Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Teen Review: Skinny by Ibi Kalisk

Our wonderful teen reviewer, Neeka is back with a book that's kept her thinking...
The Name is Skinny, But the Impact is Large

Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
We live in a world filled with plenty of beach reads (like the ones highlighted during the savory Beach Week here on the blog). Though endlessly catty and entertaining, these books are not quite substantial nor are they, frankly, realistic. In them, there are characters with eating disorders. But, often they are depicted as if their illness was not a big deal, just shoving two fingers down his/her throats as often, carelessly, and easily as spilling milk on the kitchen floor.  For those of you looking for an honest, unsparing tale of the pressures of a teenager, Ibi Kaslik's Skinny is a shining star.

There is something intangibly superior about this abstract novel. This is a book to be taken quite seriously and Giselles troubled story deserves the title of a favorite.

Giselle Vasco is self-destructive, to say the least. The nagging criticizer lurking in all of us has swallowed her whole, leaving nothing but the ghost of a promising med student. Following in the steps of her late, loveless father, she makes studying and starving herself the only necessities in life, shutting everyone out. Stints with drugs and anger with herself cause Giselle to end up in a hospital. Her haunting prose and candid life is intense and despairing.

Holly, Giselles younger sister, isnt so free of problems either. Acting out at school, Hollys only haven is running-metaphorically and literally, as she is a track star. Young Holly is careful to not follow in the footsteps of the helpless soul in front of her-Giselle, but the two share more similarities than simply a vague dislike for each other. 

Alternately narrating, the sisters fights are wholesome and thoughtful, brave and strong,  weak and frustrating, colorful and un-majestic, and beyond realistic.  I can only hope you find the same beacon of fantastic in this novel as I have.

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