fit in and these are the age groups that feel they need to be perfect to fit in. Although 12-19 would be a great age group, any ages would enjoy this edgy, traumatic and emotional true experience of the lives of two young brothers and sisters.
Ashley, Year 9